Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Christian Petersen
Brittney Griner Speaks About Traveling Abroad For Olympics After Russian Detainment
After nearly a year-long detainment in a Russian prison, American basketball star Brittney Griner has vowed to never go overseas again unless she is a prospect for the Olympics. Griner is anticipating playing in the event despite her international imprisonment in 2022.
The Olympian and basketball champion was arrested at a Moscow airport in August of last year after security found cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Although Russian marijuana laws deem possession of less than seven grams as a non-criminal offense, Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison.
The U.S. agreed to a controversial prisoner swap and, in December, traded Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. After being home for five months, Griner is now considering returning overseas.
Back Overseas After Living A Nightmare
While most would never venture back overseas after international imprisonment, Griner says the option is still on the table for her, but only for the Olympic games.
Since returning to the U.S., she has rejoined her team the Phoenix Mercury as she rebuilds following her detainment. With the Olympics happening next summer in Paris, Griner says she plans to play if she is considered.
“If I make that team, that’d be the only time I would leave the U.S. soil, and that’s just to represent the USA,” she said in her first press conference since being on American soil.
Traveling Internationally With Caution
Despite the legalities around marijuana in Paris where the 2024 Olympics will be held, Griner vows she will return overseas if selected to play in the Olympics.
The eight-time all-star champion led the U.S. team to win the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she was chosen for the 2024 games. However, the Olympian has already missed the selection practice camp for the U.S.
Although her last international travel experience was a nightmare, she remains diligent in her pursuit of another gold medal.
“You’re going to be faced with adversities throughout your life, this was a pretty big one, but I just kind of relied on my hard work, getting through it,” she said.
RELATED: Finally Free: Brittney Griner Released From Russia In Prisoner Swap