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Now an Olympian for the third time, Seimone Augustus remembered when it was her biggest goal.

“I remember having a USA Basketball poster,” she recalled. “That was my dream. At that time, we never knew if the WNBA would make it and last this long.”

She’s well aware of the significance of her role with Team USA, which has won five consecutive Olympic gold medals dating to 1996 in Atlanta. The importance of the Olympics and its impact on younger players is one of her two primary motivations.

“To be in the position to celebrate that 1996 team and try to keep that legacy alive means a lot to me, as a little girl growing up dreaming about this to now being in a position to carry that torch,” she said.

Her other motivation? Augustus is terrified of being on the team that loses the gold.

“We don’t want to be the first team to not bring home a gold medal in the Olympics,” she laughed. “We don’t want to give any overseas team bragging rights.”

Jim Paulsen