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Just the Facts: 2016 Olympic Games

  • Date:
    Dec 4, 2015

OFFICIAL EVENT TITLE: 2016 Olympic Games

OFFICIAL TEAM NAME: 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team

EVENT SITE: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

EVENT VENUE: Deodoro Youth Arena (preliminary round) Carioca Arena 1 (medal round)


DATE OF DRAW: March 11, 2016



USA BASKETBALL TRAINING CAMP SITES: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; additional sites TBA.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Held every four years, the Olympic Games is a multi-sport competition organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the modern Olympic Games were launched in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

Women’s basketball was added to the sports program in 1976 and since then, only three countries have captured Olympic gold, led by the USA (1984, 1988, 1996-2012), the former Soviet Union (1976, 1980) and the Unified Team (1992). The USA’s streak of five-straight gold medals won from 1996 through 2012 is the record for consecutive gold medals won for women in traditional team sports.

ELIGIBILITY: Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens.

2016 WOMEN’S TEAMS (12): In addition to host Brazil and the USA, which earned its berth by virtue of winning gold at the 2014 FIBA World Championship, the gold-medal winning teams from each of FIBA’s five zones have qualified for Rio: Australia (FIBA Oceania), Canada (FIBA Americas), Japan (FIBA Asia), Senegal (FIBA Africa) and Serbia (FIBA Europe). 

The top-placing teams in each zone tournament -- not including the champions -- qualified for the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament (June 13-19, 2016 @ Nantes, France) as follows: Cameroon and Nigeria from FIBA Africa; Argentina, Cuba and Venezuela from FIBA Americas; China and South Korea from FIBA Asia; Belarus, France, Spain and Turkey from FIBA Europe and New Zealand from FIBA Oceania. The top five finishing teams from the Olympic qualifier will earn a berth to Rio.

PRELIMINARY ROUND GROUPS: Two groups of six teams each. The United States (2014 FIBA World Championship gold medalist) was placed in Group B along with Canada (2015 FIBA Americas gold medalist), Senegal (2015 FIBA Africa gold medalist), Serbia (2015 EuroBasket gold medalist) and the No. 2 and No. 4 finishers from the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Drawn into Group A were Australia (2015 FIBA Oceania gold medalist), host Brazil, Japan (2015 FIBA Asia gold medalist) and the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 finishers from the Olympic qualifier.

EVENT HISTORY: USA Basketball women’s teams have participated in nine prior Olympic Games since the sport was introduced to the program in 1976. Since then the USA women have compiled an impressive 58-3 record and medaled in every Olympics in which they have competed, capturing a record seven gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal. 

Since the historic 1996 USA Basketball Women’s National Team, the USA has captured each of the past five Olympic gold medals, and enters Rio on a 41-game Olympic winning streak.

USA OLYMPIC GAMES TEAM PLAYERS OF NOTE: The USA Basketball all-time roster of Olympians is a who’s who of the game, and includes Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame inductees Carol Blazejowski (1980); Cynthia Cooper (1988, 1992); Denise Curry (1980, 1984); Anne Donovan (1980, 1984, 1988); Teresa Edwards (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000); Lusia Harris (1976); Lisa Leslie (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008); Nancy Lieberman (1976); Katrina McClain (1988, 1992, 1996); Ann Meyers (1976); Cheryl Miller (1984); Dawn Staley (1996, 2000, 2004); Pat Summit (1976); and Lynette Woodard (1980, 1984).

In addition to the above athletes, many more have been inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, including Jennifer Azzi (1996); Ruthie Bolton (1996, 2000); Cindy Brogdon (1976); Vicky Bullett (1988, 1992); Daedra Charles (1992); Clarissa Davis (1992); Nancy Dunkle (1976); Kamie Ethridge (1988); Jennifer Gillom (1988); Bridgette Gordon (1988); Yolanda Griffith (2000, 2004); Tara Heiss (1980); Janice Lawrence (1984); Rebecca Lobo (1996); Suzie McConnell (1988, 1992); Nikki McCray (1996, 2000); Pam McGee (1984); Kim Mulkey (1984); Cindy Noble (1980, 1984); LaTaunya Pollard (1980); Jill Rankin (1980); Patricia Roberts (1976); Sue Rojcewicz (1976); Juliene Simpson (1976); Rosie Walker (1980); Holly Walker (1980); Teresa Weatherspoon (1988, 1992).


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