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Blue Hen gold

Blue and gold

Photo by Mark Campbell

UD's Elena Delle Donne wins gold medal at Rio Olympics

Former University of Delaware All-American Elena Delle Donne captured the Blue Hens’ first-ever Olympic gold medal Saturday afternoon, Aug. 20, as the U.S. national women’s basketball team cruised to a 101-72 victory over Spain in the Rio Olympics championship game at Cariocas Arena.

“We are so proud of Elena and the entire USA women’s basketball team on winning the Olympic gold medal,” said UD head coach Tina Martin. “This was a lifelong dream for her personally and we are thrilled for her and her entire family!”

Delle Donne appeared in seven of the national team’s eight games, missing only one after taking an elbow to the eye during warm-ups prior to the Aug. 14 game against China. The forward finished the games by posting 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 17.0 minutes per contest.

Team USA’s Olympic winning streak now stands at 49-0, dating back to the 1992 bronze medal game, and its all-time Olympic record is 65-3. U.S. Olympic women’s basketball teams have earned a record eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal.

Delle Donne, the school’s first-ever female Olympian, joins fellow Blue Hens Mike Koplove of the Class of 1998 and Kestutis Marciulionis of the Class of 2000 as Olympic medal winners. Koplove earned a bronze medal as a pitcher for the U.S. baseball team during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, while Marciulionis collected the bronze medal for Lithuania’s men’s basketball team during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. UD also had a fourth Olympian in Peter Maestrales of the Class of 2001, who played for Greece’s baseball team during the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

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