“We are very proud coming home with the bronze medal,” soccer star Alex Morgan tells HollywoodLife, nearly a month after she and the rest of Team USA finished third at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. After the USWNT won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, the pressure was on for them to replicate the success at the postponed Olympics, and though they didn’t leave Japan with gold around their necks, Alex explained why she and the rest of the team are holding their heads high. “Honestly, to represent Team USA and come home with hardware is incredibly important. We were very fortunate to be able to do that.”
“We realized the situation,” Alex, 32, told HollywoodLife, while discussing her new partnership with Stella & Chewy’s ahead of National Dog Day (Aug. 26.) “The Olympics were held in an unprecedented time amidst a pandemic. And when the Olympics was postponed and at a risk of [not] happening at all, we are proud to have our Bronze.” However, Alex did say that, at the end of the day, the team didn’t fly over to Japan amid a global pandemic with the intentions of finishing third. “We look to win gold. We look to be the best and we weren’t able to do that in this tournament,” she said. “We didn’t really show the world what we were capable of bringing onto the field. And while that was disappointing, the fact that we were able to turn it around and have a good bronze medal match, after falling short of what we are capable of, I am proud that.”
The UWMNT started off the tournament on the wrong foot, losing 3-0 to Sweden in the first game of the Group Stage. Team USA bounced back, going 6-1 over New Zealand before tying Australia, 0-0. The performance secured the Americans a spot in the knockout round, and they made it to the semi-finals – only to fall 1-0 to the tournament’s eventual winners, Canada. Sweden took home the silver, while Alex and the US women battled Australia in a 4-3 nail-biter fort the bronze.
“That is not easy in such a short tournament when things are stacked against you,” says Alex. She explained that the atmosphere was different than normal – “there [were] no fans in the stadium, there [was] no family to support us in Japan” – which led the Americans to feel “more isolated than ever.” Instead of connecting with family or making new friends with other athletes, Alex said that they had to “stay inside a hotel and at the village to be in a confined space because of the risk of possibly getting Covid or spreading Covid. It really was an unprecedented Olympics and for that reason, we are proud of coming up with the Bronze.”