There are 56 athletes from Cal who are competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. Three soccer bears are representing their country in the games: Alex Morgan ‘12; USA, Betsy Hassett ‘12; New Zealand & Daisy Cleverley ‘19; New Zealand.
In addition to these three bears, two other soccer bears have represented their country at the Olympic games. Mary Harvey ‘85 and Joy (Biefeld) Fawcett ‘89 both won gold with Team USA at the inaugural Women’s Soccer Olympic Tournament in the Atlanta 1996 games.
Joy’s favorite moment competing in the Olympics, “was the play I had in the 1996 Olympics intercepting the ball, passing to Mia and continuing to run down the right side, getting the ball back, drawing the keeper, and passing to Mille who scored an awesome goal!” What a play it was!!!
Joy also shared an unexpected Olympic moment, “I didn't know what to expect for the Opening Ceremonies the first time. I loved having the time before waiting for our turn to walk in with ALL the USA athletes where it was so great to see, meet, and chat with them.” She also loved specific Olympic swag bag items, “Shoes. I love getting a free pair of good shoes!!”
Joy went on to compete in two more Olympic tournaments adding two more medals to her collection. Joy was a mainstay on the backline for team USA earning a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney games and a gold medal at the 2004 Athens games. While difficult for Joy to pick just one, her “favorite Olympic experience...was receiving the Olympic Gold on the podium and singing the National Anthem. Huge honor to represent the USA. Also the celebration shenanigans in Athens Georgia.”
Alex Morgan ‘12 is competing in her third Olympics representing Team USA at the Tokyo games. Alex made her Olympic debut at the 2012 London games, helping Team USA earn another gold medal. Her favorite Olympic memory is “Winning gold at Wembley stadium in 2012 and singing the national anthem with my teammates on top of the podium.” Check out this video of Alex and her thoughts on that final at Wembley and winning gold in London 2012.
The London Olympics were a major turning point for women’s athletics. These games saw the highest number of female participants in all sports largely due to Title IX. It’s impact continues for women’s soccer with the success of the 1996 Olympics and 1999 World Cup. Check out the ‘96 Effect on Peacock+ to learn more about the impact of the 1996 Olympics on Women’s Sports. And The ‘99ers on ESPN+, the 1999 World Cup feature.
Alex was also a part of the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. Team USA did not have the outcome many were expecting at these games. For Alex this led to the unexpected experience of, “Losing in the quarterfinal in 2016, but deciding to still travel to Rio (we were in Brasilia for our QF match) to meet my family (all 15 of them) and finishing the Olympics as a fan rather than competing. It was one of the worst, then best experiences.” Alex had her favorite non-competition experience as a fan in Rio while “watching Michael Phelps win his last gold medal in Rio in the relays.”
Besty Hassett ‘13 represented Team New Zealand in Tokyo this summer. She was also a part of the kiwi squad at London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. Her favorite Olympic competition memory was, “Making the quarter-finals of London 2012 against the US.” We’re guessing this goal against Team USA in Tokyo was pretty special too.
These are Betsy’s third Olympic games and while the Tokyo games dining is different due to COVID, Betsy has always loved “The dining hall in the Olympic Village! So many options.”
Betsy and fellow fern and Cal Bear alum, Daisy Cleverly, both agree that their favorite Olympic swag bag item were their New Zealand bucket hats!
Fellow New Zealander Daisy Cleverley ‘19 earned an alternate spot with the Ferns at the 2016 Rio games. Even as an alternate Daisy loved, “Watching New Zealand beat Columbia in the Rio Olympics. I was a traveling reserve back then so I had to sit in the stands, but it was so exciting as it gave us a great chance of progressing to the quarter-finals. Sadly this didn't end up happening though :/ She also, “didn't realize we were getting Olympic special edition Samsung phones so that was an unreal surprise!! Rumors are we will get another this Olympics which will be exciting.”
Daisy represented Team New Zealand at the Tokyo games and earned a start in the group play match versus Team USA.
Check out this great article on Daisy from Write for California. Daisy finished her college eligibility this past spring, using her 5th year at Georgetown while working on her Master’s degree.