London 2012 aimed to inspire a generation; Team GB's Leah Williamson is proof the Olympic Games did exactly that.
The Arsenal defender came away from 2012 determined to be an Olympian, nine years later the 24-year-old stood on the pitch at Tokyo 2020 singing the national anthem and ready to make her Olympic debut.
“I’ve just been so inspired,” Williamson says. “I feel like I say that all the time but my family brought me up just surrounded by sport, any type of sport, any event,
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“That’s why London 2012 was so amazing because you just dived into it all.
“To have the opportunity to be here, but also to be part of that club now, Team GB, just feels…it’s very nice.
I had to keep my eyes closed for the national anthem because I felt like I was going to cry.
“I waited for the camera to pass and then got a bit teary.”
Williamson is acutely aware of the dramatic difference between the Olympic Games that inspired her and the Games she has participated in.
This does not, however, stop her from being proud of her achievement.
She said: “It’s sad not having my mum here, she would have been crying,”
“And my dad, the family, but at the same time I’m just so proud.”
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After 12 games played across the groups, Team GB are the only side to not have conceded this tournament.
They will next face Canada on Tuesday, and if they win they will top Group E and set up a quarter-final with, most likely, the US or Australia.
Williamson said: “I’m buzzing to be the only side to not concede.
At the end I think I would have put my foot through a brick wall if I could have to keep the ball out.
“We want to top the group.
“We need to beat Canada for us to go on to the next game and feel good.”
Team manager Hege Riise holds the same opinion as Williamson.
Riise said: “First in our mind is to attack, we want to score goals, we want to win.
“But this team has so much pride in defensive organisation and being a good defending team.
“We feel like we have a great opportunity now to win the group and we all desire to do that.
“That’s the main focus.”
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