34 FC Barcelona basketball players have represented their respective countries in the Olympic Games. The first Azulgranas to make their Olympic debuts were Nino Buscató, Alfonso Martínez and JoséLuisMartínez. Spain had a discreet finish, 14th position, in the 1960 Rome Games, but since then seven Azulgranas have claimed Olympic glory.
One of them is Juan Carlos Navarro. The Barça Regal and Spanish national team captain won the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics after losing to the United States in the final. This year, in London, VíctorSada, who at the very least will win a silver medal, will join his teammate in Spain’s bid to dethrone the Americans from the pinnacle of world basketball. Therefore, regardless of the outcome, Sada and Navarro will win Barça Regal’s eight and ninth Olympic medals.
No gold, so far
With the final against the United States looming, Juan Carlos Navarro will be the only Barça Regal player to win two Olympic medals. Before him, De la Cruz, Epi and Solozábal claimed the silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Spain also lost to the United States in the final.
In Atlanta, 1996, the Azulgrana AleksandarDjordjevic’s Serbia finished with the silver medal and Arturas Karnisovas, with Lithuania, finished with the bronze. Serbia went on to win the bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Games as well.
In the XXX London Olympic Games, Navarro and Sada certainly have a tough road ahead of them if they want to claim gold. They’ll face the favourites, a powerhouse team that has yet to drop a game in London and that deprived the Iberians of the gold medal in Los Angeles and Beijing.