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Pau Gasol becomes Spanish flagbearer at Olympics

In what he considers to be “one of the happiest moments of his career,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol will carry the Spanish flag next Friday during opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics.

Spain’s Olympic federation said in a statement that Gasol represents “the best values in sport and competition.” But it also comes on the heels of Spanish tennis star Rafeal Nadal withdrawing from competition because of a knee injury.

“All my support to my friend @RafaelNadal in this tough moment as an athlete,” Gasol tweeted. “All our athletes will compete in London with his spirit!”

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For Gasol, that will involve building off of an already impressive track record with the Spanish national team.

In the last six years, Gasol played a large part in Spain winning gold in the 2006 FIBA World Championship as well as the FIBA European Championship in 2009 and 2011. Spain also earned silver medals at the 2007 FIBA European Championship and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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