(L) Carli Lloyd the midfielder will compete for a third consecutive women’s soccer gold medal, while Carli Lloyd the setter (R) is striving for the U.S. women’s volleyball team’s first-ever Olympic title.
Skimming through the roster of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, it’s only natural to do a double take when you reach Carli Lloyd. But make no mistake: There really are two athletes named Carli Lloyd competing for the United States in Brazil.
Not only are their names the same, they both won a team gold medal in Canada last year, but under vastly different circumstances. The elder Carli Lloyd, 34, is a soccer player who propelled the U.S. women to the World Cup title last July in Vancouver, British Columbia, winning the Golden Ball trophy presented to the tournament’s most outstanding player. She also was responsible for the winning goal in the gold-medal match at each of the past two Olympic Games.
The younger Carli Lloyd, 26, is a setter for the U.S. women’s indoor volleyball team in Rio. She won gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games 20 days after the other Lloyd clinched the World Cup title. Lloyd the volleyball player also has a Pan Am Games bronze from 2011 to her credit, as well as a silver medal from the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Grand Prix.
“People always talk about her when they hear my name, so I feel like she’s in my daily life,” the volleyball player said. “I’m awful at soccer. I don’t really even understand the sport that well. But I watch her fire and it’s cool.”
While Lloyd the soccer player hopes to lead Team USA to its fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal and fifth overall, Lloyd the volleyball player and her teammates are looking for a historic breakthrough by winning the program’s first women’s volleyball gold. The Americans advanced to the final match in Beijing and London, only to fall to Brazil both times. The United States holds a total of three silvers and a bronze in women’s volleyball.