Posts Tagged ‘Gold medal’

5) Even if you DO buy the chicken fingers, it costs less than a movie.

4) Baby, it’s hot outside – so chill at the arena and let the players turn it up a notch.

3) Cambage is back — and you know how to pronounce her name.

2) You can start cheering for your team, now that the UConn players are in the minority.

And the number one reason to watch the WNBA:

1) You don’t have to travel to London to see Olympians live — they’re right in front of you.

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From Dishin’ and Swishin’: Podcast: Can Phoenix & New York make a playoff run? Corey Gaines & Monique Ambers discuss their teams

From the Norwich Bulletin: Sun players pleased for teammates’ Olympic success

The jet lag may not be all that bad — it’s only a five-hour time difference between Connecticut and London —  but the hangover from winning the Olympic gold medal may be something that Tina Charles and Asjha Jones will have to overcome.

During the WNBA‘s Olympic break, which began July 14, the Sun have been doing their best to keep one of the league’s top motors revving by holding practices for their remaining nine players since just before the start of the London Games on July 27.
You can see her feet tapping inches away from the floor where they would rather be running.
Besides 36 minutes of the pre-Olympic WNBA season, Diana Taurasi has been on the wrong side of the thin black line that frames the Mercury’s home court. A hip-flexor strain and ankle problems have kept Taurasi from donning the only clothes she’d want to wear at Mercury games. Instead, she’s been relegated to cheering her team on from the sidelines in casual business attire.
She hasn’t been alone.
No, she hasn’t. Add in Phoenix’s mayor: Phoenix Mercury Dominate Then Break Mayor Greg Stanton’s Nose
Now, about that thing that just happened in London:
Kelli Anderson at SI: U.S. women did not generate buzz, but did generate fifth straight gold

Simply put, this group was a collection of low-maintenance, high-production gym rats, similar in talents the players who came before, but different. No player from the 1996 team that started this golden run is still playing. “That’s what makes the streak even more impressive,” said Bird the day before the gold-medal game. “It’s not the same group of people playing great together. It’s a different group every time. There are people without gold medals on this team. And then there are people who have them and want to keep that legacy going, to keep that history alive, take the torch, so to speak, from those who came before us and do well with it.”

Doug: A repeat in Rio? US women’s hoops team thinks it’s possible after winning Olympic gold

From Fox Sports Arizona (or is it also Doug’s?)  Unsure of legacy, Taurasi wants fourth gold

Diana Taurasi’s already impressive Olympic resume isn’t finished.The U.S. shooting guard has three gold medals and plans to be at the 2016 Rio Games looking to win a fourth.Still, the 30-year-old Taurasi isn’t ready to pencil herself into an all-time starting lineup of U.S. Olympic women’s basketball players that would undoubtedly include four-time gold medalists Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards.Others, though, say Taurasi belongs.

And, Down Under, the fight goes on: Lundy, Opals to push for end to gender discrimination

THE second-class treatment of Australia’s female Olympic basketballers was tip-of-the-iceberg evidence of the gender discrimination that still exists in sport, which the federal Sports Minister, Kate Lundy, leaves the London Games determined to rectify.

Her claim, on the eve of the closing ceremony, that ”basketball is not alone” came as the Opals captain and Australian team flag bearer Lauren Jackson, and her teammate Kristi Harrower, felt free to discuss the furore over the male and female teams’ different travel arrangements after they completed their competition with a bronze medal.

Most of Australia’s national women’s team flew to London in premium economy class while their male counterparts travelled – as a general rule – in business class.

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U.S. Women Win Fifth Consecutive Basketball Gold. Will the WNBA Benefit?

Comparing the men’s and women’s games may also put the women at a disadvantage. “Men’s basketball is all dunks, and it’s flashier, and women’s basketball is more about finesse,” says Jenna Stigliano, 29, of Connecticut who came to watch the gold medal final in London. “The slower pace may turn people off.”

Or perhaps we’re just focusing on the wrong thing. While the sponsorships are slow to come in, the league is making an impact perhaps where it counts most – in school gyms. As of last year, seventeen former WNBA players are head coaches for college teams, and dozens more are employed as coaching assistants. That may be where the league can have its greatest influence in growing both the sport and inspiring girls to become hoopsters. And that may end up expanding the league itself, as the bolus of younger players pushes into the professional ranks and start to create a supply that seeds a demand.

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The .com offers an article and video interviews with the gold medal winners.

Someone from the Tennessean has: Ex-Lady Vol Parker helps U.S. women breeze to gold

From Women’s Basketball in France: London Olympic Basketball – USA take basketball to a new level

On the “impact” of these games: Women have shone in London, but glow won’t carry over beyond the Games

The women of America are winning. The women of America are fabulous. The women of America are seizing the Olympics by the throat, causing millions of television viewers to fall in love with their athletic prowess.

And with good cause. As of Saturday night, 67 percent of the United States’ gold medals here at London 2012 have been claimed by females.

So why is it, when the Games conclude Sunday night, all of that love will mysteriously vanish?

That is no wild prediction. That is a near certainty, based on history.


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No, they don’t get the attention they deserve. And I don’t begrudge the other women’s teams who have been the media darlings, because this is about women athletes being a draw. Being water cooler fodder. Being on the front pages. Because we should be looking to lift all boats.

And yes, their success MAY be bad for the (international) game. But I dare you to suggest to the players that “one loss” would be “good” for women’s basketball (Clearly, it would have to be in Rio, since no one really paid attention to 2006).

And no, I doubt that I’ll read many articles and blogs posts bemoaning the women’s dominance and their 41-game win streak. The other nations have some decisions to make (look at what Great Britain has done since Atlanta). Brazil has a proud tradition in women’s basketball. So does Russia. So does Australia. And France did themselves beyond proud. But do you see a threat? Honestly – do you see a threat?

You had twelve of the best players the US had to offer – with three or four left State-side who could have easily been swapped in — and with *the oft referred to* 10 days of practice, Auriemma and the team figured out how to get it done. You almost felt like the pulled a name from the hat and say, “Ok, Angel, this game is yours” and the next day some said, “Hey, Dee, your turn.” You’d be hard-pressed to name an MVP. People played their roles, took their lumps, sat on the bench, moved into the starting rotation and while fans at home might have been gnashing and kvetching about minutes and such, the team just kept on winning.


The only thing that “worries” me is joy: does, can, will the ridiculous expectations people have for the team suck the joy out of the victory? What is the cost of that pressure — is the feeling relief or ecstasy.

Whatever my “concerns,” I’d bet every nickle I have that every player and coach wouldn’t trade a minute of it. They’re not interested in any “Redemption” campaign. They’ll take domination, thank you very much. Outside adulation? If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t – they’re still the best basketball team in the world.

This team’s stats are impressive. This teams individual stats highlight its strength: balance across the board.

It takes vision and will to compete with the farm system that is US college basketball. And money. I know one of the semi-finalists in 2016. Seems to me the race for the other three spots is wide open.

As to the Gold medal game:

From USA Basketball: USA Women Capture Historic Fifth-Straight Olympic Gold Medal With 86-50 Win Over France

Photos and extra quotes.

On the competitiveness of women’s basketball to U.S. fans versus sports like soccer and gymnastics:
Yeah, I mean, you can’t apologize for being really good. The reason they don’t think there’s any competition is because they don’t have to be here playing. We know what the competition is, we know how good these other teams are, and we know how hard we have to work to make it look easy, because it’s not as easy as it looks. We do what we do in the United States and we take great pride in our basketball program. It doesn’t matter who the coach is, it doesn’t matter who the players are, there’s a certain level of expectation when you coach and play for USA Basketball. That expectation is to win, and we take it very seriously. Maybe in those other sports, there isn’t that same expectation in the United States that you’re going to win all the time, but we’re not going to start losing just to make them feel better back home

Full Court wraps up its coverage. From Clay: Team USA is too much for mere magic — and the French

From Lee: Australia’s veterans deliver, sealing bronze with 83-74 victory over Russia

From the redoubtable Doug and the Huffington Post: U.S. Women’s Basketball Defeats France For 5th Straight Olympic Gold Medal (nice PHOTOS)

The names change, not the results. Just call the U.S. women’s basketball team Olympic champion – again.

From ESPN, Jackie writes, Parker, U.S. make it look easy

It was Candace Parker’s turn to shine, and she made it look easy.

It wasn’t, although she knows no one believes her.

The most versatile player on the U.S. women’s basketball roster, who can play guard, forward and center, who at any time can completely dominate a game with her length, her skills, her basketball acumen and her fluid, graceful style, imposed her will on an overmatched France team on Saturday evening.

MV has some honest quick hits: Team USA wins fifth straight gold

Just like an early-round upset in the NCAA tournament sometimes creates a very anticlimactic matchup in a later round, France’s overtime victory against Australia in pool play ended up making for a snoozer of an Olympic gold-medal game in women’s basketball.

The only team that gave Team USA a legitimate scare was Australia — and the Aussies still lost their semifinal contest 86-73 to the Americans on Thursday. Against the French on Saturday, the Americans scored the same amount of points as they did in the semifinal, but were even more punishing on defense. (You also can say the Aussies had a couple more high-level weapons to counter the U.S. women than France did.)

From Mike Peden: Parker continues ‘golden streak’ for USA women

Parker’s 21 points and 11 rebounds off the bench not only confirmed to a national audience that she has completely healed from previous injuries, but led an expected 86-50 rout of France to give the United States their fifth consecutive gold medal in women’s basketball.

“I don’t remember who scored what points or how many rebounds you had. You just remember you won a gold medal and who was on your team,” said the forward from the Los Angeles Sparks.

Gasp! Bob Ryan from the Boston Globe (home of the “I’ve never watched a women’s basketball game” Danny (don’t let him find out you attended a game, Bob) writes: US women remain unbeatable – They bring home 5th straight gold medal

They’re so good at this it does make people forget that it takes a little bit of work.

“I don’t think people realize how difficult it is,” said point guard Sue Bird, whose personal gold medal collection now stands at three. “To be this consistent when you’re going against the other countries’ best. That’s very often overlooked.”

From the Chicago Tribune:

This marked the fifth straight gold medal for U.S. women’s basketball, a record for consecutive Olympic titles in a women’s team sport. The average margin of victory was a hair over 34 points. Concierges in the West End were tested more often during the Olympics than coach Geno Auriemma’s team.

“Michael Jordan used to say, ‘It’s possible to stumble on a championship once but it’s a lot harder to do it twice,” said Parker, the pride of Naperville Central. “For USA basketball to have it won it five times is really special.”

At USA Today, Joe Rexroad: Candace Parker leads team USA to gold medal

Little Lailaa Williams kept tugging and pushing and imploring her mother to pay attention to her. Finally, Candace Parker promised her 3-year-old daughter some candy if she’d be quiet for a few minutes and let mommy speak with the reporters.

“Candy at 11 o’clock,” Parker said while picking Lailaa up. “It’s gonna be a great night.”

It already had been, for Parker and a team that had been waiting for her to dominate like this.

Christine Brennan: Underappreciated U.S. women’s team dominates

While North Greenwich Arena was full Saturday night, the press tribune was not, and the same interview area that was swarming with journalists during the women’s gymnastics events held perhaps one-fifth of that crowd after the USA-France game.

So in addition to being one of the most impressive Olympic teams that the USA has fielded in any sport, you can make a case that it’s also the most underappreciated truly dominant team in U.S. Olympic history.

“That’s something we all kind of knew going into this,” U.S. guard Lindsay Whalen said. “To expect us to win gold just shows everything that everyone has done up to this point, all the hard work and effort that the coaches and everyone at USA Basketball has done. And it just shows the great talent that we have.”

Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated says, Americans’ path to gold proves gap is widening between U.S., world

At the last coronation in this city prior to Saturday night’s at an Olympic basketball arena, the royal outfit was embroidered with a Tudor rose, a Scottish thistle, a shamrock, a maple leaf, a silver fern and other symbols of the vast British Commonwealth. The year was 1953, which, coincidentally, also saw the introduction of a women’s world basketball championship. A team of presumably non-Gitanes-smoking Frenchwomen finished third, the only time France had won a medal in a truly major tournament until the thank-you-ma’am-may-I-have-another game — USA 86, France 50 — that upgraded Les Bleus to an Olympic silver.Anyway this time, royalty wore swooshes.

The basketball female Olympic gold medal is the crown jewel of an amazing Team USA made of women who have demonstrated not only immense discipline and achievements but also tenacity and – more importantly – a sense of team work and sportsmanship that discipline after discipline have helped Olympic Team USA improve its performance and standing in the world of sports competition.

On that theme: Sports Illustrated Ann Killion writes – Amid 40th anniversary of Title IX, women set new standard in London

For the first time Team USA included more women than men. And they’re coming home the richer for it. The U.S. women have won 58 medals to the men’s 45 and 29 gold medals compared to the men’s 17.

Women are succeeding in traditionally popular disciplines like gymnastics and swimming. And in new events like women’s boxing. American female gold medalists come in all shapes and sizes: diminutive Gabby Douglas, powerful Abby Wambach, sturdy Kayla Harrison, ripped Allyson Felix. They come in all personalities: bubbly Missy Franklin, controversial Hope Solo, fierce Serena Williams.

They are athletes to be celebrated. The evolution is that now — more so than in Atlanta — they are being lauded for their power and performance more than their social significance.

Ann, love the piece. Call me when male beach volleyball players play in briefs, the identifiers “men’s” and “women’s” are universally used (check SI’s side columns), and Sports Illustrated has swim suit edition featuring men.

And there’s no rest for the weary: Doug has this piece (picked up by the AJC): US women hoops already looking ahead to Rio

Over at NBC, Jack McCallum writes: Taurasi is heart, soul of world’s best team

Taurasi is six-feet, 165 pounds of raw energy, her face an ever-changing Rorschach, her game a combination of Showtime and Slowtime, for she can play either way, though she vastly prefers the former. Her game against France was typical Taurasi: 9 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, three gorgeous pick-and-roll passes to Parker, skin-tight defense on France’s star, point guard Celine Dumerc, who was held to eight points and, most tellingly, one assist.

And all the while, Taurasi never stopped chattering. She is a right-hander who can go left, but she is definitely a right-brainer, a player of instinct and imagination.

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USA Men’s And Women’s World Championship Teams Share USA Basketball’s Team Of The Year Honors

In recognition of outstanding, gold-medal performances at the FIBA World Championships, USA Basketball today announced the USA men’s and women’s World Championship teams as co-recipients of the 2010 USA Basketball Team of the Year Award.

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It makes me smile to know I’m not alone in my obsession.

The most dominant player you’ve [more than likely] never heard of [unless you’re some kind of history weirdo nut]

If you ever saw an almost 7 feet tall figure wearing USSR or TTT Riga uniform in the 70ies and 80ies, you knew it was going to be a long night. That’s because you were playing against Uljana Semjonova – the most dominant player in the world for almost two decades.

She has accomplished everything there was to in women’s basketball at that time. Having never lost in international competitions representing USSR she has 2 Olympic gold medals, 3 World Championship gold medals, 10 European Championship gold medals, representing team TTT Rīga from the former Soviet Republic of Latvia she won 15 Soviet National Championships and 12 European Clubs’ Cup Championships (predecessor of EuroLeague Women). She has also scored more than 15000 points in her 24 year pro career.

She was the first non-US born woman to be inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, she was an inaugural member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 1999, in 2007 she was also an inaugural member of the FIBA Hall of Fame class.

All these accomplishments can be found in many places, but that’s not why this post is here. It’s here to tell her story that’s rarely known on the West side of the former “Iron Curtain”.


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