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Tina Charles could only dream about winning a gold medal when she was growing up watching Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes stand atop the podium in Atlanta. She tells Kelly O’Hara on the Just Women’s Sports podcast, “I remember vividly watching the ‘96 Olympics.”

The WNBA star’s Olympic hopes came to fruition when she was named to the 2012 Olympic roster.

“When I got the phone call from Carol Callan that I made the team, I was very emotional,” Charles admits.

The cherry on top — Charles would be competing in London, where she has family.

“I know that anyone would love to be in my position, and so for it to be in London where family is, for them to see me there, I was just happy to be there.”

Charles’ Olympic debut ended in gold, helping Team USA to their fifth consecutive Olympic championship.

“I was just happy, you know when I looked to the left and to the right, you know Diana [Taurasi] was very emotional, Sue [Bird] was very emotional, you know they at that point knew what it took to get there.”

The moment took a while to sink in, with Charles still in disbelief that she had made it to London.

“For me, my mindset was just like ‘wow,’ like I was just really blown away,” said Charles, “Maya [Moore] and I, we took time to one another and just saying like how insane it is that we’re even here.”

The team’s Olympic gold was a full-circle moment for Charles after she grew up watching the games.

“I was a little emotional afterward, my mom was emotional,” said Charles, “I thought back to me sitting in the living room and seeing the ’96 team and knowing that there is some young girls who’s sitting there looking at me now.

“I was just very thankful to be there, very happy to be there.”

Listen to the full conversation on Charles’ Olympic journey on the Just Women’s Sports podcast.