(Editor’s note: Ken Williams, Editor in Chief of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, is a former sports writer who has watched every single Olympic Games since he was a kid. He has covered a Super Bowl for Scripps-Howard News, and has attended several World Series games, soccer and baseball playoff games, and even a World Cup soccer match. From the comfort of his living room, Williams will be keeping an eye on the LGBT Olympians at the London 2012 Olympics.)
LONDON – The U.S. and Sweden women’s soccer teams, which embrace a total of four lesbians on their squads, each won their first-round matches in the London 2012 Olympics on Wednesday.
The soccer competition unofficially kicked off the Olympics, which doesn’t stage its spectacular opening ceremonies until Friday.
The United States, one of the early favorites to win the gold medal, was stunned early by two quick goals by France. The U.S. roared from behind with four consecutive goals to win 4-2 in a game played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
Megan Rapinoe, 27, of the U.S. team, came out only recently and acknowledged that she is in a long-term relationship with an Australian soccer player. Rapinoe, a midfielder, started the game and triggered the U.S. comeback with a sweet corner kick that Abby Wamback headed into the net.
In the second half, with the game still on the line and the U.S. clinging to a one-goal lead, Rapinoe deftly passed a ball to Tobin Heath, who shot at the net but missed. Alex Morgan knocked in the rebound, collecting her second goal of the day, and giving the U.S. a two-goal lead.
Rapinoe was substituted by Sydney Leroux in the 84th minute as the U.S. went on the defensive to protect a two-goal lead.
The other U.S. goal was scored by Carli Lloyd.
A review of Olympic soccer coverage shows that Rapinoe earned a lot of positive press. Soccer365.com devoted much of its coverage in a praise of Rapinoe's performance against France.
Sweden had a much easier time on Wednesday, overwhelming South Africa 4-1 at the City of Coventry Stadium. The Swedish team includes three lesbians: Lisa Dahlkvist, Jessica Landström and Hedvig Lindahl.
Dahlkvist scored the second goal for Sweden at the 20-minute mark of the first half. Lindahl started for Sweden and played the entire game. Landström did not see any action in the match.
Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at [email protected], @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.