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Left Home in 2016, Emba's Olympic Chance That Much More Special

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Left Home in 2016, Emba's Olympic Chance That Much More Special

Cheta Emba in action at the Emirates Invitational. Martin Seras Lima photo.

Like the USA men’s 7s team, the USA women had a long travel from Chula Vista, Calif. to Mimasaka, Japan, lasting about a day and a half, but the goal at the end of all that makes handling it easier.

In fact, said the players, the travel actually had kind of a giddy vibe. they played Heads Up and Hackey Sack, and just kept the positive mood going whether waiting, boarding, deplaning, or lugging bags.

For Cheta Emba, who barely missed selection in 2016, it wasn’t an onerous trip at all.

“It was probably the most enjoyable extended travel day I’ve had,” said the Harvard grad. “We were well taken care of by our staff. Everyone was making an effort to lean into it. From the people running the testing protocols during flights to on the ground here at Mimasaka our hosts have been super detailed, super organized, and welcoming. It’s been a great experience.”

Emba does remember not making the Olympic team in 2016. She wasn’t too gutted by that experience, saying she knew how hard everyone had worked to make the team for Rio. 

“It’s incredibly humbling to be sitting on this position now,” said the hard-charging forward. “That was a pretty challenging experience back then. Every single woman named to the roster wanted it so bad. Since then the team has grown even closer, all the girls have grown to know each other on and off the pitch, and it’s even more special now.

“It’s pretty amazing to be a member of this team and I hope we get the job done.”