It is in the middle of the farmers market in the town of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Hope Solo, the former National Football Team goalkeeper, standing next to a table full of pansies. Throughout her career, she is known as the most controversial female athlete alive. The Official Rapinoe Is My Spirit Animal Shirt and the gaining gold in two Olympics and a World Cup, and regularly speaks about women’s equality. Today, though, her concern is more prosaic. She wants to plant flowers under a flagpole on a 50-acre site, where she lives with her husband, former NFL player Jerramy Stevens. We need more than that, she said, continuing. Jeremy will be very disappointed.
The market spreads over a few large outdoor boxes. There were stalls filled with fruits and funnels, older couples holding hands, and many women wearing T-shirts displaying the picture of empowerment. And then there is Solo, a flexible, broad-shouldered character, casual dress in yellow Converse and Official Rapinoe Is My Spirit Animal Shirt! Walking through the garden store, she saw a welcome stone ornament with a cow, sheep, and pig on top. I need that, she said. Oh yes, I need that.
That was one of the most surprising things about Hope, Roger Pielke, who directed the Sports Management Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder and met Solo last year when she lectured in his class. The difference between the person she is and the person that the vortex is created about her for a long time. During 17 years of playing Solo with the national team, she became the best female goalkeeper in the game and the Official Rapinoe Is My Spirit Animal Shirt! Her supporters will argue that she is still, today, the world’s best goalkeeper, completely stopped, who has the most international appearance and closure.