Days before the team left for Tokyo, Samuelson tested positive for coronavirus while training in Las Vegas. The Seattle Storm forward ended her European season early to fly back to the U.S. to get vaccinated to be ready to help the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in May.
Samuelson opened up about the heartbreak she experienced in an interview Wednesday with Yahoo Sports.
“I just curled up on the floor, crying. Devastated,” she said.
Samuelson admitted it took her a while to get over the disappointing feeling, and staring at screens being reminded of the Olympics she’d be missing wasn’t helping either.
She credited her decision to see a therapist in 2019 with helping her move on from missing out on the Olympics.
“I feel able to do that now without needing to wait till my complete breaking point,” she said.
Jackie Young would replace Samuelson on the U.S. 3×3 roster. Young, Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson and Allisha Gray won the gold medal.
The 3×3 event was added to the Olympics for the first time. The U.S. finished group play 6-1 with the lone loss coming against Japan. The team edged France in the semifinals before beating the Russian Olympic Committee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.