Tokyo 2020 – New Zealand (F)

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  • Olivia Chance will play her first Olympic Games
  • She is one of the stars of the New Zealand squad
  • “I have always dreamed of participating in the Olympic Games”

Olivia Chance will soon make one of her oldest dreams come true. The New Zealand midfielder retains only vague memories of the Olympics from her childhood, which she followed on television. On the other hand, it was always clear in his mind that only the greatest athletes could participate in this planetary event.

“I always wanted to be part”, confirms the interested party at the microphone of “It’s a competition that attracts me even more than the World Cup. I know that not everyone agrees with me, but I find the atmosphere of the Games fabulous. have always wanted to make it happen. “

“I recently saw someone who said that a world championship title usually only lasts a year; on the contrary, when you are an Olympian, it is for life.”

In recent years, Chance has established himself as a key figure in the midfield of the New Zealand team, which has notably earned him the opportunity to play all of his team’s matches in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, France. 2019 ™. Her demise and efficiency on long-distance strikes made the 27-year-old an essential cog in the Football Ferns.

At the end of his dream

After missing the Rio Games five years ago, Chance is determined not to miss the party this time around. A few weeks after the end of the 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, our heroine landed on the other side of the world and committed to Breidablik, one of the tenors of the Icelandic championship. Since then, she has worn the colors of Everton, Bristol City, Sheffield United and Brisbane Roar.

The decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games for twelve months was not easy for the athletes to manage and Chance is obviously no exception. “We did not know if the Olympic Games would take place and we therefore had to adapt. Even today, in the media, we can read very negative comments. It is a difficult situation to live with, for us. try to leave that aside and focus exclusively on his preparation. “

“I’m a lot sharper mentally now. I think living away from my partner has helped me. It’s not easy being apart for eight months, so I didn’t want to sacrifice for nothing. “, she adds.

Olivia Chance of New Zealand during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
© Getty Images

Good balance

Unfortunately, New Zealand is not approaching the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in the best possible way. Due to the pandemic, the remoteness of some internationals and other factors, Football Ferns have not played a single game since the start of 2020. “I hope that the time we will spend in Tokyo will allow us to catch up some of our delay. We have known each other for a long time and we have a good relationship. strong enough, but we need automatisms on the pitch. After more than a year without playing together, it will be complicated, “predicts Chance.

Poured into the group of the United States, Sweden and Australia, they also inherited a particularly difficult draw. “At first glance, the other teams are superior to us, but we will have to wait until the start of the competition to measure the gap between us,” said Chance.

“We’re generally quite difficult to maneuver but over the next few years I would like us to be able to come up with something different, more unpredictable, especially offensively. They say we’re strong, but that we don’t score a lot of goals, ”she regrets.

New Zealand will face off against Australia, with whom they will host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ™ and which Chance knows well for having participated in W-LEague’s last season. “All groups are difficult, but ours is shaping up to be particularly interesting. I am going to face some footballers that I have known in the W-League. It is very exciting, especially in a derby!” she concludes.

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