Soccer, referred to as football in many countries, in a popular Olympic sport that takes place during the Summer Olympics every four years. Olympic soccer was the first team sport introduced into the Olympic program and has been part of every Olympic Game since 1908, except for the 1932 Los Angeles Games. The United States won silver and bronze in Olympic soccer at the St. Louis Games in 1904, which are the only medals won by American men.
The Atlanta 1996 Games saw the first debut of women’s soccer at the Olympics. The U.S. women’s soccer team brought home the gold medal. In the Athens 2004 Games, the U.S. women’s soccer team reclaimed the gold it lost in Sydney. The team brought home the gold again at the Beijing 2008 Games. Notable athletes in women’s soccer include Shannon MacMillan, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett.