Following in the footsteps of USA Swimming’s extremely popular lip-sync of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” the U.S. Cross-Country Ski team recently did a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” complete with choreographed dancing on the slopes. And while I’d rather listen to pebbles being sucked up by vacuum cleaners – or even Skrillex – it’s pretty impressive to see team members lip-syncing while heading downhill. Check out the video above and let us know what you think.
The revamped U.S. women’s basketball team may have been the greatest of all time.
The Americans completed, statistically, their most dominant global championship ever by routing China 83-61 in the FIBA World Cup final on Saturday in Sydney — giving them 60 consecutive wins between the Olympics and worlds dating to 2006.
It marked the largest margin of victory in a World Cup final since the event converted from a fully round-robin format in 1983.
For the tournament, the U.S. drubbed its opponents by an average of 40.75 points per game, beating its previous record between the Olympics and worlds of 37.625 points from the 2008 Beijing Games. It was just off the 1992 U.S. Olympic men’s Dream Team’s legendary margin 43.8 points per game. This U.S. team scored 98.75 points per game, its largest at worlds since 1994.
“We came here on a mission, a business trip,” tournament MVP A’ja Wilson said in a post-game press conference before turning to coach Cheryl Reeve. “We played pretty good, I think, coach.”
Since the U.S. won a seventh consecutive Olympic title in Tokyo, Sue Bird and Sylvia Fowles retired. Tina Charles ceded her national team spot to younger players. Brittney Griner was detained in Russia (and still is). Diana Taurasi suffered a WNBA season-ending quad injury that ruled her out of World Cup participation (who knows if the 40-year-old Taurasi will play for the U.S. again).
Not only that, but Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx succeeded Dawn Staley as head coach, implementing a new up-tempo system.
“There was probably great concern, and maybe around the world they kind of looked at it and said, ‘Hey, now is the time to get the USA,'” Reeve said Saturday.
The U.S. response was encapsulated by power forward Alyssa Thomas, the oldest player on the roster at age 30 who made the U.S. team for the first time in her career, started every game and was called the team’s glue and MVP going into the final.
Wilson and Tokyo Olympic MVP Breanna Stewart were the leaders. Guard Kelsey Plum, a Tokyo Olympic 3×3 player, blossomed this past WNBA season and was third in the league’s MVP voting. She averaged the most minutes on the team, scored 15.8 points per game and had 17 in the final.
“The depth of talent that we have was on display,” Reeve said. “What I am most pleased about was the trust and buy-in.”
For the first time since 1994, no player on the U.S. roster was over the age of 30, creating a scary thought for the 2024 Paris Olympics: the Americans could get even better.
“When you say best-ever, I’m always really cautious with that, because, obviously, there are great teams,” Reeve said when asked specifically about the team’s defense. “This group was really hard to play against.”
Earlier Saturday, 41-year-old Australian legend Lauren Jackson turned back the clock with a 30-point performance off the bench in her final game as an Opal, a 95-65 victory over Canada for the bronze. Jackson, who came out of a six-year retirement and played her first major tournament since the 2012 Olympics, had her best scoring performance since the 2008 Olympics.
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The U.S. women’s basketball team won its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.
A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headlined a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, included neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).
The new-look team had nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 60 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.
The U.S. beat China in the final, while host Australia took bronze to send 41-year-old Lauren Jackson into retirement.
Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), wasn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.
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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule, Results
|Wed., Sept. 21||8:30 p.m.||Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58||Group A|
|9:30 p.m.||USA 87, Belgium 72||Group A|
|11 p.m.||Canada 67, Serbia 60||Group B|
|Thurs., Sept. 22||12 a.m.||Japan 89, Mali 56||Group B|
|3:30 a.m.||China 107, South Korea 44||Group A|
|6:30 a.m.||France 70, Australia 57||Group B|
|8:30 p.m.||USA 106, Puerto Rico 42||Group A|
|10 p.m.||Serbia 69, Japan 64||Group B|
|11 p.m.||Belgium 84, South Korea 61||Group A|
|Fri., Sept. 23||12:30 a.m.||China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51||Group A|
|4 a.m.||Canada 59, France 45||Group B|
|6:30 a.m.||Australia 118, Mali 58||Group B|
|Sat., Sept. 24||12:30 a.m.||USA 77, China 63||Group A|
|4 a.m.||South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66||Group A|
|6:30 a.m.||Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65||Group A|
|Sun., Sept. 25||12:30 a.m.||France 74, Mali 59||Group B|
|4 a.m.||Australia 69, Serbia 54||Group B|
|6:30 a.m.||Canada 70, Japan 56||Group B|
|9:30 p.m.||Belgium 85, Bosnia and Herzegovina 55||Group A|
|11:30 p.m.||Serbia 81, Mali 68||Group B|
|Mon., Sept. 26||12 a.m.||USA 145, South Korea 69||Group A|
|2 a.m.||France 67, Japan 53||Group B|
|3:30 a.m.||China 95, Puerto Rico 60||Group A|
|6:30 a.m.||Australia 75, Canada 72||Group B|
|9:30 p.m.||Puerto Rico 92, South Korea 73||Group A|
|11:30 p.m.||China 81, Belgium 55||Group A|
|Tues., Sept. 27||12 a.m.||USA 121, Bosnia and Herzegovina 59||Group A|
|2 a.m.||Canada 88, Mali 65||Group B|
|3:30 a.m.||Serbia 68, France 62||Group B|
|6:30 a.m.||Australia 71, Japan 54||Group B|
|Wed., Sept. 28||10 p.m.||USA 88, Serbia 55||Quarterfinals|
|Thurs., Sept. 29||12:30 a.m.||Canada 79, Puerto Rico 60||Quarterfinals|
|4 a.m.||China 85, France 71||Quarterfinals|
|6:30 a.m.||Australia 86, Belgium 69||Quarterfinals|
|Fri., Sept. 30||3 a.m.||USA 83, Canada 43||Semifinals|
|5:30 a.m.||China 61, Australia 59||Semifinals|
|11 p.m.||Australia 95, Canada 65||Third-Place Game|
|Sat., Oct. 1||2 a.m.||USA 83, China 61||Gold-Medal Game|