Local Soccer Players Learn From Olympic Stars
The 2016 Games are underway in Rio de Janeiro, but some local soccer players didn’t have to go to Brazil to get close to Olympics stars. Three gold medalists were in Davie County Saturday to share what they know about the game.
Former players Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini-Hoch all won college championships with the University of North Carolina before taking home Olympic gold.
Hamm says when she was growing up she often was the only female on her team because so few girls played soccer. Only eight countries participated in women's soccer when Hamm first played in 1996. Now she says with this year’s field of 12 countries, she seeing improvements in the game.
“It’s great to see new countries in the Olympics, I’d love to expand the field even more," she says. "We’ll obviously be cheering for the U.S., but to see the rise in the level of play is really exciting.”
Hamm, Lilly and Venturini-Hoch were at the BB&T Soccer park in Advance as part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Live Fearless program. They led a clinic for about 120 girls ages eight to 12.