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a “primer” on the team from the .com: The Gold Standard

Four straight Olympic gold medals.

A 33-game winning streak in Olympic competition dating back to 1992.

A 72-1 record in major international competitions over the past 16 years.

For the U.S. Women’s National Team, winning gold medals is not a goal to strive for, it is a standard that must be maintained. As the 2012 Olympic team came together this weekend in Washington, D.C. for a three-day training camp to continue its preparation for the Olympics in London, they understood what is at stake.

“Every time you put on that USA jersey there’s a certain expectation there,” said veteran guard Sue Bird. “Not just in the Olympics, but every time we take the court, no matter where we are. And the expectation is to win and most times to win big. There’s definitely some pressure there, but no more than we put on ourselves. We want to win that gold medal just as much as anybody.”

From Jared Zwerling (where’s Mechelle?): Diana Taurasi leads Team USA

“The veteran used to be 36-year-olds; now it’s 30? [laughs],” Taurasi said. “I like to think of myself as a young veteran.”

Eight years ago in Athens for the 2004 Olympics, Taurasi was only 22 and a rookie on the gold-medal team. Then in 2008 in Beijing, she proved herself more in extended minutes, winning another gold. Now, she’s the eyes and ears of the group.

“With D, everywhere she goes, everyone respects her game so much,” Auriemma said. “She’s an unbelievable teammate, she has the ability to get people to follow her, so she’s a rare combination of someone that can do everything on the court, and yet at the same time, makes you a better player as well. If Diana asks a question, everyone’s listening to what the answer is. If they have a question, they ask her. They know they’re going to get led in the right way.

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