RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Soccer, the universal language of sport. Pick any part of the globe and you'll find the game.
In Rio, the best are converging from all across the world, but all of them getting their start somewhere. So could the next big world soccer star be right here under our noses in Richmond?
"I like working as a team and it's really fun," Abigail Knight, member of the Richmond Kickers youth program. "I like the intensity, getting to know my teammates and having fun with them."
NBC12 caught up with some members of the Richmond Kickers youth program as tournaments like the Olympics and the World Cup put their favorite sport front and center, and give them a chance to see some of their role models go to work, with names like Messi, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Maroly Pew being shared by the young players.
To these young athletes, it's always fun to get out on the pitch, but when they get a chance to watch the sport in the summer games, it gets them a little extra amped up.
"Their skill makes me say 'Hey what if I could do that someday if I go out there and practice every day for 30 minutes,'" Kieran Berry said.
"I admire so much that they're just coming out to play," player Ella Knight said. "They're not worried about fans, how they look on TV, They're just playing because they love the game."
"I just want to be as good as them one day and it just inspires me," Abigail said.
And that's the power of sports, inspiration.
Each of these students of the game has hopes and dreams of their own, and seeing players excel at a sport they love and play can always serve as a key ingredient to show that anything is possible.
"It would be awesome to be in the Olympics, even if you won and get a gold medal, or silver, or bronze," Sasha Manheim said.
"I'm really wanting to play in college, get on that national team, go to the Olympics, World Cup," Ella said.
"Just going to the Olympics and qualifying and even making the US men's team and actually make it to the Olympics for a year. That would be awesome," Kieran said.
The women's gold and bronze medal games scheduled for tomorrow in Rio, while the men will decide their medals on Saturday.
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