What’s in a name? Apparently, Olympic athleticism if you’re Carli Lloyd. Both Carli Lloyds.
As Olympic athletes strive to win gold and make their names known at the 2016 Rio Games, one moniker may be repeated more than the rest, as the same name belongs to two athletes on Team USA.
That name is Carli Lloyd.
One Olympian, Carli Anne Lloyd, is the 34-year-old soccer star from Delran Township, New Jersey, who plays for the United States Women’s National Team. Her team played Wednesday and will take the field again Saturday.
The other Olympian, Carli Ellen Lloyd, is the women’s volleyball star from Fallbrook in San Diego’s North County. She turns 27 this Saturday, the very day she makes her competitive debut in Rio with a match at Maracanazinho in Maracaña.
The women who share a name will make history in Rio as they become the seventh set of U.S. Olympians with the same name to compete at a single Games, NBC Sports reported, citing Olympic historian Bill Mallon.
By Mallon’s count, the last time this happened was in London 2012, when two Ryan Baileys competed, one in track and field, the other in water polo, according to NBC Sports.
Other same-name Olympians on Mallon’s short list include Dave Johnson (1992, shooting and track and field), Craig Wilson (1992, baseball and water polo), John Matthews (1976, rowing and wrestling), John Davis (1952, rowing and weightlifting) and Bill Miller (1932, rowing and track and field).
According to the Team USA website, volleyball’s Lloyd said she’s never met soccer’s Lloyd, but they’re forever linked by their name.
"People always talk about her when they hear my name, so I feel like she's in my daily life," Lloyd said, according to the Team USA website. "You spell it the same, and it's like yeah, but I don’t know her at all. I've watched her success and she is such a baller. I'm awful at soccer. I don't really even understand the sport that well. But I watch her fire and it’s cool."
Volleyball’s Lloyd told the Team USA website that fans began mixing her up with soccer’s Lloyd after the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won gold in the 2012 London Games. It was then that she began getting lots of congratulatory messages on Facebook from fans of soccer’s Lloyd.
In 2015, soccer’s Lloyd made an even bigger name for herself when played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and became the first player in U.S. Women’s National Team history to score in four straight FIFA World Cup games. In 2015, she was also named FIFA World Player of the Year.
In a humble moment, volleyball’s Lloyd told the Team USA website that she doubts soccer’s Carli Lloyd gets as much of the name mix-up on her end.
"It’d be interesting to hear her side, if people ever mixed her up — probably not because I’m not as big time as her," Lloyd told the Team USA website.
But the name confusion still happens to soccer’s Lloyd.
In fact, on Tuesday while in Rio, soccer’s Lloyd tweeted about volleyball’s Lloyd to confused fans: "nope there are 2 of us and she in fact plays volleyball!"
Volleyball’s Lloyd says she hopes to one day meet her Olympic name twin.
"I thought about it. I just don’t know how I would actually go about it," she told the Team USA website.
Well, the feeling is mutual — according to soccer’s Lloyd — and that time to meet face-to-face may actually be in Rio de Janeiro.
Last month, soccer’s Lloyd posted this message to her Twitter page, saying a meeting — and photo — between the two Carli Lloyds needed to happen.
Should that run-in in Rio go down, the Olympians should have plenty to talk about — and maybe even matching gold medals.