Few athletes have been more tireless ambassadors for sports in their home countries than Pau Gasol on behalf of his native Spain.
He began playing for the national team in 2001, representing Spain through two Olympics -- including a silver medal run in Beijing -- and other significant international tournaments. Now, in his third go round as an Olympian, Gasol has been given among the greatest honors an athlete can have. With Rafael Nadal unable to compete because of a knee injury, Spain's Olympic federation announced Friday Gasol will now carry the Spanish flag during the opening ceremonies when the London games open at the end of July.
Very cool, and well-deserved.