Liz Cambage says she planned to retire following Rio 2016 Olympics

Photo Credit: Lamar Carter

If things had gone according to plan for Australia’s Liz Cambage, she may never have given a second chance to the WNBA.

Cambage came back to the W starting with the 2018 season with the Dallas Wings in a season where Dallas made the playoffs (and where she had that historic 53-point outing at home against the New York Liberty. Last year, she played in Las Vegas with the Aces and came within a couple of games of the WNBA Finals.

She was also an All-Star both years, but none of that history Cambage made in the W would have happened if things went according to plan prior to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

According to an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, her intent was to medal for Australia in Brazil, then put her jersey and sneakers away for good.


Rio was nothing but a horrible time for me. I hated basketball and I wanted to retire. That was meant to be where I got my last medal and retired.

–Liz Cambage (Sydney Morning Herald)


So I think it was God’s plan for me to have such a horrible time and want to come back and have another chance at winning a medal and representing my country.

–Liz Cambage (Sydney Morning Herald)

The Opals’ medal hopes four years ago collapsed in a heartbreaking heap. In 2016, Australia advanced to the semifinals before losing by a final of 87-61 to Serbia. The beat continued late for the Opals after losing to Spain 89-88 in the bronze medal game.

Australia has a definite chance to make the medal stand in Tokyo. After all, this is the team that was runners-up to Team USA in Spain at the 2018 FIBA World Cup. The Opals qualified for the Tokyo Olympics by bouncing back from an opening match loss to France with victories over Puerto Rico and Brazil.

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