“My family doesn’t do happy endings. We do sad endings or frustrating endings or no endings at all. We are hardwired to expect the next interruption or disappearance or broken promise.”
Hope Solo is the face of the modern female athlete. She is fearless, outspoken, and the best in the world at what she does: protecting the goal of the U.S. women’s soccer team. Her outsized talent has led her to the pinnacle of her sport—the Olympics and the World Cup—and made her into an international celebrity who is just as likely to appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars as she is on the covers of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and Vogue. But her journey—which began in Richland, Washington, where she was raised by her strong-willed mother on the scorched earth of defunct nuclear testing sites—is similarly haunted by the fallout of her family history. Her father, a philanderer and con man, was convicted of embezzlement when Solo was an infant. She lost touch with him as he drifted out of prison and into homelessness. By the time they reunited, years later, in the parking lot of a grocery store, she was an All-American goalkeeper at the University of Washington and already a budding prospect for the U.S. national team. He was living in the woods.
Despite harboring serious doubts even about the provenance of her father’s last name (and her own), Solo embraces him as fiercely as she pursues her dreams of being a world-class soccer player. When those dreams are threatened by her standing within the national team, as when she was famously benched in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup after four shutouts and spoke her piece publicly, we see a woman of uncompromising independence and hard-won perseverance navigate the petty backlash against her. For the first time, she tells her version of that controversial episode, and offers with it a full understanding of her hard-scrabble life.
Moving, sometimes shocking, Solo is a portrait of an athlete finding redemption. This is the Hope Solo whom few have ever glimpsed.
About Hope Solo
Hope Solo, one of the most charismatic athletes in America, is widely regarded as the best women’s goalkeeper in the world. An Olympic gold medalist, she has been a member of the U.S. national team since 2000 and has appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. At the 2011 World Cup, FIFA awarded her the Adidas Golden Glove as the tournament’s top goalkeeper. A prominent spokeswoman for Gatorade and Nike, she starred on the hit reality show Dancing with the Stars. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Soccer Star Hope Solo On Loving Lost Parents
NPR Book Review – August 18, 2012 (Excerpt)
Hope Solo is generally regarded as the best women’s goalkeeper in the world. Fresh off winning her third-straight Olympic gold medal with the U.S. national team, Solo has been as busy off the field as on it, releasing an autobiography titled Solo: A Memoir of Hope.
The memoir details her rise as an international celebrity, but it also focuses on the complicated relationship she had with her father, who taught her to play soccer.
The man she knew as Gerry Solo was quite the enigma — he had multiple social security numbers and names, even additional children that Solo found out about when she was young. For a time, her father was homeless and even was accused of murder. Although his name eventually was cleared, it’s wasn’t before his death in 2008.
Solo tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Cheryl Corley how she came to terms with not always knowing who her father was, and how that shaped who she is today. [Read the full article...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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