AUSTIN (KXAN) — Less than a week after Julia Grosso scored the gold medal-winning goal for Canada soccer at the Olympics, she’s still having a hard time wrapping her head around what it all actually means.
“It’s hit me, but I guess I just don’t think about it that way, yet,” Grosso said. “I just feel like it’s just a really cool experience. It just hasn’t really – it just feels like we won, like – it hasn’t really – I’m an Olympic gold medalist. It’s quite an honor. I feel like it’s just an honor.”
The gold medal game between Canada and Sweden came down to penalty kicks. With the tally tied up at 2-2, Grosso, a junior midfielder for the Longhorns, sealed the win for Canada in the sixth round of the shootout.
“I remember first just seeing her touch the ball, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ I just thought that in my head,” Grosso said. “Then I just saw it go in, so then I turned around. I knew that was the final kick to win it, but it just took me a second because I was like, ‘Oh my God, we won.’ And then I was kinda like, ‘Oh my gosh, we just won gold.’ It was just crazy. It was just a sigh of relief. I turned around and was like, ‘Is this real life?’ I just remember it was the craziest moment ever.”
Here are some more thoughts and reactions from Grosso since locking up Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in soccer in 117 years:
How it feels to win gold
“It was quite the thrill. It was honestly, I’m not even trying to be over-dramatic, but it was the best feeling in the whole world, for sure, that I’ve ever experienced. I felt like hard work just kinda paid off, which was a nice feeling to know that happened. It just meant the world to me to know that we won and we all worked so hard as a team. It was just a surreal feeling.”
Reception in Tokyo and back home in Canada
“I feel like when I was at the Olympics, it was pretty cool. Afterwards, we were in the village with all the other athletes. That was pretty cool because they all knew we won and they all were very supportive. But I think it really set in for me when I landed in Canada because there’s people waiting at the airport, people all there, cameras and everything. It was a really cool experience. So I feel like it really hit me then. Even just being in Canada, I think people are just kind of noticing. I think a lot of people watched here in Canada, so they kind of, some places are recognizing [me], like ‘Oh my God, congrats.’ Stuff like that. which has been really cool. It’s a crazy thing.”
Support from her Texas teammates
“I just immediately wanted to call them because they’ve been so supportive of me through the whole thing, texting me before my games and everything. They’re just such a supportive team. I wanted to call them and just check in on them and say, ‘Hey, thank you so much for everything.’ They’re just so supportive, and I appreciate them so much.”
Returning to play for the Longhorns
“I want to win with my college team now and go as far as we can. We want to win the NCAA championship and the Big 12. I think I’m just changing my mind now to that. Great, now I’m kind of celebrating, like, yay, we won. But as soon as I go to Texas, I’m focusing on something else now.”