LONDON -- The names change, not the results. Just call the U.S. women's basketball team Olympic champion -- again.
The Americans won their fifth consecutive gold medal Saturday, routing France 86-50 and putting more distance between themselves and the rest of the world.
"It just shows the depth and talent in our country. Women's basketball, it's our sport -- it's our sport," said Diana Taurasi, who has been a part of the past three gold medals. "We grew up playing since we were little and give it every single little bit of energy we have."
Candace Parker scored 21 points, including eight in a row during the game-changing run in the second quarter as the United States won its 41st consecutive Olympic game.
This one was special.
Taurasi, who said she usually doesn't get emotional, cried while receiving her gold medal and then paraded around draped in an American flag.
"A little trip down memory lane," Taurasi said. "The track record was going through my head. My parents, Coach was there. It was just a lot of things hit me at once and that's what happened."
The winning streak started in the bronze-medal game in 1992. During that stretch, the Americans have won by an average of nearly 30 points a game. Only one team has stayed within single digits of them, and they have lost just once in major international competitions, to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship.
Coach Geno Auriemma didn't want
"The United States has had great teams since 1996, and we are just another one on the list," he said. "We accomplished the same thing they did, and I don't know if that separates us. I think it just makes us equal."
Teresa Edwards, Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie got the amazing run started, and Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings have continued it.
With young stars Parker, Maya Moore and Tina Charles a big part of the success in London, it doesn't look as if the run will end anytime soon.
"The players give back. You have players coming back for a third Olympics to show the younger players what it takes to win a gold medal," said Parker, a two-time Olympian. "I learned a lot from Tina Thompson, Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith and now Dee, Tamika, Sue. It's just the passing down of what it takes to win. That commitment to USA Basketball."
The United States faced its only challenge of the London Games when Australia took a four-point halftime lead in the semifinals. It was the first time in 12 years that the Americans had been trailing at halftime. There was no worry. They just stepped up their defense and vanquished the Australians, winning by 13 points.
"It's not easy to just be put together and be expected to win a gold medal," Taurasi said. "It's a special feeling."
France was making its Olympic debut in women's basketball and came into the gold-medal game unbeaten. The French stayed with the United States for the first 12 minutes before Parker took over. She scored eight consecutive points during a 13-2 run that gave the United States a 37-23 advantage. Twice the 6-foot-4 Parker grabbed the rebound on the defensive end and dribbled the length of the court to score.
While Parker -- who finished with 11 rebounds -- was providing the offense, the Americans turned up their defense, holding France to one basket over the final 7:25 of the half.
The United States led by 12 at halftime and poured it on in the third quarter. France got within 41-31, but the United States scored 13 of the next 14 points and any thoughts of a monumental upset were forgotten.
On one sequence, Catchings got a steal and passed to Bird, who hit Moore in perfect stride for a finger roll down the lane.
"We always felt like as long as we played our best," Bird said, "we'd be all right."