Written by: Rebecca Schelin, Media Manager, CMG
To have the honor, of being inside ‘the bubble’, is one of the most incredible things that has happened to me to date. Not the pandemic-related bubble but the championship one: the Olympic bubble.
In 2016, the underdogs Sweden, traveled to Rio. This is only a year after the World Cup, in Canada, had been a great disappointment. But Pia Sundhage’s national team refused to give up. They clenched their fists, in their pockets, and chose to show the world their fight. They struggled through an Olympic qualifier and grabbed the last ticket to Brazil. They beat the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, but despite that show of force, not many people bet on Sweden when the games started. Preferably not after the 5-1 loss to Brazil, in the group stage, which meant that they would face USA in the quarterfinals. The United States that had never missed an Olympic final.
However, none of that bothered the team, who had so choose to put all their faith on themselves. To focus only on and in their ‘bubble.’ There were only smiles, friendship, and trust. So much desire to do everything for each other and to have each other’s backs no matter what got in the way.
The USA got to know it, Hope Solo and the gang got to go home when Sundhage’s national team went back to Rio after a couple of matches in Brasilia. The semi-final against Brazil was waiting for them, the same team that had destroyed and humiliated them just a couple games before.
Fast forward an intense 90 minutes, plus penalties, and the Swedish National Team had done the incomprehensible: they were headed to the Olympic 2016 Finals.
For the first time ever, a Swedish women’s national team would play an Olympic final! Unfortunately, Germany found a way to win with a 2-1 victory. Nonetheless, The silver medalist celebrated their victory and has since got their redemption against them. In 2019, they beat Germany, in the World Cup to claim 3rd place!
Today, a new bubble is inflated, and Peter Gerhardsson’s team will defend the blue-yellow colors. USA is the premiere. The United States, which has not played an Olympic final in nine years. I am so grateful that I got to be in the bubble in 2016 and now I look forward to enjoying that with you. Cheers to the football party, that started with the European Championships, and now continues with Tokyo.