September 30, 1988 |
The second straight gold medal for the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team was a triumph of the sport's last generation of pioneers. In the 1980s, they took the American game from nowhere internationally, overwhelmed the Soviet Union to become the game's dominant force, and then finished their mission as prime-time players on national television. That third achievement might be the most significant in terms of the U.S. team's legacy to the game. While ratings aren't in yet from the team's 77-70 triumph over Yugoslavia, the gold-medal game in Seoul was played before undoubtedly the largest television audience in the sport's history.