Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney were among the women’s soccer players from 2008 to capture Olympic gold once again. After narrowly defeating Canada in double overtime (4-3), the Americans shot out to a 2-0 lead and staved off a scurried comeback attempt by Japan. It was the third consecutive Olympic gold medal for the USA squad and helped ease the pain of last year’s shootout loss against Japan in last year’s World Cup final.
Prior to the Olympics, Cheney told Inspiring Athletes that despite last year’s loss (and despite what might happen at the Olympics), she would do her best to maintain the right perspective throughout the experience.
“I’ve learned to give God the praise in the highs and the lows.” she said. “Especially at such a high level, your life is a rollercoaster. Our lives are completely full of highs and lows. I’m so grateful that my confidence in Christ is never shaken. My identity in the Lord will never be shaken. My career will come and go but being faithful to that has made my relationship with Him what it is.”
Like Cheney, Heath went into the Olympics striving for the gold medal, but also keeping in mind that the journey is just as important as the destination.
“The Olympics is a very special event because you get to represent your country along with all the other sports,” she said. “One of my favorite things about soccer is how the art and the passion of the game somehow unites people and nations and classes and races. That’s something that comes out of the game and how it’s displayed and why people enjoy watching it and supporting it. Anytime you have an event like the Olympics or the World Cup, people get to enjoy it on such a huge scale.”
Read more from Heath and Cheney in the full Inspiring Athletes interviews linked below:
Read more about Heath in Chad Bonham’s book Glory of the Games along with features on past and present Olympians such as Tamika Catchings, Kevin Durant, Shannon Miller, Dave Johnson, Bobby Jones and Ryan Hall.