“I was just elated. Instant chills, instant smile on my face. I thought, ‘Oh my goodness my dream came true,’ said Elena Delle Donne after the Olympic gold medal was placed around her neck.
The USA Basketball Women’s National Team captured its sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal last week. The team defeated Spain 101-72 for the gold medal, while Delle Donne contributed 10 of those points. When asked about taking a more reserved role on the national team than she’s normally accustomed to, she replied, “It was a lot different, number one, coming off the bench. I’m not used to doing that…It was something I definitely had to adapt to, but all of us had to adapt and play a little bit differently than we’re used to.”
While playing with some of the best in the world, Delle Donne learned a lot just by observing. “There were times that I was just in awe, even on the bench watching it like, ‘that was beautiful’…Great players have to adapt and it’s a great learning experience for me.”
Aside from playing basketball, Delle Donne and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team had some off time to do other activities. While the rest of the world watched from afar, Delle Donne experienced things many wish to have seen first-hand. “I got to experience some really cool parts of Rio like Christ the Redeemer and then also was able to get to some events like Beach Volleyball and Swimming. I saw [Michael] Phelps and [Katie] Ledecky’s [breaking] record.”
To close off a hard-working month, the national team was welcomed back on their ship the night after their medal ceremony with a reception. “All of our families and friends were all there waiting for us…it was a really nice time just to celebrate together and what we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” Delle Donne explained.
With eight games remaining in the regular season, Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky continue to vie for their fourth consecutive playoff berth. Take advantage of discounted ticket prices through September 18 with the WNBASuper20 and enter the sweepstakes! Call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET to learn more.