On This Day: USWNT Makes History to Win Gold in Olympic Debut of Women’s Soccer

by Samantha Whidden

As the current team prepares to take on Canada in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the USWNT also celebrates a special anniversary. It’s been 25 years since USWNT made history by winning the gold during Women’s Soccer debut in the Olympic Games.

NBC announced the exciting anniversary for USWNT by tweeting, “This Day in Olympic History – August 1, 1996. Twenty-five years ago today was historic for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Games.”

It was also revealed in 1996, the USWNT defeated China to win the gold in the debut of women’s soccer. The pictures also shared show Mia Hamm and other former USWNT players.

Peacock Showcases 1996’s USWNT in Three-Part Docu-Series ‘The ’96 Effect’ 

Peacock recently announced that The ’96 Effect features women from the USWNT, which includes Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillian, and Briana Scurry. 

The Sisters of ’96: The 1996 USA Women’s Olympic Soccer focuses on the specific USWNT.  According to NBC, the special reunited Chastain, Fawcett, Foudy, Lilly, MacMillian, as well as Tish Venturini on the field of Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia. The same stadium where they played the 1996 Olympic Games Soccer final.

Former USWNT Play Shannon MacMillan Recalls Olympic Experience

While chatting with USWNT, Shannon MacMillan spoke about her Olympic experience. “My journey to that point had been so hard,” MacMillan admits. She reveals she overcame adversity that getting the gold medal was one of the most intense and amazing feelings ever. 

“To be holding hands with my teammates who had become sisters and family through the residency camp process was a moment that can’t be compared,” the former USWNT player states. 

Tiffany Milbrett, the USWNT player who scored the winning goal, recalls, “You received the medal that you’ve dreamed about your whole life, that you’ve seen on so many other athletes receiving. It’s all such a shock to the system, but in a positive way.”

MacMillan adds to play for the USWNT during the 1996 Olympics was an opportunity of a lifetime. “I grew up enamored with the Olympics. I would always be glued to the TV when they were on, both summer and winter. To finally have the sport that we all loved and were so passionate about be accepted was a dream come true.” 

Scurry then reveals that the USWNT was mainly focused on the first game of the 1996 Olympics. “You’ve got to get those first points at all cost. That sets you up for the entirety of the tournament, Scurry says. The former athlete explains that there’s a lot of psychological advantages to winning the first game. 

“If you don’t get the three points, think of the alternative. You lose that first game or tie; you are chasing the rest of the tournament,” Scurry concludes.