Fever All-Star and U.S. Olympian Tamika Catchings is filing a regular journal from the 2004 Olympic Games as the USA Women's Basketball Team goes for the gold in Athens, Greece.
You can see what Tamika has to say about her first Olympic experience here and at Tamika's personal fan club site, Catchin24.com. Check back regularly for updates straight from one of the WNBA's - and Team USA's - brightest stars.
An Interview with Sister, Tauja
August 23, 2004
Here I am chilling out with my sister Tauja in Athens, Greece. At the time of this interview we had just finished watching a movie and earlier in the day Tauja watched our team kick some serious butt. We beat Espana (Spain) 71-58. We decided to change up the journal a little bit, and do it in a Question and Answer format. Tauja asked me the questions, and I answered them. So,... here goes.
TC: What's the most exciting thing about being here?
24: The most exciting thing about being here thus far has been the opening ceremonies. I mean, seeing all of these people from different nations in one place for one cause is unbelievable!! And then looking up in the stands. Everyone is here to support their country and cheer their Olympians on to a GOLD medal. That is AWESOME!!!
TC: Have you met any cool people?
24: I have had a chance to see and meet a lot of cool people. Pretty much at least one person from every sport imaginable. I've met some athletes from track and field, men's and women's volleyball, Tae Kwon do, baseball, rowing, boxing, wrestling... just to name a few. And, of course, the USA Men's Basketball Team.
TC: Have you been hanging with the USA Men's Team at all?
24: We don't hang out with the Men's team with such crazy schedules. But, we do go and support them, and they support us too. We had a get together with them the other night to celebrate Shannon Johnson's birthday, and that was a lot of fun!!
TC: How does it feel to be a starter on such a great team?
TC: I don't really look at the fact that I'm a starter. For me, it's just cool to be a part of such a great team. Starting or not starting, I am honored to be on this team representing the USA!!!
TC: Any thoughts on the games so far?
24: I feel that every game that we've had so far has presented us with a different challenge. It's been good for us to go through just about every situation and defenses early on, so we'll be ready in the Medal Rounds. Every team plays their best game against us, so we know that we have to come out prepared every night. For example, when we played against Spain, we had to deal with frustrations from the referees, and play through it. Spain was a tough team anyways, so it was a dog fight until the end.
TC: What have you done for fun in your spare time?
24: In my spare time I have been to the Plakka, Pizza Hut (twice), the Acropolis, and my best experience by far-- crushing grapes! It was like a grape lover's dream. GRAPES EVERYWHERE!!!!
TC: What are your thoughts about Greece?
24: I think that Greece is a beautiful country. Athens is a beautiful city from what I've seen. There are a lot of neat historical sites, and it's cool to know that some of the sites and buildings have been here since before Christ. Wow!
TC: What's it like playing with different teammates and for different coaches in the middle of your WNBA season?
24: I guess you don't really think about it because this is something so much bigger. We're all playing for more than a championship. This is worldwide, and on a bigger level. For every country in the world to bring their best athletes for a competition... Now, that's huge! I definitely feel like I'm playing on and with the Dream Team. It's so much fun too! On the court, everyone is good, and we all play so well together. And, off the court, it's been great having the chance to really get to know each other outside of basketball.
TC: Anything to add for your fans and admirers back home?
24: Thanks to all of you guys who have supported my teammates and I over here in the Games! It's been a great experience that I wish everyone could experience! But, I will do my best to write the best journal ever when I get back to share with everyone how it feels! I'm looking forward to a great finish for our team, and bringing home the GOLD!! To my teammates and fans back in Indy, let's get ready to roll when we get home! See ya soon!!!
Well, that's all folks!! Again, thanks for all of your support! Remember, our first home game after the break is September th against the Washington Mystics. That's also CATCHIN24.COM NIGHT!! If you haven't arranged to come yet, don't forget about it! We're going to have so much fun, and there will be a chance for all of you to come view the GOLD!! See you there!!! For more information and to see pictures on what's going on, you can visit the www.usabasketball.com website! I will post my own photo gallery when I get back to the USA!! See ya soon!
Until next time...
Season Woes, Olympic Goals
August 9, 2004
I’m sitting here in my room in Salamanca, Spain reminiscing on the last few days, and the first half of our season. We are about to go to shootaround as we prepare for our second exhibition game vs. France tonight at 7:30pm. I wanted to write one last journal on the first half of our season, and what is to come ahead. before we get on the plane and head over to Athens.
The WNBA vs. USA Basketball “The Game at Radio City” showcase turned out to be pretty good for us, and for women’s basketball. There were a lot of fans there to represent each of their favorite players, and some just there to see the world’s greatest talent on one basketball court. It was a jam packed week with players doing everything from conducting a Mind, Body, and Spirit clinic to appearing on Good Morning America. But, through everything it gained the WNBA and USA Basketball some great exposure. Which is what we are always looking for.
Moving on to the Fever… I am obviously very disappointed about our team being on a 0-6 run right before the break. But, right now there is nothing to do about it. In a matter of a week and a half, we went from being first in the East to being last. I don’t know what exactly happened in those games, but I must say that this break couldn’t have come at a better time for our team. Whether we were tired, confused, or our shots just wouldn’t fall, hopefully, this time will help us get our shots back, and we’ll get back on track!! But, on a positive note… even though we are on a six game losing streak, we are only 2 games behind first place. Who would of thunk… Crazy, huh? We are still in a position to win the East, and possibly contend for a WNBA Championship. That’s what I have on my mind. We have 7 games after the break, and if we win our record will be 19-15, and we’ll be well on our way to the playoffs!!
In the next month, my fellow teammates with the Fever will be doing a variety of events around the community. For more information on that, go to the Indiana Fever website at www.wnba.com/fever.
Now, THE OLYMPICS 2004!!!! It has been a huge dream of mine since the ’96 Olympics to become an Olympian. Yes, I watched the Olympics before that, but that particular year, I remember my experience playing for one of the USA Junior Olympic Teams. We were preparing for our practice, and as we walked in to the gym Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, and Dawn Staley stood there amongst the other great players on that team. I watched the end of their practice in awe, and made a vow to myself that I would one day be on the Senior Olympic Team competing for a Gold Medal. And, now here the opportunity is!! I can’t believe that not only am I competing for a Gold Medal, but I’m doing it with the players I watched and admired that one day in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
So everyone has been asking who our toughest competition is, I can honestly say that there is no way to take any of these teams lightly. Everyone always plays their best games against the USA, and this year won’t be any different. There will be two pools in Athens. In our pool we have Spain, China, New Zealand, and Czech Republic. In Pool B there’s Australia, Russia, France, … Our games start on Saturday, August 14th and go every other day until we get to the Quarterfinals on Wednesday, August 25th. I’m so excited about the journey we have ahead of us, and my teammates that I am playing with.
As we carry on, I am going to try to post journals about the “Olympic Gold Journey” on my website about things going on. You can also go to the www.usabasketball.com site, and look at things happening with our team. Our media relations lady, Caroline Williams, has informed me that she will be posting pictures of our trip on there so check it out!!
Oh yeah, one more thing!! If you haven’t heard, let me tell you, and if you have heard, let me remind you about the Catchin24.com “Welcome Back” party we are having September 4th after our Fever vs. Washington Mystics game. To get tickets, click on the link from the homepage, and get signed up! It’s going to be a chance for everyone to, hopefully, come see the GOLD!!! See you there!!
Yours in Hoops,
I'm Off to Olympic Games
August 4, 2004
Fans, come cheer on your Indiana Fever and welcome me home from Athens at Catchin24.Com night on Saturday, September 4th at 7pm. It's gonna be a great game versus the Washington Mystics followed by a Members Only Celebration on Emmis Practice Court! Join me for chances to win cool giveaways, bid on silent auction items, see Olympic pics, enjoy refreshments and more!!
Get your tickets for this special night and you'll also receive a FREE Family Night Voucher good for a hot dog, chips, drink & a t-shirt! PLUS, you'll get your pass to my Post Game Celebration!Purchase your tickets no later than Friday, August 20th and you'll be entered to win a free hotel room at the luxurious downtown Embassy Suites following the game!
To purchase your tickets, simply follow the link on the website or call Emily Crow at (317) 917-2897. For more information on special discounted hotel room rates, please contact Tauja Catchings at firstname.lastname@example.org!! Hope to see you guys there!!!