The dust has finally settled on an incredibly enthralling Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, one in which Australia gained a whole host of new Olympic heroes.
With the herculian efforts of Peter Bol and the blistering pace of Rohan Browning in running, the domination of Emma McKeon in swimming and the grit and determination of Jess Fox in canoeing to name a few, it seems like almost every event had an Aussie athlete who solidified themselves as a true Olympic hero.
Football was very much much part of this equation, with a number of players putting their hand up to be football’s champion, but it was Olympics newbie Teagan Micah who truly won the hearts of the nation in her maiden campaign.
The Matildas had the whole nation behind them, cheering on every successful pass, tackle and shot, creating a real feel good factor around the team who would go on to fall just short of a medal.
Micah has been involved in the national team set up for a number of years, earning a spot in the 2019 World Cup squad, but she would have to wait until 2021 to make her debut for the Matildas; keeping a clean sheet in an impressive performance against powerhouses Sweden, making a number of crucial saves during her first outing in the green and gold.
Although during the lead up to the Olympic games Matildas manager Tony Gustavsson would give Micah plenty of game time, once the games started she would find herself as second choice behind Matildas stalwart Lydia Williams. However after a tough personal performance between the sticks in the opening game of the group stages, Gustavsson would trust Micah between the sticks for the second game against the side she had made her debut for only a few weeks earlier in Sweden.
With a number of good saves in her sides 4-2 defeat against the Swedes and a commanding performance against USA in the final group stage, the inexperienced shot-stopper was proving to the nation and the world that she was a serious talent, but it was in the knockout stages where Micah had firmly cemented herself as Australia’s number one shot stopper and an Olympic hero.
With the game having gone to extra-time against Great Britain after clawing back a late goal through Sam Kerr, all of the Australia had their hearts in their mouths as Team GB were awarded a penalty kick in the 100th minute, Ellie Carpenter bringing Nikita Parris down in the box.
Up stepped Caroline Weir, two time Scotland Player of the Year, with 79 caps for her country.
A hugely experienced and talented player, face to face with Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah in just her fifth game for her country.
With the game locked at 2-2, Micah pulled off a tremendous save, diving to the bottom right corner, getting a great hand on the ball to keep the ball out of the net, and her country’s hopes alive.
Within six minutes, the rejuvinated Matildas scored two quickfire goals through Fowler and Kerr to put the game almost out of reach of Great Britain, who despite a barrage of attacks late in the game could only pull one goal back.
Going into the Tokyo Olympics, fans were questioning who the number one goalkeeper for Australia should be with Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold and Teagan Micah all having a good case for their selection.
However following a tremendous tournament, Micah has not only cemented herself as Matildas number one going forward, she has also cemented herself, forever, as an Australian Olympic hero.