LINDSAY WHALEN

There is an on-court Lindsay Whalen, known for her fearlessness and leadership abilities. And there’s an off-court Lindsay Whalen, easygoing and relaxed, rarely roused from her calm, small-town demeanor.

It’s clear the on-court Whalen wouldn’t exist without the off-court version. Hutchinson’s favorite daughter has a remarkable ability to keep the moment in perspective, never letting it get too big or too intimidating.

Asked to reflect on the magnitude of the things she has accomplished, including her second go-round with Team USA in the Olympics, her answer was as unassuming as she is.

“Well, um, I think reflection comes in the offseason and then you come to appreciate it, you know?” she said. “I try not to think about it too much or too often. But it is a huge honor. It’s, uh, it’s great.”

And what of the gold medal Whalen won in 2012? Something that precious must be displayed somewhere prominent, right?

“It’s in a safe in my house,” she said. “Right away, a lot of people wanted to see it, so I brought it out then. But now, it just kind of stays in the safe.”

Jim Paulsen