24 Current and Former WNBA Players Win Medals at 2012 Olympic Games

 />The U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team defeated <strong>France</strong>, 86-50, in Saturday's <strong>gold</strong> medal <strong>game</strong> in <strong>London</strong>, bringing the total to 24 current or former <strong>WNBA</strong> players who earned medals at the 2012 Olympic Games.    <strong>Australia</strong> defeated Russia, 83-74, for the bronze medal.    The <strong>WNBA</strong> was heavily represented with 38 current and former players dotting the rosters of nine of the 12 nations participating in <strong>London</strong>.</div>
<div>The United States women's team has now won five consecutive Olympic <strong>gold</strong> medals (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012), an Olympic record for traditional women's team sports, and seven overall (including 1984 and 1988) in the nine Olympiads the U.S. has competed in since women's <strong>basketball</strong> debuted at the 1976 Games in Montreal.</div>
<div>Each of the 12 members of the U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team currently <strong>plays</strong> in the <strong>WNBA</strong>, led by a trio of three-time Olympic <strong>gold</strong> medalists
Sue Bird  (Seattle Storm), reigning league Most Valuable Player  Tamika Catchings  (Indiana Fever), and 2009 MVP  Diana Taurasi  (Phoenix Mercury).    Bird, Catchings, and Taurasi all were members of the 2004 U.S. team that won the gold medal in Athens and the 2008 squad that brought home the gold from Beijing.
Should any of the trio participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, they will have an opportunity to join legendsTeresa Edwards  and  Lisa Leslie  as the only basketball players to earn four gold medals. Leslie is the lone player to take home gold from four consecutive Olympiads, doing so in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008; Edwards won gold in 1984, 1988, 1996 and 2000 and collected a bronze medal in 1992.
“There’ve been many players before us who have played in the Olympics and set the standard,” said Bird. “And we did it for them just as much as we did it for ourselves.”
U.S. players earning their second gold medal included 2011 WNBA Finals MVP  Seimone Augustus(Minnesota Lynx), 2011 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year  Sylvia Fowles  (Chicago Sky), 2008 league MVP  Candace Parker  (Los Angeles Sparks), and two-time WNBA All-Star Game MVP  Swin Cash  (Chicago Sky).    Augustus, Fowles, and Parker each earned gold in 2008 in Beijing; Cash as a member of the 2004 U.S. team in Athens.
Maya Moore  and  Lindsay Whalen  (both of the Minnesota Lynx), as well as  Tina Charles  and  Asjha Jones  (teammates with the Connecticut Sun), and  Angel McCoughtry  (Atlanta Dream) ““ each a first-time Olympians ““ also earned gold medals with the U.S. team.
“I remember sitting on my couch in 1996 watching the USA women play and watching them win the gold medal,” said Parker. “I remember watching Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, I remember watching them and being like “˜man I want to be where they are.”
The France Olympic Women’s Basketball Team, which captured its first medal (silver), was led by four former WNBA players:  Emilie Gomis  (2006),  Sandrine Gruda  (2008-10),  Edwige Lawson-Wade  (2005-10), and  Emmeline Ndongue  (2006).
Eight current and former WNBA playershelped lead Australia to the bronze medal. The Opals, in fact, fell to the Americans in the semifinals, 86-73, in what was the narrowest margin of victory for the U.S. this Olympics. Leading the way for Australia were three-time WNBA Most Valuable PlayerLauren Jackson  (Seattle) and rising, second-year player  Liz Cambage  (Tulsa).
 Cambage and Jackson, led the Aussies in scoring against the U.S. with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Jackson departed London with her fourth Olympic medal (three silver and one bronze) and as the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s basketball history.
Also earning bronze for Australia were  Jenna O’Hea  (Los Angeles), and former WNBA players  Suzy Batkovic  (2005, 2009),  Abby Bishop  (2010),    Kristi Harrower  (1998-9, 2001-03, 2005, 2009),Laura (Summerton) Hodges  (2005-06), and  Belinda Snell  (2005-07, 2009-11).
The 2012 WNBA season resumed play on Aug. 16.
 A complete list of current and former WNBA players that earned Olympic medals follows.
Gold Medalists
                       Player                                                                                Team                                                      WNBA Years
                       Seimone Augustus                        United States                                2006-present
                       Sue Bird                                                                              United States                                2002-present
                       Swin Cash                                    United States                                2002-present
                       Tamika Catchings                                              United States                                2001-present
                       Tina Charles                                  United States                                2010-present
                       Sylvia Fowles                                United States                                2008-present
                       Asjha Jones                                  United States                                2002-present
                       Angel McCoughtry                        United States                                2009-present
                       Maya Moore                                  United States                                2011-present
                       Candace Parker                          United States                                2008-present
                       Diana Taurasi                              United States                                2004-present
                       Lindsay Whalen                            United States                                2004-present
Silver Medalists
                       Emilie Gomis                                                            France                                                    2006
                       Sandrine Gruda                                                    France                                                    2008-10
                       Edwige Lawson-Wade                              France                                                    2005-10
                       Emmeline Ndongue                                        France                                                    2006
Bronze Medalists
                       Suzy Batkovic                                                          Australia                                            2005, 2009
                       Abby Bishop                                                              Australia                        2010
                       Elizabeth Cambage                                            Australia                                          2011-present
                       Kristi Harrower                                                      Australia                        1998-9, 2001-03, 2005, 2009
                       Laura (Summerton) Hodges                  Australia                                          2005-06
                       Lauren Jackson                                                      Australia                                            2001-present
                       Jenna O’Hea                                                              Australia                        2011-present
                       Belinda Snell                                                              Australia                        2005-07, 2009-11

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