As the U.S. women’s basketball team left the medal podium, the gold dangling from their necks spoke volumes about merits and Olympics legacy they had built over the past five appearances at the games. Starting with the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics, the U.S. women’s basketball team has won each game with a 30 point difference. Only one team has trailed the U.S. women’s basketball team within single digits. And only once, the Americans have been defeated at a high-profile international competition at the hands of Russia during the 2006 world championship semifinals.
Five Olympics…five different teams…and still the U.S. women’s basketball team have always made it appear effortless as they leave with the gold each time. With a 86-50 victory against France, the U.S. women’s basketball team won their fifth consecutive gold.
"It just shows the depth and talent in our country. Women's basketball, it's our sport -- it's our sport," said three-time Olympian Diana Taurasi, as she stood clutching her gold medal. "We grew up playing since we were little and give it every single little bit of energy we have."
The French team, which was making its Olympics debt, cruised into the finals undefeated but were still no real threat to the Americans who marked their 41st consecutive Olympics Victory with London Games final. The U.S. women’s basketball team maintained a close lead over France until Candace Parker stepped onto court 12 minutes into the game.
Candace Parker made a 13-2 run in the second quarter, scoring eight consecutive points that left the game at37-23. At one stage France's point guard Celine Dumerc was the only possible threat making field goals against the U.S. women’s basketball team until she was silenced, and had only eight points by the end of the game.
By the end of the half the U.S. women’s basketball team was at a 12 point lead. Candace Parker, was unstoppable as she grabbed rebounds from the defensive end and broke through rival’s defenses to score twice.
At one point France again came within a 10-point difference of the U.S. women’s basketball team, but the Americans dominated the scoreboard scoring the next 13 of 14 points. France was completely crushed and never recovered.
The younger components of the U.S. women’s basketball team were as involved in the game as their senior counterparts. Maya Moore eased into a layup upon a well-calculated pass by Sue Bird was originally handed a ball with a steal from Tamika Catchings.
With 7:25 minutes remaining on the clock, the U.S. women’s basketball team had their names written in golden letters all over the victory after they upped the defense. France only scores once during that period.
Candace Parker had a huge impact on the game, scoring 21 points and 11 rebounds.
"The legacy is real," said five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, who had been a consistent player for the Americans at her time. "What these kids have been doing is amazing. Without much time to practice. In the middle of the WNBA season. And they look good.”
"They're definitely among some of the best" added Teresa Edwards, who had front-row seats to the finals.