Since the opening ceremonies 10 days ago, I have been watching an unhealthy amount of the Olympics in Rio. Day and night there is action in individual and team sports from trampoline to basketball and everything in between. There have been countless incredible and inspiring performances and over the next few weeks I am going to try to write about some of them, but today I need to vent about one particular US athlete: Hope Solo.
Solo has been a controversial figure during her more than a decade in net for the US Women’s National Team (USWNT). She has had incredible success and is considered to be one of the best US goalies of all time. She has won 2 Olympic gold medals and a World Cup gold medal in her career and holds the US record for clean sheets. All of the accomplishments are great, but she has time and time again proven herself to be an embarrassment to USA athletics.
The most recent in her history of saying stupid things to the media came after a PK loss to Sweden in the Olympic semi-finals on Friday. She said Sweden played like “a bunch of cowards” and then “the best team did not win today. I strongly and firmly believe that.” She got beat and her reaction is to bash the opposition, not take any blame. Could she be any more of a sore loser?
This is just the latest in a long line of unsportsmanlike conduct from Solo. In 2008, Solo was benched in place of Briana Scurry for the World Cup semi-final match against Brazil. After the team lost 4-0, her post game comments, “It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves.” That situation got so bad, her teammates would not allow her to even attend the 3rd place match. A real team player.
All her talking is one thing, but what put me over the top is her blatant lying about a domestic violence situation in 2015. The police were called to her sister-in-law’s house where she claimed she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her 17-year old nephew. After interviews with all involved, it appeared Solo was lying and was actually the drunk aggressor. She claimed in an interview that she was a victim and not a criminal, trying to bring attention on the fact that she was the smaller female, so how can she be the aggressor against a 6’8″, 270lb male.
Solo’s half sister Teresa Obert, who was present at the time of the domestic incident, described what she saw:
“She grabbed him by the head and she kept slamming him into the cement over and over again. So I came from behind her, and I pulled her over and, you know, to get her off my son. And then, once she got off, she started punching me in the face over and over again.”
The story itself has more twists and turns than I care to write about and I’mt not an investigative reporter with inside knowledge, but the entire thing pushed me over the edge. Playing the victim to get public support is insulting to everyone, especially all of those who have been victims of domestic violence. Talk about setting a bad example.
The few examples above are just that, a few examples. Solo has continually been focused on herself with a complete disregard for others. With any loud athlete, when they are winning, talk can get overlooked and pushed aside. Winning or losing, I’m done. I love the US and support nearly all US athletes in the Olympics and other international tournaments, but consider me out on Solo.
She is a terrible representation of a US Olympic athlete. At age 35, she is nearing the end of her playing tenure with the USWNT and I, for one, will be happy if she never takes the field again wearing the red, white, and blue. She doesn’t deserve to wear the colors and represent the USA.