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Past Olympian With Sacramento Ties Remembers Games

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 3, 2012

Before her match, her mind was on both the London games and her experiences playing in three Olympics, "I remember standing on the field seeing Muhammad Ali light the torch.  We got to meet both President Bushes in Beijing.  They surprised all of the American athletes right before we marched in the ceremony and…just really special, kind of overwhelming moments."

Davenport says the games have a way of humanizing player, "It's completely different.  You'll see everyone is more patriotic than normal.  They're way more…you'll see some of the most spoiled players all of a sudden sleeping on a mattress in the village because it's not luxurious there.  And the other athletes you get to know in the village and you get to meet along the way, you feel like a connection to them and to people you would never ordinarily meet."

She is a second-generation Olympian.  Her father was on the U.S. volleyball team in Mexico City.  He did not win a medal, but she did -in her first Olympics at the age of 20.   She says she wasn't expected to win and the tournament was a blur. But she remembers how it felt to take the medal stand and hear the national anthem, "My father was an Olympian and he came in to watch me play and win and I remember being on the podium.  I was really young at the time so  it all kind of happened really fast.  I remember thinking it was bigger to be an Olympic champion than just being a tennis champion."

If anyone can make that comparison, it's Davenport.  In addition to her gold medal, she has six grand slam titles to her credit among more than 90 singles and doubles titles.
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