Women’s Olympic Football Tournament
- Olivia Chance set for first Olympic Games
- Prominent determine in New Zealand’s midfield in recent times
- “To be in the Olympic Games is the dream I have always wanted.”
Olivia Chance is on the verge of reaching a lifelong dream. The New Zealand midfielder has dim recollections of watching the Olympic Games as a younger youngster, however what was at all times clear was that to function within the multi-sport occasion was an athletes’ pinnacle.
“I have always wanted to be involved in the Olympics,” Chance advised FIFA.com. “Probably extra so than the World Cup, which some would possibly discover attention-grabbing, however I believe the entire [Olympic] environment is one thing you’ll at all times keep in mind. It is the dream that I’ve at all times needed.
“I saw someone point out said recently: ‘You can be a world champion but that might only last for a year, whereas you will be an Olympian forever.’”
Chance has grow to be a daily within the coronary heart of the Football Ferns’ midfield in recent times and was an ever-current for the workforce on the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. With an unimaginable work-fee and an eye for purpose from lengthy-vary, the 27-yr-previous is an essential cog within the Kiwis’ machine.
Driven by a dream
Five years in the past, Chance missed the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and set about bettering. A couple of weeks after the fireworks quelled over Rio skies, Chance made the transfer as removed from New Zealand as conceivable, signing for Iceland heavyweights Breidablik. There adopted spells at Everton, Bristol City, Sheffield United and, most lately, Brisbane Roar.
Twelve months of uncertainly following the preliminary postponement of Tokyo 2020 has created a difficult atmosphere for athletes, Chance included.
“We had to adjust a lot trying to figure out if the Olympics were going to go ahead,” she stated. “Even now you see unfavourable headlines, perhaps saying it gained’t go forward, which is exhausting for an athlete. You have to actually zone out on that aspect, and try to absolutely focus so you’ll be able to have your finest preparation.
“I have become a lot more focussed. In fact, I think being away from partner has helped, because being apart for eight months isn’t something you really want to do, so I need to make it worth it.”
Chasing video games and targets
New Zealand face a uncommon problem heading into the quick-looming Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Due to the pandemic, the worldwide unfold of their squad and different elements, the Football Ferns haven’t taken the sector since early 2020.
Drawn alongside USA, Sweden and Australia, their problem at Tokyo 2020 may barely be more durable. “We are definitely behind compared to other countries and I think we might not know how far behind we are until it is too late,” stated Chance.
“Some time collectively in Tokyo will hopefully shut the hole just a little bit. A whole lot of the workforce have been collectively for some time so the connection has at all times been robust, it is simply the precise on-area taking part in collectively, and that is extraordinarily exhausting after over a yr aside.
“We are always hard to break down as a team, but the impression that I want our team to make over the next couple of years is to have that x-factor and to have more of that attacking side. People may say we are hard to break down, but that maybe we don’t score goals.”
Much focus for the New Zealanders will be on the opener: a derby towards FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ co-hosts Australia. The match can have added resonance for Chance after an pleasant stint within the current W-League season.
“Any group was going to be difficult, but I’m actually very excited about the group,” said Chance. “Playing against and with them (Australian players) in the W-League, makes it all the more exciting for me, and being a derby game just adds to it.”