“We Weren’t Able to Experience the Olympics”- Alex Morgan Believes the Absence of Fans Hindered the USWNT Gold Medal Hopes

Published 09/03/2021, 2:12 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Soccer Football – Women – Quarterfinal – Netherlands v United States – International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan – July 30, 2021. Alex Morgan of the United States REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


American soccer star Alex Morgan competed in her third Olympic games in Tokyo. Alex has been part of the USWNT for a while now and is one of the most recognizable faces in the game. At her maiden Olympics in 2012, she helped the team reach glory by clinching the gold medal.

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Coming to Tokyo, USWNT had their eyes set on the gold to redeem their Rio Olympics 2016 defeat. However, the team had to settle for the bronze medal at the mega-quadrennial games. While they won a medal, it was a setback for the strong US team.

Alex Morgan missed the Olympic atmosphere

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When Alex headed the ball into the goal in the semi-final, her fans shouted with joy at London Olympics 2012. While fans feel excited to see their stars at the Olympics, athletes also draw inspiration from vociferous crowds chanting their names and cheering for their success. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, there was a spectator ban at Tokyo Olympics 2020. The Olympians had to compete without the cheering and motivational presence of their fans.

In conversation with Insider, Alex Morgan talked about her Tokyo Olympics experience. While she was happy with their bronze medal achievement, it was not the same Olympic feeling for Morgan without fans.

“To not have the atmosphere of a true packed stadium and playing in front of fans, we just weren’t able to experience the Olympics feel. As much as I will cherish the bronze medal. It just wasn’t the experience that I had initially thought,” said Alex.

Olympics is much bigger than just soccer for Morgan

The 32-year-old spent a long time away from her 15-month-old daughter for the first time. At Tokyo, the athletes could not go out or interact with fans. Athletes could not even watch other sports matches and events because of the Covid restrictions.

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Alex Morgan in action

Summer Olympics is the biggest sports festival and a platform for the world’s best athletes to come together. But because of the pandemic and hence restrictions, athletes were confined to their rooms and fields. For Alex, Olympics is not just about her soccer matches, but something even bigger. It is the feeling of meeting and watching other sports and athletes that makes Olympics special for her.

“I love the Olympics for being a part of something bigger than just your soccer team and we didn’t really — we weren’t able to go to other events. We weren’t able to really see other athletes,” Morgan said.

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Regardless, Alex is happy with the podium finish of the USWNT team. Sadly, American legend Carli Lloyd will retire soon, and even Megan Raipone isn’t sure about the Paris Olympics in 2024. Alex Morgan and US women’s soccer team will now set their eyes at the World Cup.

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Shreya Verma

206 articles

Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.

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