The four Lynx players on the USA women’s basketball team wound up standing next to each other during a group photo on Wednesday night in Rio, right smack in the center of one of the most dominant Olympic teams ever.
The USA has won five straight gold medals and holds a 41-game winning streak entering the competition in Rio. The American’s won-loss record in the Olympics overall is 58-3.
The men’s and womens’ teams arrived from Houston on Wednesday morning on the same charter flight. They headed to the ship where they’re staying off the coast of Rio, then practiced and attended their introductory press conference.
Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus and Lindsay Whalen played as Lynx teammates on the 2012 gold medal winning team in London.
There are two changes to the Lynx contingent in Rio: Sylvia Fowles is on the team again but this time as a member of the Lynx; and Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve is an assistant to Olympic head coach Geno Auriemma.
Reeve joked that Augustus has treated her like a rookie, telling her after to practice to ``grab the bags.’’
The sense the players offered on Wednesday night was that they are quite comfortable with the USA’s dominance and the pressure that may impose on them.
``This is the best-prepared and most anxious team as far as getting ready to play that I’ve ever had,’’ Auriemma said.
``He’s absolutely right,’’ Augustus said with a smile. ``There have been some great teams here so for him to say that means a lot. But we understand that there were a lot of women before us that paved the way for this. We know what we need to do. We know the legacy we’re trying to keep alive.’’
Whalen’s husband, Ben Greve, will arrive this weekend. Greve recently shot a second-round 64 to win the Minnesota State Open.
Reeve said flying down with the men’s team ``was really great, to see the camaraderie there.’’ She’s also had plenty of chances to speak with Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, who is an assistant with the men’s team.
The two basketball junkies spent a lot of time talking about…
``Basketball,’’ Reeve said. ``You guessed it.’’