Edwards began her Olympic run in 1984, following her freshman year at Georgia, when she was the youngest member of the U.S. team that won easily in Los Angeles. Four years later, in Seoul, South Korea, Edwards helped spark the Americans to a second-half comeback in their opening game against Czechoslovakia, scoring 24 points overall in an 87-81 triumph. She added 23 points against Yugoslavia in a 101-74 win and contributed 12 points and six assists in the semifinal as the U.S. beat the Soviet Union for the first time, 102-88. In the gold medal contest, a rematch against Yugoslavia, Edwards scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half, and broke open a tense game with three consecutive fast-break baskets to put the U.S. up by 12. The Americans prevailed, 77-70.
After settling for a bronze at the Barcelona games in 1992 (Edwards averaged 12.6 points per game), the Americans were determined to win back the gold as host nation in 1996, in Atlanta. The Olympic team captains voted for Edwards, also a basketball co-captain, to take the oath during opening ceremonies. On the basketball court, the Americans reclaimed the gold, and culminated a historic 60-0 record during international competition in 1995-96. Later-round games were played at the Georgia Dome before crowds of bigger than 30,000. Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes attracted the biggest headlines, but Edwards drew raves for a 20-point, 15-assist effort in a 96-76 trouncing of Australia in the preliminary round. The U.S. routed Brazil 111-87 in the gold medal game, atoning for losses to the South American nation in the semifinals of the 1994 World Championship and 1991 Pan Am Games.
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