Why Caitlin Clark might not make the Paris 2024 Olympics

Colorado Springs, Colorado - Caitlin Clark may have reigned supreme as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft, but her Olympic team ambitions might not be quite as clear-cut.

Caitlin Clark (r.) may have reigned supreme as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft, but her Olympic team ambitions might not be quite as clear-cut.
Caitlin Clark (r.) may have reigned supreme as the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft, but her Olympic team ambitions might not be quite as clear-cut.  © Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Despite her undeniable skills, the young Indiana phenom faces an uphill battle when it comes to making the prestigious Olympic team.

The 22-year-old hasn't yet graced a senior team camp, and she missed the final one ahead of the summer games, which went down in Cleveland last month.

Notably, this absence goes against the "pay your dues with Team USA" mantra.

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Clark had a legitimate reason for her no-show at the final camp; she was busy playing in the Final Four with Iowa and ultimately fell short against the powerhouse South Carolina in the national championship game.

However, excuses may not sit well with those who abide by tradition.

Selecting Clark for the Olympic team could spark controversy, and not just a minor one. People would inevitably draw comparisons to the well-known snubs of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike in 2016 and 2021, potentially reigniting old grievances.

What will an Olympic berth mean to Caitlin Clark?

For Caitlin Clark (l.), making the Olympic team isn't just another achievement on her list; it's a dream she's had her entire life.
For Caitlin Clark (l.), making the Olympic team isn't just another achievement on her list; it's a dream she's had her entire life.  © Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

For Clark, earning a spot on the Olympic team isn't just another accolade on her resume; it's a lifelong dream.

"That's one of my dreams as a kid. Growing up, you always want to be an Olympic gold medalist," she said on an appearance on the TODAY show last month.

"Lucky enough, I’ve been able to play for a few junior national teams in their basketball system, so I know how special it is to represent USA across your chest. Being able to do that on the highest level would certainly be a dream come true."

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So, will Clark's aspirations come true? Only time will tell.

The women's basketball Olympic roster is expected to be announced sometime in June, so stay tuned!

Cover photo: Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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