Carli Lloyd, NJ's Olympic golden girl, back home
LUMBERTON, N.J. - August 14, 2012 (WPVI) -- 30-year-old Delran native Carli Lloyd is back home in New Jersey after her electrifying performance at the Olympic women's soccer finals.
"Everything has just come together and honestly it still hasn't sunk in, it's a dream come true," Lloyd said.
Carli scored the U.S. team's only two goals, giving them the win over Japan and the gold medal before a crowd of 80,000 in London.
"We've come a long way. I know 63% of the medals were won by women this year and that says a lot and we have to keep it going. I know that so many young girls dream of playing at the level I'm playing," Lloyd said.
Friends and family watched Carli win the gold at home.
She says she asked them and her boyfriend not to go to London so she could focus completely on her game.
"I thrive under pressure, that's the competitor in me," Lloyd said.
Carli was not in the starting lineup going in to the games, but when another player was injured she came off the bench and lit the place up.
The former Rutgers All-American midfielder also won gold in Beijing, but says the 2012 medal is a lot bigger and heavier.
We met at the Universal Soccer Academy in Lumberton, where she's trained for years, and I asked about the personal price athletes pay to travel and train for the Olympics.
Lloyd said she missed everything from weddings to holidays.
So is it worth it?
"Totally worth it. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the entire world. It takes all the preparation, all the time and that's what makes this gold medal extra special," Lloyd said.
The next few weeks will be a whirlwind of appearances for Carli.
Then she and her team will travel the country in a victory tour.
Maybe, there'll be some time off and then Carli says it's time to focus on the 2016 Olympics.
new jersey, burlington county, london, olympics, sports, nora muchanic
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