ABOVE PHOTO: United States’ Sylvia Fowles plays against Team WNBA during the first half of a WNBA All-Star basketball game, Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
By Sylvia Fowles
SAITAMA, Japan — What a journey, what a journey, what a journey.
These last two and a half weeks here at the Olympics have come to an end. We officially got the gold. Congrats to USA Basketball on winning a seventh straight gold medal. Congratulations to Dee (Diana Taurasi) and Sue (Bird) on their fifth as well as myself on my fourth. To Tina (Charles) on her third and I hope the list continues to go on and on.
My journey has come full circle and it’s definitely a humbling ending. I’m in a category with a lot of elite athletes who’ve done it before I did. And I’m just happy that I can put myself in that category and be considered alongside some of them.
Once you put this Team USA jersey on, you have to understand that you pretty much have to let everything go that you’re used to and just go out there and play. Everybody did a tremendous job of checking their egos at the door when we were in Las Vegas and understanding what it was going to take us to get this seventh straight gold medal. And I think everybody responded well.
Dawn (Staley) pretty much set the path for herself. But having her here at this point in time, where we are, where history is the way it is. It’s tremendous that she had this opportunity to coach this team here in Japan. Hopefully we can get more faces like her, male or female, just to come out and represent what we stand for.
When it comes to Dee and Sue, just knowing that all the energy and the time sacrifices that they put into this thing makes you second guess yourself a lot when things are not going your way. It makes you say, “Man if they can do it, I can do too [this] type [of] thing.”
So I’m happy that I had that moment, for Dee to put the medal around my neck.
I teared up on the court because this was my last one. So, of course, just to see it come full circle, from a youngster to a veteran, was very emotional. I’m still just trying to soak up the moment.
Even though we didn’t have family here, I want to let everybody know that it still hits me hard but that I’m very grateful for the experience.
It’s been real Tokyo. We appreciate everything you have done for us.
To our staff, to our coaches, to our security, to our doctors, to the people behind the scenes, the video coordinators, everyone, thank you for all your hard work over the last two weeks.
It’s been real. But it’s time to go home!