This afternoon in Rio, the U.S. Women’s National Team won their historic sixth straight gold medal by defeating Spain 101-72. In honor of the incredible feat, here are six facts you need to know about the 2016 team.
After another blowout victory and another medal ceremony for the U.S.women’s basketball team, Maya Moore was asked whether such dominance hurts her sport.
“When I find a really good piece of fabulous cuisine, I don’t say, ‘It’s too good,’ ” Moore said. “I say, ‘Give me another piece.’ ”
There was nobody close to Team USA women’s basketball. They won their average game by 37 points, with a “scare” coming in a semifinal matchup against France that they only won by 19. They rampaged through the competition to their sixth consecutive gold medal, extending their Olympic win streak to a preposterous 49 games.
It’s hard to find a storyline in dominance besides dominance, but I noticed something strange about Team USA: They kept lying to me. They kept saying things any rational person would know was false, in an attempt to make it seem as if the competition was close. I don’t know whether they believed the things they were saying, or whether they were just following the party line.
But they kept lying, and I think these lies helped fuel their unparalleled brilliance.
There’s a heritage of leadership passed along from one golden generation to the next, a legacy of success rivaling anything ever seen at the Games.
“This team will try to pass on to the next group of players just people leading by example,” said US guard Lindsay Whalen.
“We just try to do as well as we can and pass it on, kind of just the culture and the way we approach every game.”
Q13 Fox: Commentary: Sue Bird deserves a fifth gold medal – for making Seattle proud
As the Rio Olympics come to an end, I’d rather not give any more attention to the baffling Ryan Lochte incident or any of the other athlete controversies that made headlines this month – including the story of Mongolian coaches stripping off their clothes to protest a wrestling match earlier today, which is actually kind of funny.
Instead, why not celebrate the local athlete who made history – and has always been a role model off the court: Storm point guard Sue Bird.
AP’s Brian Mahoney: Go USA! Go Coach? For US basketball fans, Olympics a change
You love them now, right America?
Mike Krzyzewski and Geno Auriemma may have their haters in college basketball, but this is the Olympics. This is when patriotic pride trumps school spirit, when there is no Tar Heel blue, only red, white and blue.
So all those fans chanting “USA! USA!” should be shouting “Go Coach K!”
“Well, I hope they’re saying that. I’m not sure all of them are completely saying that,” Krzyzewski said with a laugh. “But I would hope that most people are.”
From Val Ackerman: Where are the female leaders in sports?
After spending eight years (from 2006–14) as the U.S. representative for men’s and women’s basketball on the central board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), I can attest that Lapchick’s characterization of Olympic board rooms as an “exclusive club of men” is largely true. Based on my experiences, here’s a formula to improve gender inclusion as the glow of Rio fades and the Olympic world turns its attention to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
1. Acknowledge the facts.
Lapchick’s exhaustive report, which included more than 8,500 data points on the gender makeup of IFs and their zone and national affiliates across the Olympic spectrum, is an unequivocal barometer and should be required reading for anyone operating in the international sports realm. Hopefully, Lapchick or other researchers will build on this baseline data and produce follow-up reports so that improvement (or the lack of it) can be gauged.
Withdrawal? Ask Excelle: What to Watch this Week: League action returns from Olympic breaks; big slate of college events
Swish Appeal: Ice, Ice, baby and WNBA Power rankings
Post-Olympics, those 30 elite female athletes will return to their professional leagues, the WNBA and the National Women’s Soccer League. And millions of viewers who watched them on TV at the Olympics will largely forget and move on.
Women’s professional sports continue to garner only a tiny fraction of the attention, TV ratings, advertising and salaries that men’s sports generate in the U.S.
Might I suggest the WNBA and its teams identify who from their community actually wrote about the Olympics (not even asking if they sent a reporter), drop them a “thank you” note and then invite them to attend a game.