If Carli Lloyd’s career as a professional athlete could be summed up by one image, it might be the one that went viral during the Tokyo Olympics: Lloyd, on the field, alone, running wind sprints in the 93 degree heat.
The U.S. Women’s National Team had just suffered a crushing defeat to Canada and after four Olympics, four World Cups, and 17 relentless years as a professional soccer player who always felt like she had something to prove, Lloyd would not be going home with gold. “I knew in that moment, which no one else knew yet, I would never compete in another major tournament with this team,” she says.
Lloyd allowed herself to feel the weight of the loss only briefly. The bronze medal game was in two days—there was work to do.
Written by: Macaela Mackenzie