As the Olympics come to a close, Dolson meets Yao and receives a gold medal.
S. Dolson Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Today when I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was my gold medal on the table, and I couldn’t help but smile. For a little girl who followed the Olympics and hoped one day to compete and win a medal, this is beyond her wildest dreams.
To begin, I wasn’t prepared for how heavy the medal actually is. My neck hurts from wearing it, but I plan on wearing it all day today nonetheless.
Knowing we had Just won a gold medal was Indescribable.
What’s more, I’ll never forget our team’s role as 3-on-3’s original innovators.
When asked how it felt, I told them it was quite similar to winning a national championship. As far as the partying goes, it’s exactly the same. The satisfaction that comes from realising your goals and working tirelessly to achieve them.
We put in the work, and coach Kara Lawson warned us that it would be more challenging than we could have imagined to come out on top. For USA Basketball, success is defined as nothing less than a gold medal. We succeeded, and we won the championship!
Thank you so much to the people of Tokyo for making this place feel so unique and wonderful. The enormous drum they banged during introductions set the tone for an exciting buildup to the gold medal game. During the peak of the coronavirus epidemic, Tokyo did an excellent job of creating conditions that made the city feel enormous.
There was an incredible buzz of excitement throughout the building. When there are spectators, I can only image how exciting Olympic 3-on-3 will be.
The Actual Competitions caused a Great deal of Anxiety.
We advanced to the finals with a win over France in a close match and another close victory against Russia. We anticipated Russia’s physical playstyle in the finals and came prepared. We had an outstanding defensive effort, and when the final buzzer rang, we were shocked to realise that we had actually won.
Following COVID regulations, we were required to place the medals around the necks of our own comrades. Because I am the tallest person in the group, I was selected to lead.
Following the awards presentation, I had the pleasure of meeting Yao Ming, who was present to support the bronze-winning Chinese team.
I told him he had an amazing career after he inquired who I played for. We took a picture together, and he was the nicest, most accommodating person I could have asked to do so.
I’ve never felt so little in my life, but man, he’s tall!
Since my family has always been a huge part of my basketball career, I called them while we waited for the press conference to tell them the news. The whole thing was really neat.
When my niece made her appearance, my mother became exceptionally ecstatic, perhaps even embarrassingly so. A lot of people I hadn’t talked to in ten years, including coaches, teammates, and even high school teachers, had texted me.
At after 2 a.m., we finally made it back to the hotel, and USA Basketball really went out of its way to make us feel like VIPs. It seemed like most of the 5-on-5 players had gotten out of bed and were ready to pop the champagne!
I will soon be returning to the United States with my medal and a wealth of unforgettable experiences.
Stefanie Dolson, star player for the Chicago Sky, is updating fans from the Olympics on a regular basis. After competing in the first-ever 3-on-3 competition in the Tokyo Olympics, she and her teammates brought home the gold.