Carli Lloyd: Olympic Hero, Philadelphia Suburbanite

They were celebrating at mid-range chain sports bars all over New Jersey yesterday.

A local athlete is the star of the Olympics!

Okay, maybe not the star. But women’s soccer got its occasional spot in the U.S. sports media spotlight after its thrilling 4-3 semifinal win over Canada, a match where the U.S. was the beneficiary of a few controversial calls to make it even more fun. Then, in yesterday’s final against Japan, Carli Lloyd scored two goals in the United States’ 2-1 win.

Lloyd is from Delran, N.J.; Wikipedia says the only possible threat to her status as the pride of Delran is Underdog Lady. Lloyd scored the game-winner in the 2008 Olympics, too, but women’s soccer didn’t have any multiple-comeback games people watched at work in the afternoon in Beijing, so this one’s bigger.

And while New York predictably tried to claim her, Delran is a Philly suburb and she’s all ours. As such, everyone runs down local angles: Phil Sheridan just calls her “Lloyd of London, Delran.” Not bad. All of Lloyd’s friends/former teammates thought Abby Wambach had scored the first goal. Oh, and you better believe they were partying at the Champps in Marlton. “Well, I’m very proud of you. You know that. We’re all here at Champps,” trainer James Galanis told her on the phone.

The Courier-Post also went to Champps–owned by Fox & Hound, obviously—and quoted a bunch of inspired youth players. Hooray for Philadelphia-area Olympic ties! What’s pretty cool is Lloyd was on the bench for the opening game against France, but went into the lineup when Shannon Boxx injured her hamstring. Inspiring! Fortunately, thank God, no one compared her to Rocky.

In other Delran news, a vacationer recently saved a 3-year-old’s life on the beach! “I’m not David Hasselhoff,” he said.

In other Suburban Philadelphia New Jersey athlete news, Usain Bolt says he has “lost all respect” for Medford’s Carl Lewis, who made salty comments about Jamaican sprinters after the 2009 World Championships. “I think he’s just looking for attention, really, because nobody really talks much about him,” Bolt said. I can confirm Carl Lewis does make outlandish claims: He said he was a big Union fan during an interview with NBC Philadelphia earlier this week.

Eh, can’t win ’em all. (There’s a GIF, too.)

What to Watch

Friday: The United States plays Argentina at 4 p.m. today in a basketball semifinal. Will Andre Iguodala be distracted by the trade to Denver? Would it even matter? (Probably not! The U.S. basketball team, if you didn’t know, has a ton of good players.) The men’s pole vault final is also today at 2:05 p.m., and if you don’t like seeing finely-sculpted athletic bodies flinging themselves 20 feet into the air with a piece of fiberglass, I don’t know what to tell you.
Saturday: The Olympics’ most important event, the 50 kilometer racewalk, is at 4 a.m. I trust you will all be getting up extra early to watch the Olympics’ most underrated painful event. (Racewalking is impossible.) There’s also the modern pentathlon, the event meant to simulate the skills of a 19th-century cavalry officer; the final three events start at 10:20 a.m.. Oh,and the women’s gold medal hoops final and the men’s 4x100m relay are both at 4 p.m.
Sunday: The men’s basketball gold medal final is at 10 a.m. and the men’s marathon is at 6 a.m.. Get up early!