Basketball Player Diana Taurasi Wants Fourth Olympics to Feel Like the First Time

Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi USOC/NBC Olympics

She’s going for gold — again! On Wednesday, April 27, Diana Taurasi was named to her fourth Olympic basketball team, joining fellow veterans like Tamika Catchings and Sue Bird.

“I’m going to go with the mind-set of it being my first,” Taurasi tells Us Weekly. “You know, sometimes you get caught up in it being an old hat and I don’t want that. I want to feel like it’s my first. I want to enjoy it like it’s my first and that’s the way I’m going into it. Each one has been different, and I feel like this one is going be the best one.”

The members of the U.S. women’s basketball team — which has won gold at the past five Summer Olympics — may compete against each other throughout the year, but when it’s time for the Olympics, they become a tight-knit group of 12.

Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi USOC/NBC Olympics

“We do everything together. And for us it’s cool because we’ve been friends for such a long time. We’ve known each other, we’ve played against each other and I know one thing — I’d rather be on the same team than play against these chicks,” the 33-year-old says. “It’s almost like, ‘OK, good. I don’t have to go against Maya [Moore] tonight. We’re finally on the same squad right now.’ That’s a good feeling.”

As for the three medals she earned in Athens, Beijing and London, the guard doesn’t even have them in her possession!

Diana Taurasi #12 of United States shoots a free throw shot against Australia during the Women's Basketball semifinal on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 9, 2012 in London, England.
Diana Taurasi, No. 12, of United States, shoots a free throw against Australia during the women's basketball semifinal on day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on Aug. 9, 2012. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“They go to my parents' house,” she admits. “My mom has some ownership feeling, like, ‘I drove you all around California to these practices,’ but I love my mom, she can have them. She has them, like, in Nike socks, wrapped up, up in the closet. I’m like, ‘Mom, wouldn’t everyone hide them there?’”

The medals would only be sweeter if head coach Geno Auriemma got to enjoy one.

“You know what gets me mad is the coaches don’t get one, which I think is kind of strange. They get a bouquet of flowers.… You get a medal and then they get a rose, and you’re like, ‘Sucks for you, guys.’”

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Olympics begin on August 5 and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports Live Extra.

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