Australia to Celebrate Jackson

Kevin Pelton, | August 13, 2012

The 2012 Olympic Games in London came to a conclusion with Sunday's Closing Ceremonies, but her homeland isn't done celebrating Storm star Lauren Jackson just yet. Jackson, who carried the Australian flag to lead the delegation at the Opening Ceremonies two weeks ago and serve as the public face of Australian Olympians, will be feted as part of the Australian Olympic Team's Homecoming. Aussies wanted a chance to honor their most decorated women's basketball player ever, and will get it over the next week.

Lauren Jackson shows off her bronze medal.
Phil Walter/Getty Images Sport

Jackson added a fourth Olympic medal to her collection during a momentous run in London.

As co-captain, Jackson led the Australian Opals team to the bronze medal - her fourth Olympic medal, as many as any male or female basketball player has won besides the USA's Teresa Edwards (five). The Aussie women medaled for the fifth consecutive Olympics, a streak that predates Jackson's career with the national team.

Australia will honor Jackson and other Australian Olympians over the course of the next week, starting with a celebration at the Sydney Airport on Wednesday when athletes arrive from London on Qantas Airways. Jackson will also be part of a delegation to meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard next Sunday.

Afterward, Jackson will be back to Seattle as soon as possible to prepare for the conclusion to the Storm's season. She's expected in town early next week.

Starting with the opportunity to serve as flag bearer, it was a momentous Olympic Games for Jackson. She passed American Lisa Leslie and Brazil's Janeth Arcain to become the all-time Olympic women's basketball leading scorer. (She also apparently captured the career record for rebounds, too, though FIBA's records are sketchy.) The Opals were unable to dethrone the USA, which won its fifth consecutive gold medal, but beat Russia in the bronze-medal game to put an emotional Jackson on the podium.

Australia took notice. The AAP named Jackson one of Australia's winners during the Olympics.

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