Megan Rapinoe Shares the Silver Lining of the Tokyo Olympics Amid Sweden Loss

If you had asked Megan Rapinoe in March 2020 if she would get to Tokyo, she wouldn't have had an answer. A year later, the soccer star is "thrilled" to be in Japan and focused on the games ahead.

By Samantha Schnurr Jul 23, 2021 1:17 PMTags
Watch: 2020 Tokyo Olympics: By the Numbers

There was a time when Megan Rapinoe had no idea if she would set foot in Tokyo. 

As a forward on the United States women's soccer team at the postponed 2020 Olympics, the 36-year-old gold medalist is well aware of how special this moment is amid the coronavirus pandemic

"Last year in March and April, we were sitting here wondering if we were even going to get this opportunity," she told NBC's Mike Tirico and Savannah Guthrie from a team bus on Friday, July 23, "so while it looks quite different and feels quite different than it has in the past, I think all of us are just thrilled to be here."

While the women's soccer team wouldn't be able to attend the Opening Ceremony ("I don't know who scheduled us practice at this time," Rapinoe joked), they were focused on their games ahead. "Hopefully we can put on a good show," she added, "and be a part of that great legacy of Team USA."

Women's National Soccer Team at Parade of Champions 2019

Of course, as any athlete knows, winning isn't always in the cards. The team was dealt a loss against Sweden on Wednesday, July 21. And if you're wondering how they all felt about that—in two words: "Not great," Rapinoe admitted. 

"We don't lose very often and we definitely don't lose like that very often," she said candidly. "Luckily in the Olympics, we play what seems like every other day, but it's about every other third day, so we have a match day again tomorrow. That's what we're looking forward to."

Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ever the driven competitors, "We just need to take care of business," she added. "We're unhappy with our performance and we definitely need to do better tomorrow and we're all excited for that."

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