The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) ended the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a bronze medal. And while it's a better finish than what they had in 2016, it's the second consecutive Olympic games where the soccer team didn't come away with the gold medal. PopCulture.com recently caught up with soccer legend Mia Hamm who talked about how the team can win gold in the 2024 Olympic games.
"I think people don't realize that it's basically you have two days, and then you play again, and one of those days is a travel day," Hamm told PopCulture. "It's really about that momentum, but being able to recover quickly, but also injuries are a big key in a tournament that's so condensed in that way."
Hamm went on to talk about why winning the Olympics is a little more challenging to win it all. "You're pretty much playing the top 15 teams in the world in that tournament," she continued. "There's no one that... You can sit there and say, 'Oh, this team doesn't have as much experience.' It's more difficult of a tournament just with regards of the amount of games you're playing in your schedule in that period of time. Not in terms of the level of competition, just more so it's physically and psychologically demanding because of the lack of rest day."
The USWNT started the Tokyo Olympics slow with a loss to Sweden. They won their next match against New Zealand and then went to a draw against Australia. In the knockout stage, Team USA got past the Netherlands before losing to Canada in the semifinals. In the bronze medal game, the USWNT defeated Australia 4-3. Team USA has earned a medal in every Olympics they have competed in except for 2016 when they lost to Sweeden in the quarterfinals of the knockout stage. As of August of this year, the USWNT is the top-ranked team in the world, according to the FIFA Women's World Rankings.
Hamm won three Olympic medals during her time with USWNT. She won gold in 1996 and 2004 and silver in 2000. In 15 Olympic matches, Hamm scored five goals. In addition to her time playing in World Cup matches, Hamm scored 13 goals in 38 international matches.