Heather Bown Blog for Aug. 21

Aug. 21, 2008, 10:13 a.m. (ET)

So we walked into our practice yesterday after our match against Italy and the Women’s soccer team and the Women’s basketball team were all in the gym still doing something for the media... we lolly-gagged around and got to play with them. It was maybe the only time in my playing for Jenny that she did not mind us not starting practice on time. Then we all took a “team” USA picture. It was really fun to see the soccer gals kicking around the basketball trying to teach some of the b-ball girls how to use their feet. And then they all wanted to try to hit and set once we pulled out the volleyballs for practice.

It was really a great morning. And it really set in when we were standing with those women who have been where we want to be on the podium that it really is about having fun and enjoying yourself. It also felt pretty darn good to have them congratulate us on our match…and they were hyped too… jumping around imitating out hits…it made us feel good. It’s so hard sometimes for our sport to get recognized in the U.S. and when you have these women who are established in the sports world tell you how awesome you did, or how they will never forget you, it just really feels good. I know it was a really special morning for some of our girls.

After the fun was done, we were down to business for Cuba, which I’d say we got it done. Today’s match was awesome in every aspect. The girls fought with such determination it was scary. Cuba is such a talented team, but our girls really wanted it today and we went out there and took it.

It was funny when I got back to the locker room and checked my phone it started going crazy vibrating in my hand… one text message after another of people back home that watched and wanted to congratulate us on an awesome job. They all make me laugh that I have friends and family that stay up either on the East Coast or the west and follow via the Internet scoring or on TV. My dad even called to let me know how proud of us he was and that he couldn’t really celebrate when the game was going on because he was at a poker game. But he was getting updates from Logan’s mom on his phone. I would have loved to see that Poker face…lol

So as you can imagine, we are a little on cloud nine…but our work is not done yet. Stacy and I are sitting here in the athlete services center and she just made me think of something. Since the core of this team has been together from Sydney in 2000, we have finished our Olympic journey with a game against the Brazilian women. It looks as though this time will be no different. I can’t wait…it’s time to go for it.