US women's soccer team wins Olympic bronze medal
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The U.S. women’s soccer team on Thursday snagged the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics just days after its pursuit for the gold medal ended with a defeat against Canada in the team’s semifinal match. 

The U.S. won the bronze medal match against Australia on Thursday with a final score of 4-3, with two goals each from two of the team’s oldest players, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd. 

The U.S. team had been the favorites to take first place coming into the Tokyo Olympics, especially after its 2019 World Cup championship win in France. 

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However, the women’s team, which has four Olympic gold medals in its collection from past Summer Olympics, celebrated the third-place win Thursday.

U.S. team captain Becky Sauerbrunn said after the match, “That bronze means so much,” according to The New York Times

“It feels like we really had to earn that thing,” explained. “And we’re very proud of it.”

The U.S. women’s team had a rocky start at the Tokyo Olympics with a 3-0 loss to Sweden in its debut match, ending the team’s 44-game winning streak. 

On Monday, Canada defeated the U.S. 1-0, with Canada’s Jessie Fleming scoring the winning goal on a penalty kick in the 74th minute to reach the country’s first victory over the U.S. since 2001. 

Canada is scheduled to face off against Sweden on Friday to determine who will win the gold and silver medals. 

The women’s players have used the Tokyo Olympics as a platform to continue raising awareness of the gender pay gap and to demand equal wages from the U.S. Soccer Federation, including by kneeling ahead of their matches. 

Many conservatives have claimed that the players’ activism contributed to their lackluster performance, including former President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE, who argued Thursday that the women’s national team would have won the gold medal and not the bronze at the Olympics if they weren’t “woke.” 

“Woke means you lose, everything that is woke goes bad, and our soccer team certainly has,” he said in a statement issued by his Save America PAC. 

Others on Twitter rallied against the team after its semifinal loss against Canada, including conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, who wrote, “They're still the champions at kneeling though, which is the important thing.”