U.S. guard Sue Bird talks about Athens, Olympic experience
ATHENS (Aug. 19) -- She's a key part of the United States' hopes for Olympic gold in women's basketball. But that doesn't mean that Seattle guard Sue Bird hasn't found at least a little time to get away from the game while in Greece. WNBA.com caught up to Bird in Athens. Here's what she had to say about life on the boat and the whole Olympic experience.
How have the Olympics been away from basketball?
Bird: "It's been great. We've been really busy; the moment we got here, you have to check in, you have to do this, you have the opening ceremonies. It's been very hectic basketball-wise, which has kind of ... we just haven't had as many opportunities to kind of go out and do what we want. But I think, now that we're a little bit into the games, I know that [Thursday] we're going to [downtown Athens] and then on Monday we're heading to the Acropolis, and I know I have plans to go see some swimming one of these nights. So I think as we've gotten settled we've had a chance to do some things besides basketball."
How's life on the boat? Have you seen anyone famous?
Bird feels it would've been|
great to stay in the Olympic village, but
also doesn't mind life on the boat.
(Randy Kim/NBAE Images)
"Well, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney; they were on the boat at some point, evidently. There have been some Dan [O'Brien] the decathlete spottings. No Dave, though. Just Dan, but he seems like a really cool guy. There are definitely some other people on the boat besides players, so that's been fun. But otherwise, life on the boat's been good. A lot of people ask if we would've rather stayed in the [Olympic] village, and while I do think it would've been great to stay in the village, this is luxury. So it's hard to compete."
This might be cheesy, but at what point did the "Olympic spirit" kick in?
Bird: "That is cheesy. (Laughs.) With Opening ceremonies, when Dawn [Staley] got picked to carry the flag and lead all of the U.S. athletes into the stadium and we were right behind her -- to be at the front of the line with all of these tremendous athletes walking behind us, and to hear them chanting 'USA,' and then we walk in and everyone's screaming and going crazy, it was just unbelieveable. I had heard about it, I had seen it on TV, but to actually be there was nothing like I expected. The feeling I got inside was just unbelieveable."
If you could compete in another sport in the Olympics, what would it be?
Bird: "I think I'd want to compete in soccer. I think that'd be fun. Soccer's a sport that I really enjoy watching and I loved to play when I was little. I don't know if I'd be good enough, but I would definitely like to give it a whirl."
What are your favorite Olympic memories from growing up?
Bird: "I remember the Dream Team in '92 and I remember the women's basketball team in '96 that won gold, and Rulon Gardiner last time in wrestling ... I remember a lot of different things, but as a basketball fan, '92 and '96 men and women were my two top memories."