The USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd tells Women's Soccer United what it felt like to win Gold at the London 2012 Olympics, and to score the match winning goals. The tenacious midfielder speaks about 'seizing her moment' at the games when she replaced injured Shannon Boxx in the group stage. An inspirational, dedicated athlete and a great role model for the women's game.
Women's Soccer United: Congratulations to you and USA on winning Gold at the London 2012 Olympics! How did it feel to score both goals to defeat Japan in the final of the Olympics in front of a record breaking crowd of over 80,000 at Wembley Stadium? Could you talk us through your goals?
Carli Lloyd: Honestly the way everything turned out was truly a dream come true. My future was uncertain going into the London Olympics but I trained hard prior to leaving and was mentally prepared to get my chance and seize my opportunity. Scoring the goals was one of the best moments in my career, but the way I played throughout the Olympics was really one of my most proud moments.
WSU: How did yourself and your team-mates celebrate winning the gold medal?
Carli Lloyd: When the final whistle blew we all couldn't believe we had done it. It was a dream come true for all of us. Not winning the World Cup was devastating and we were going to do everything possible to come home with a Gold medal. We had interviews after the game, celebrated with friends and family and enjoyed the Gold medal around our necks!
WSU: What similarities/differences were there competing at London compared to your previous Olympic Games in Beijing, where you also scored the crucial match winning goal?
Carli Lloyd: The previous Olympics was my first Olympics and I did not know what to expect. I was still unsure of my abilities and didn't believe I could make an impact on the team. I played every single minute and scored 2 important goals. This Olympics I knew what to expect. I took a little different path by losing my starting spot before London but that didn't derail me. I soon ended up getting my opportunity when Shannon Boxx went down and seized my moment. I was prepared both mentally and physically to persevere through it.
WSU: What has it been like returning to your home country with a gold medal, how has the support been?
Carli Lloyd: It has been unbelievable coming home after receiving the gold medal. Everyone is so proud and has told me a million times thank you for representing our country well. The support has been great!
WSU: What's next for you, both domestically and internationally? Any plans to play abroad, or will you be waiting to see if the new professional league in USA develops?
Carli Lloyd: We have been partaking in our Fan celebration tour which is 10 domestic games. There are a lot of uncertain things at the moment such as who our next coach will be, if there is a league that will happen in the US and if we are able to go overseas. I haven't thought about it and will just see what happens in the upcoming months.
WSU: What impact do you think this year's Olympic women's soccer tournament has had on the women's game?
Carli Lloyd: I think the last World Cup and Olympics have been a huge turning point in women's soccer. It has really taken off and we must continue to ride the wave and do everything possible to keep the game growing.
WSU: What advice would you give aspiring players who want to follow in your footsteps and become a professional women's soccer player and an Olympian?
Carli Lloyd: To work as hard as you can each and every day and spend as many hours as you can practicing.
WSU: Thank you to Carli for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions. You can see Carli in action as she competes in the Fan Tribute Tour with the USWNT. Details of the tour.
© Women's Soccer United
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