Inspiration Of An Olympian: Allyson Felix Earns 3rd London Olympics Gold As U.S. Women Win 4×400-Meter Relay

Inspiration Of An Olympian: Allyson Felix Earns 3rd London Olympics Gold As U.S. Women Win 4×400-Meter Relay

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

Women In The Olympics: Olympics 2012: U.S. women’s basketball earns fifth consecutive gold medal

Women In The Olympics: Olympics 2012: U.S. women’s basketball earns fifth consecutive gold medal

A Message From The Creator

Women In The Olympics: Olympics 2012: U.S. women’s basketball earns fifth consecutive gold medal

By Sean Deveney

Sporting News

LONDON—Five straight gold medals. Forty-one straight wins. Average margin of victory in these Olympics? More than 34 points per game. Now that is a Dream Team.

The latest triumph came here at the North Greenwich Arena at the expense of France, the surprise team of the women’s tournament. The French were able to make a game of things in the early going, and took a 13-11 lead at 3:50 of the first quarter when star guard Edwige Lawson-Wade made a 3-pointer. But, as has so often happened with this group, the second unit helped set Team USA straight, sparking a 9-2 run to end the first period. The U.S. went on to break the game open in the third period, rolling to an 86-50 win.

Center Candace Parker led the way off the bench with 21 points (on 10-for-14 shooting) and 11 rebounds. Diana Taurasi, the Americans’ leading scorer for the tournament, struggled with her shooting but finished with nine points and six assists. U.S. captain Sue Bird had 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting.

“We played better as the game went on,” Parker said. “That is the way things have gone for us in the whole tournament, we played better and better as it went on. We really came together. The whole team came together.”

For further evidence of their dominance, consider that over the course of the tournament, Team USA outshot opponents by a margin of 48.4 percent to 32.9 percent; they outrebounded opponents by 50.0-32.4; they dished out 22.8 assists per game, to 13.4 for their opponents.

They were tested a handful of times throughout the Olympics—most notably in the opener against Croatia and again in the semifinal match against Australia—but just have too much depth and talent for most national teams.

In winning their fifth gold in a row, though, the U.S. extended their own record for consecutive Olympic championships won in a women’s team sport. Unfortunately for this version of Team USA, we have gotten so accustomed to their dominance of international events that putting another gold medal into the coffers barely makes a dent in the sports news cycle. Don’t tell that to the 12 members of this team or coach Geno Auriemma, though. He has repeatedly insisted that his team does not care about the lack of accolades or press coverage they receive at home.

U.S. women’s basketball team was too much for France to handle Saturday, as the Americans went on to win their fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal. (AP Photo)

They’re just happy to have gold. “It’s really hard to put into words,” Auriemma said. “You get a lot of chances to win national championships, but to win an Olympic gold medal is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. This is an unbelievable group of players to coach. I’ve got 12 players who all want to play and they are great players .”

Bird, for one, knows that, even if the team does not make headlines, plenty of young female basketball players are paying attention.

“Whenever you represent your country, it’s huge,” Bird said. “The meaning is limitless. It’s an amazing feeling and, as far as women’s basketball in the U.S., it is continuing to grow. I think our depth on this team kind of speaks to that. Hopefully, we have helped to keep it going.”

Of course, for four members of the team, this was most definitely not a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings and Taurasi were with the team in ’04 and ’08, too, and are now three-time gold medalists. All four might not be around when the U.S. goes for a sixth gold in Rio in 2016. If that is the case, they can rest assured that with players like Parker (who is 26), Maya Moore (23), Tina Charles (23) and Angel McCoughtry (25), the program is in good hands.

But then, when asked after the game about the future, Taurasi said, “Rio, baby. We’re going.”

At which point, Bird shrugged and said, “I guess we’re going to Rio.”

Four years from now, then, gold medal No. 6 figures to be in sight.

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

 

France’s first lady is a former supermodel who joined international outcry over the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, among other achievements.

Born in 1967, the half-French half-Italian Carla Bruni is heiress to an Italian tire company. From an early age her good looks led her to work in modeling, walking the runway as one of Europe’s top models. In the 1990s Bruni delved into singing and songwriting, and her albums have met with some success. Throughout her career, Bruni’s lovelife has often overshadowed her work— her relationships with several high-profile French men culminated with her 2008 marriage to French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Profile

Singer, model, and wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi on December 23, 1967, in Turin, Italy. First famous for her modeling and singing career, Carla Bruni has become one of the world’s most watched women as the first lady of France. She grew up with her sister and brother in a wealthy Italian family.

While the family fortune was made in tires and industrial products, both of her parents were more musically inclined than business oriented. Her legal father, Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, was a composer, and her mother, Marisa, was a concert pianist. Years later, Bruni learned that her biological father was Maurizio Remmert, a musician and grocery store chain owner. She too showed an interest in music early on, teaching herself how to play guitar.

In the mid-1970s, Bruni and her family moved to France. She attended boarding school in Switzerland and then moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. Interested in art and architecture, Bruni soon abandoned college for a modeling career in the late 1980s. She appeared in countless ads, including an international campaign for Guess? jeans, and walked runways for such high-end fashion houses as Dior and Chanel. Bruni was also a favorite for fashion editorial work, appearing on more than 200 magazine covers.

As a top model, Bruni enjoyed a jet-set lifestyle. She traveled in elite social circles and dated some of the world’s most famous men. For several years, Bruni had a relationship with Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. She also reportedly dated rocker Eric Clapton and businessman Donald Trump. In the late 1990s, Bruni retired from modeling to focus on her music. She had been playing guitar for years and started taking singing lessons. Writing songs, Bruni penned six tracks for French singer Julien Clerc. She soon released her first album, Quelqu’un M’a Dit(which translates as Someone Told Me) in 2003. The recording became a surprise hit, selling more than a million copies.

Before launching her singing career, Bruni had been caught in a public scandal. She had become involved with Raphaël Enthoven, a philosophy professor. Enthoven was much younger than her and married at the time the two started their relationship. Enthoven’s ex-wife, Justine Lévy, daughter of famous French intellectual, Bernard-Henri Lévy, later wrote a thinly veiled novel about the end of her marriage and Bruni’s role in its demise. Bruni and Enthoven had a  child together, a son named Aurélien, in 2001.

Switching to English, Bruni released the album No Promises in 2007. This recording did not match the success of her earlier effort. That same year,

she ended her relationship with Enthoven. Then Bruni’s personal life took a different turn when she met newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a dinner party. The couple enjoyed a whirlwind courtship before marrying in February 2008. Her decision to marry came a surprise to many. Bruni once told the press that “I’m monogamous occasionally, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry.” She explained that “love lasts a long time, but burning desire, two to three weeks.”

The pair has been the target of much media attention and speculation. To some, they appear to be an odd couple with his conservative stance on the issues and her well-known liberal views. She has continued with her singing career while being a supportive spouse, accompanying her husband on numerous trips abroad. Bruni also branched out into acting, appearing in a small role in the recent Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.

In the spring of 2011, Bruni again found herself the subject of media attention. This time everyone wanted to know whether or not she was pregnant. After months of speculation, she finally confirmed the news. On October 19, 2011, Bruni gave birth to a daughter, Giulia—the baby was the first born to a sitting French president.

Inspiration Of An Olympian: Allyson Felix Earns 3rd London Olympics Gold As U.S. Women Win 4×400-Meter Relay

LONDON (AP) — Allyson Felix won her third gold medal of the London Olympics, giving the United States a 20-meter lead after the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay and then watching teammate Sanya Richards-Ross bring home the victory Saturday night.

The U.S. runners finished in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds for the country’s fifth straight Olympic title in the event. Russia finished second in 3:20.23 and Jamaica was third in 3:20.95.

DeeDee Trotter ran the opening leg for the United States and built a lead before handing to Felix, who more than doubled the advantage by the time she passed to Francena McCorory.

Richards-Ross had a stress-free anchor leg to add this gold medal to her 400-meter gold. Felix earlier won the 200 and 4×100 relay.

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