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Longtime NBA center, Spain star Pau Gasol elected to IOC after Tokyo Olympics

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Longtime NBA center Pau Gasol is the newest member of the International Olympic Committee.

Gasol, the IOC said on Wednesday, earned the most votes among 30 candidates for four vacant committee seats designated for athletes.. He will now be an IOC member through the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Gasol received 1,888 votes of the more than 6,800 cast by athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. He is joined by Polish cyclist Maja Martyna Wloszczowska, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini and Japanese fencer Yuki Ota as new members.

Athletes had until Tuesday to cast their vote at 11 different locations across the Olympics and the Olympic Village.

“It is fantastic to see the high turnout of athletes participating in the Athletes’ Commission election,” IOC athletes’ commission chair Kristy Coventry said in a statement. “We had an impressive list of candidates, and I want to thank all of the candidates for putting up their hands to represent athletes from around the world. Congratulations and welcome to the four new members. The work and responsibility of the Commission is as important as ever to represent and support athletes in all stages of their lives.

“With these new members and those already on the Commission, I know that the IOC Athletes’ Commission is in very good hands to build on the great work done over the years. Remember, you now represent all athletes from around the world, so do your best to better understand all viewpoints, listen, act and support them to the best of your ability.”

Gasol, 41, has played 18 seasons in the NBA since he was drafted with the No. 3 overall pick in 2001. The six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champ spent time with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He spent last season back with FC Barcelona in Spain.

Gasol just finished his fourth Olympics appearance with Spain, and won a silver medal in 2012 and a bronze medal in 2016. Spain fell to the United States in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Spain's Pau Gasol at the 2021 Olympics
Pau Gasol will serve on the IOC through the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

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