Former LSU basketball stars win gold in London
POSTED: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 6:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 13, 2012 - 6:34pm
LONDON (LSUSports.net) — The Olympic journey is complete for LSU's Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles. Augustus and Fowles became the first LSU athletes - past or present - in any sport to claim multiple Olympic gold medals as the U.S. Women's National team put a punctuation mark on its perfect London run with an 86-50 victory over France in the gold medal contest on Saturday night.
After claiming their first gold medals in Beijing four years ago, the two former LSU All-Americans and current WNBA stars led the United States to a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal in women's basketball. They became the first women's team in a traditional Olympic team sport to accomplish the feat.
"It's great, just to be in the position to win a medal is awesome," said Augustus. "The women that I got a chance to experience this with and win a gold medal is even better. Diana (Taurasi) has always been a role model for me as well as (Tamika) Catchings and Sue (Bird), so it's just amazing to be with those players. It was just a wonderful experience."
Augustus and Fowles' achievements are the 14th and 15th gold medals won by LSU athletes - former or current - in Olympic history. From coach Sue Gunter's silver medal at the 1976 Games to coach Van Chancellor's gold medal at the 2004 Games, LSU women's basketball has now been associated with six Olympic medals.
For the Americans, it was their 41st consecutive Olympic victory, extending a streak that dates back to the 1992 Barcelona bronze medal game. A collection of the WNBA's elite was no match for the rest of the world as Team USA's average margin of victory in its eight Olympic wins was over 35 points.
France entered the contest with an unblemished 7-0 record, but the Americans turned a 12-point halftime lead into a blowout with a 19-0 third-quarter run. Fowles pitched in six points and six rebounds. Augustus scored eight points and fittingly accounted for Team USA's final basket in the waning seconds.
Just three years removed from a torn ACL and two years removed from a procedure that removed non-cancerous fibroids in her abdomen, Augustus has enjoyed a resurgence to her career. Last summer, she led the Minnesota Lynx to a WNBA championship, claimed most valuable player honors and was elected into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Today, she stood above the podium as an Olympic champion for the second time in her career.
"I had to hold tears back, but I am probably going to break down later," said Augustus. "Rethinking the last two or three years for myself and being back and winning a gold medal, honestly, I had this as my screen saver a year ago before they even announced the team. So, it's a dream come true."
Fowles and Augustus - both LSU graduates -- will return to the United States and rejoin their WNBA squads as the season resumes on Friday.