With all of the recent World Cup ferver and the Fourth of July falling this weekend, I got to thinking this week about what it means to represent ones country (and if youre sick of hearing about soccer and the World Cup, then I apologize in advanceIm going somewhere with this, I promise).
For soccer players, there is no larger stage than the World Cup. It comes once every four years, many people never have an opportunity to play in one, and theyre facing the best players from around the world.
Ive watched plenty of the tournament this year (and when I say plenty, I mean Ill be suffering from withdrawls in about a week), and Ive seen players giving their all for their team, themselves and the pride of their country.
You can see it in their eyes during the playing of their national anthem. When the United States would play and you could hear the haunting U-S-A chants from a Brazilian stadium, it gave me chills and Im sure did the players too.
The World Cup is soccers biggest stage, and in basketball, thats the Olympics. Like the World Cup, the summer games happen only once every four years. Teams are extremely competitive and to represent ones country is a huge honor.
Wearing your nations colors, going to a foreign land, and trying to prove your strength and determination is one of the most poetic things I can think of. And, on the 2012 U.S. Womens Olympic Basetball Team, three Lynx players represented their country.
Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus donned their nations colors and took home gold for the United States.
Prior to the start of this years World Cup, Moore was asked about what it feels like to be a representative for her nation and play for the national basketball team.
Its very exciting, Moore said of playing for Team USA. Its one of those once in a lifetime moments where a special group of people are put together to try to represent, you know, an entire nation. So theres a lot of pressure, but its also really fun. Its a privilege and the emotion, the motivation, the passion, its so easy to stir up during world events like this.
Not only do Lynx players represent their country during the Olympics, but most play overseas during the WNBA off-season. They play all over the world, from China to Spain to Australia and more.
Through their skills, behavior on and off the court, and overall work ethic, they represent the Lynx, the WNBA, and, in a way, their country.
Lucky for us, theyre a pretty great representation. So to everyone out there, Happy (belated) Fourth of July! I hope it was a very patriotic weekend and full of WNBA basketball.
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