TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Because how else would you travel halfway around the world with an Olympic gold medal that you had just won as a member of the Canadian National Team.
“On the way back to Montreal, I put it in a pair of woolen socks to protect it,” said Gabby Carle who begins her fifth season as a member of the No. 1 ranked Seminole Women’s Soccer team Thursday, August 19 against No. 9 Texas A&M at 7 pm. “It’s a trick one of my teammates gave me in 2016 for my bronze medal.”
The gold medal she helped Canada win is now safely placed in its protective case as she has joined her Seminole teammates on the Florida State campus.
“It (the gold medal) follows me everywhere at the moment,” said Carle. “From the moment I was given it until 7 in the morning when we finally went to bed, I didn’t take it off once!”
Carle and her Canadian teammates defeated Sweden on penalty kicks in the gold medal game, giving Canada its first-ever Olympic Gold Medal in women’s soccer. Canada finished the Tokyo Olympic tournament with a 4-0-2 record, including a 1-0 victory over the United States in the semifinals. The Canadians gained wins over Chile, Brazil, the U.S. and Sweden and earned ties against both Japan and Great Britain.
Carle is just the fifth Florida State student-athlete to win a gold medal in the Olympic games.
A veteran of the Canadian Olympic team, Carle now boasts a gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics and a bronze medal from the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“I never allowed myself to dream about winning an Olympic gold medal,” said Carle. “It seemed like I had so much to accomplish before I could win one, so it’s even more than a dream come true.”
Carle’s dream of making the Canadian National Team began at the age of five and culminated with her winning a gold medal at the International Stadium in Yokohama City, Japan on August 6.
Carle had quite the cheering squads as she worked to make her dream of winning a gold medal come true.
From her family and friends in Canada to her teammates in Tallahassee, the time difference and the middle-of-the-night start times did not matter. For each of them, Carle was must-see TV.
“The time difference between Tokyo and Quebec is 13 hours,” said Carle. “Most of our games were either in the middle of the night or early in the morning. Some of our games were played at 4 am (ET). Most of my family and friends watched the games from their beds.”
Her family and friends held overnight watch parties in Quebec, while her Seminole teammates watched every minute of every game during pre-season practice. Seminole Head Coach Mark Krikorian even changed his teams’ practice time on the morning of the gold medal game, as her teammates gathered to watch Carle win one of the ultimate awards in the sport.
“I think I can speak on behalf of our team when I say that Gabby is one of the most hard-working and dedicated players we know,” said senior Jaelin Howell. “Because she is such a great teammate, it made it special watching her earn the gold as a team. As one of my best friends, I couldn’t be more happy for her. We are extremely proud of her. It was a great experience understanding how rare it is for someone to achieve winning an Olympic Gold Medal.”
Krikorian, too, is elated for Carle’s Olympic success.
“I’m thrilled for Gabby that she was able to contribute to Team Canada and winning Olympic gold,” said Krikorian. “I think for her, it’s one of those moments in your life that you look back on and cherish. For us at Florida State soccer, it’s great for us that we do have a player now who is a gold medalist and who continues to compete for us. We are all really excited and happy for her.”
Following the medal ceremony, Carle and her teammates reached across the world to share their special moment with loved ones.
“Most of us stayed on the field to call our family and friends,” said Carle. “The first person I called was my boyfriend. Then I called my brother, who was with my mother and father. A lot of smiling and joy on both ends of the phone.”
She then took on the enviable task of returning the numerous text and direct messages she had received.
“I definitely felt the support from my friends and family after the game,” said Carle. “It took me a few days to respond to all of them, but I was very touched by all the messages I received.
She was touched most by the messages she received from her elementary school teachers.
“I received some messages from my elementary school teachers, all reminding me that when I was younger I had already set my mind to going to the Olympics. It was really nice to hear from them.”
As she prepares for the upcoming season as a Seminole, she certainly has the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the 2028 Games in Los Angeles in her sights.
“Absolutely,” said Carle. “I have both of these Olympic Games insight and will keep working hard to ensure I am a part of the Canadian team when they come around.”