Athletes often describe their team as their family. For two members of this year’s U.S. women’s national soccer team, that won't be an exaggeration.
Sam and Kristie Mewis, sisters from Hanson, Massachusetts, will be holding down the midfield for the U.S. in Tokyo this July, according to the roster the team released Wednesday. They will be the first sisters to play together for Team USA at a senior-level championship, the team said.
Sam was part of the team that won the World Cup in 2019. Kristie, 592 days Sam's senior, is the Olympic team's only newcomer, the only player not on the 2019 World Cup championship team.
The sister’s have been competitive with each other since high school, their mother Melissa Mewis said in an interview with NBC10 Boston in 2019, but that’s what got them where they are.
"When I look back now, Sam wouldn't be where she is today without Kristie. And that's physically, mentally and emotionally," Melissa Mewis said.
They played in college on opposite sides of the country -- Kristie at Boston College and Sam at UCLA.
"In college, we both became our own people which made us closer than ever," Sam says on the team's website. "She is my best friend and I need her so much."
The U.S. women's team has won gold four times since soccer was opened to women at the 1996 Olympics: In 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012.