2019 October Legends Closing October 19
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Women’s soccer was contested at the Olympic level for the first time at the iconic 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. The United States were one of eight squads to qualify, boasting a loaded team with stars such as Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy, and many more. Akers, the backbone of the team, wore the prestigious number 10 jersey and directed a cohesive unit that surrendered only three goals in the entire tournament. Akers scored arguably the most important goal of the tournament for the Stars and Stripes in a fraught matchup with rivals Norway in the semifinals, slotting home a penalty in 76’ to even the score at 1-1. With golden goal rules in effect, Shannon MacMillan scored one of her 60 USWNT goals in 100’ to send the USA to the Finals against China.

In front of over 75,000 fans at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, Akers led the United States to a 2-1 victory over fellow powerhouse China in an instant classic. With this iconic victory, Akers and her teammates entered the history books as the first-ever gold medalists in Olympic Women’s Soccer, with titles at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, and 2012 London Olympics soon to come. Akers, the greatest player in United States soccer history, was named the FIFA Women’s Co-Player of the Century and included on Pele’s “FIFA 100” list of the 125 greatest living soccer players in 2004. Akers finished her career for the Stars and Stripes with a spectacular tally of 107 goals and 37 assists in 155 caps.  

Offered in this lot is Michelle Akers’ gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics in its original presentation box. One side of this stunning 2 ¾ -inch diameter medal is etched in high relief with “Centennial Olympic Games” around the border, an “Atlanta 1996” logo in the center, and an image of a soccer player framed by a laurel wreath. The reverse side of the medal features a high relief etching of the Greek goddess Nike, as well as “XXVI Olympiad”, the Olympic Rings, and “Atlanta 1996”. A green “Atlanta 1996” ribbon is attached to the medal. The medal comes with a presentation box that measures approximately 5 ¼ x 7 x 2 ¼ inches and is constructed of brown wood, with the Atlanta Games logo etched on the lid. Text on the lid reads “Centennial Olympic Games” and “Atlanta 1996”. This historic medal is accompanied by a LOA from Michelle Akers herself. A portion of the proceeds shall benefit the Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Outreach Inc.

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