Seattle Storm veteran Lauren Jackson was chosen to lead the Australian delegation and carry the nation’s flag at Friday’s Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Jackson was the first female Australian flag bearer since diver Jenny Donnet in 1992 and joins Andrew Gaze in 2000 as basketball players to lead the Australian delegation.
Jackson is participating in her fourth Olympic Games, having previously led the Australian Opals National Team to silver medals in 2000 in Sydney, 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing.
Jackson is a team captain of the Opals, who won the FIBA World Championship in 2006. In order to prepare for the Olympics with her team, Jackson sat out the first half of the 2012 WNBA season. She will rejoin the Storm following the conclusion of the WNBA’s Olympic Break. Storm teammate Sue Bird is also in London, where she is seeking a third gold medal with the USA.
Regarding the probability of Jackson competing in Rio 2016, her mother, Maree Jackson, told The Australian, “If her body held up she would [go to Rio] because she loves the game so much. But it’s whether the body holds up that’s got a lot to do with it.” Adding, “Maybe if she cuts her load down that might help. But she doesn’t want to [cut down] even though we’ve been telling her to do that for the last 20 years. She just loves competing. She’s always got the passion.”
Seven other players are expected in London, including three of Jackson’s teammates, have previously played for the Storm. Suzy Batkovic, Abby Bishop and Belinda Snell (Australia), Jana Veselá (Czech Republic), Edwige Lawson-Wade (France), Natalia Vodopyanova (Russia) and Swin Cash (United States) all played in Seattle. Women’s basketball competition in the Olympics begins Saturday, July 28, with the gold-medal game scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11.
The 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm is one of six independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s preeminent women’s professional basketball league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. The team also plays an active role in promoting literacy, health and fitness, support for women and girls and youth basketball in local communities.
Source: Seattle Storm