ATLANTA — Team USA's women's soccer team hasn't forgotten their loss to Sweden, which knocked them out of the last Olympics and prevented them from earning a medal. Even after a year-long delay induced by a pandemic, these women yearn for redemption.
Among those hungry for Olympic gold is Georgia native Kelley O'Hara from Peachtree City. She wears #5 for the team.
The Tokyo Olympics start July 21, and the competition is firing up for O'Hara and her team. In the world of soccer, few teams compare to the glory of the women of Team USA. They are the most successful in international women's soccer, with four World Cup titles.
Yet, it was the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where the women suffered a shocking loss during a quarter-finals match against Sweden. The team -- thought to be a lock for gold -- was eliminated from the 2016 Olympics just as it was coming down from the high of winning the 2015 World Cup.
"Just having that big let down from that loss and that being the least far we had gone in a tournament," O'Hara said. "And I think it stuck with this team, and I think we will use it as motivation in the World Cup and use it as motivation in these Olympics."
Five years later, O'Hara and her team replay that loss in their head and use it as fuel for their Olympic matches in Tokyo.
"It's something I haven't forgotten; being able to win a gold in 2012 was one of the best experiences of my life, and I need another one," O'Hara said.
The team said it's time for their redemption -- to win the gold they felt should've been theirs five years ago.
"We know what our goal is; it's to win a gold medal," O'Hara said.