Fans Who Have Experienced Hope

This page is devoted to how fans experience Hope – whether it’s in person, via Twitter, Facebook, or even how or why she inspires you! *Please note that all entries must be emailed in and approved by the site operators. If you are interested in having your story about Hope featured on the page, please email your story to standingsolo1@gmail.com

Katie’s story about Hope

     It all really started in August 2011. School was starting, and I was getting prepared for my first year of high school. I made the Junior Varsity Field Hockey team for my school and I was just dying to dive into my freshman year. I was so happy, and I thought my family was too, until the day my mom told me that she and my father were separating. To be honest, I was not at all surprised. My parents had always fought a lot. I remember all the sleepless nights I had when I was younger, all I heard was the bickering and yelling that my parents would volley back and forth. Sometimes, me and my brother would just want them to end their marriage, just so they would stop ruining each others lives. The main reason they fought was because of my father’s alcoholism. Because of his addiction he was unemployed, had a horrible temper, and has/had a very distant relationship with his two children. When my brother and I were little, he would always want to take us to the ranch he grew up on, but we never would get to go with him because our mother knew he was always too drunk to drive. We were also living on tight ends, surviving by my dad’s unemployment check and my mother’s substitute teaching job. I could tell that my mom was torn and very heartbroken, especially because my father just left us a couple days before my mom told the news to my brother and me. From then on until now, my brother and I lived with our mom. After 16 years of marriage, she was now essentially, a single parent.

     During the summer of 2011, I was in complete awe of the Women’s World Cup. Team USA was doing spectacular! I watched all of the dramatic games unfold and I immediately became a lifelong fan. While watching and rooting for the USA, I definitely favored the goalkeeper, Hope Solo. I’ve played soccer since I was four years old (now I play for my JV team at my school) and since I was about 7 years old, I’ve always played goalie. So of course she was my favorite player, and soon became my first favorite athlete. That’s right, I had no favorite athlete until I saw Hope Solo and her team. I just wasn’t into watching other sports, especially men’s. I was a very feminist child, and I was not okay with having NFL football stars being my role models.

     Once the World Cup ended, I wanted to find out more about the powerhouse that is Hope Solo. When I found out about what happened to her parents, I immediately felt a stronger connection to her. Not only was she a goalkeeper like me, but she’s been in the same situation that I’m in right now. After learning about her, I became immersed into the US Women’s National Soccer Team. I’m proud to say that I’m a fan of the USWNT.  I’m proud that I can name the whole USWNT roster in numeral order, which starts with my #1 favorite person. One of my favorite things that Hope Solo has taught me is that when she’s angry or frustrated out on the field, she picks up some grass and drops it, and with those pieces of grass her problems are let go of too. Hope Solo has shown me that even if your personal background isn’t the picture perfect life that we all expect, if you fight through your struggles you will fulfill your dreams. “If you don’t let something break you, you’re gonna come out better in the end.” Hope Solo is the embodiment of what I want to become, not in a physical way, but in a mental and emotional way. She is my role model and hero, and just like a lot of her fans, she gives me hope. 
– Katie E.

 

Haley’s story about Hope

@HaleyEllingson

I’m not even sure how to begin to describe how much Hope has impacted my life but I guess I’ll start.

As everyone knows, Hope lost her father in 2007 suddenly. Her ups and downs through life have inspired me greatly.
I don’t play soccer, but softball is my life. We always had one fan, Bob who would come to every game and was an exceptional umpire. Bob Hathaway was famous in the state of Iowa for his spectacular umpiring and dedication to the sport. Coaching for many years, umpiring until health complications stopped him, and coming to every single home game made him very well known not only in my hometown but throughout the state of Iowa. He helped over twenty-five girls learn how to pitch, including his daughter, Lori. A graduate of Nevada (my high school), Lori went on to get a scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa as a pitcher and played for two years. Bob had never been more proud. All of his dedication to the sport paid off for him and his family. Always showing up at home games, Bob would park his little red car in center field and yell from his 1980s lawn chair. After the games, he would always walk into the dugout with his stats sheet and share his thoughts about the game, often going to each individual player and giving positive advice for the next game. Nevada Softball loved Bob Hathaway. Although towards the last years of his life as his health was failing, he still showed up to most of the home games. The softball team offered many kinds words for his well being. My freshman year, Bob Hathaway passed away from a stroke. The team really had to pull together to get through this dificult time of mourning. Most of the team was devastated that such a happy, positive man had passed away and he was in everyone’s thoughts and especially mine.
Bob Hathaway was my Great Uncle. He took me out to breakfast twice a month on Saturday mornings from the ages of eight to thirteen. He sat in center field because that is where I played. He took stats to help the team out, so I would have a better high school softball experience. But on November 12, 2009, at 11:13A.M, rock bottom was where I was headed. Completely lost and confused, no idea what to do with my life, quitting softball seemed almost sure. Keeping this personal decision quiet from the team was very hard. How was I supposed to play if the one person who I had played around since I was 5 was not there? How was being happy at softball an option? Fall Softball league was going on, but without the varsity center fielder. Not even communicating with friends, nobody knew how I was feeling or how saddened I was. I was not depressed by any means, just lost and confused. The team would have to go on without the center fielder.

I was at an all time low. Even though it was 2009 then, I still struggled with that up until a couple weeks before the WWC. I was watching ESPN with my family and a story about Hope came on. My first thought was “Her name is AWESOME!” As the story went on, they started talking about how her father had died and everything that happenend in the ’07 WC. That was me. I had been lashing out on teammates getting playing time over me and saying things I would later regret. I went on the internet and googled things about Hope. I read all about how she didn’t talk to anyone and wanted to quit. I wouldn’t blame her if she had. I found myself saying that I would have given up if I were her. Then I read on. It took her a while but she rose from her shame and depression. She finally realized that soccer is her LOVE and LIFE and she could not go on and not make her father proud.

I started crying. Hope was me, and her father was Uncle Bob. I had gotten benched before for not performing and not being a good teammate. I was disrespectful to my teammates. I was at rock bottom. I gave up my LOVE and my LIFE. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to do anything other than cry. I realized I didn’t want to be “the Hope Solo from 2007” I wanted to rise from my shame and mistakes and get off my butt and learn from them just like her. If Hope could find motivation after losing her Father, I could find motivation after losing Uncle Bob. The next day at softball I decided to make a change. I had been in the varsity starting line-up since 8th grade but at that game, not even 2 hours after I watched the clip and read info about Hope, I kicked ass. I made 2 diving catches in the outfield. I went 4-4 batting with a double. I had finally found hope in my life.

I will forever be grateful for Hope’s strength and willingness to go back and play. If it wasn’t for Hope, I’d be done with softball. If it wasn’t for Hope, I would still be at rock bottom. If Hope ever happens to read this; you are my hero. You saved me. You taught me how to have will power and to never give up. You taught me that life goes on. You taught me how to live again. You taught me the meaning of life.Thank you so much, you’ll never understand how much you mean to me, even though I’ll never meet you. But thank you. You’re amazing.

Haven’t You Heard?  Female Athletes Can’t Be Talented AND Pretty

 @Gillian_E_Dubbs

Since the Women’s World Cup there has been a lot of media attention around the whole US Women’s National Soccer Team, but especially certain players.  I for one am thrilled with the reception they are getting.  I must say, it gets a little confusing though when it comes down to female athletes.  Players like Alex Morgan and Hope Solo really make things complicated as far as I am concerned.  They are both top shelf players in their respective positions and some of the best in the world.  They also both happen to be gorgeous girls with fun and likeable personalities as well.  Some people are saying they are only getting attention because they are the pretty ones; they’re hot so they get media attention.  That’s where I get lost.  Apparently people would rather ugly talented people or gorgeous untalented people?  Not sure I get that.  Shouldn’t we love that we have these beautiful talented ladies playing for us?  In Hollywood people love the “triple threats”, but apparently in women’s sports we only should like the “single threat”.  When was the last time you heard someone say Derek Jeter is only one of the biggest names in baseball because lots of girls thinks he’s hot?  Good looking male athletes apparently are allowed to keep their talent but females instantly lose any skill or talent as soon as they are deemed “hot”.  I guess we want our girls to be ugly so they only are recognized for their talent.  (Because obviously a pretty girl can’t also be a top athlete, don’t be ridiculous)  So if you are an up and coming female athlete you have an important decision to make.  If you are both pretty and talented you need to choose otherwise you will be ridiculed for having the audacity to be pretty.  It’s time to stop using any products which will eliminate blemishes, yell at your parents for getting you regular dentist cleanings and braces when you were younger which has now cursed you with gorgeous teeth, cut your hair while blindfolded with children’s safety scissors next time you get drunk, and this is an important one…never EVER wear pink or anything girly.  Because once you hit it big if you are still pretty you will get more media attention, but you will also have people all of a sudden saying you’re no longer talented and you’re instead, just a pretty face.

 

I could understand this logic if they weren’t actually some of the best players.  I could understand this opinion from people if Alex Morgan spent the World Cup picking dandelions and trying to bring back “bumble bee swarm the ball” techniques from when we were all 5 years old while waving to fans during the middle of a play.  Or if Hope Solo spent her time adjusting her gloves while balls flew past her into the net as she posed and winked at the cameras.  But no, Alex Morgan spent her time scoring goals, setting up goals, and sprinting past every defender the world had to offer at this World Cup like the freakishly fast “baby horse” that she is.  Seriously, she’s like a beautifully strange and awesome breed from a horse, a gazelle, and a cheetah that all have severe caffeine addictions.  And Hope Solo spent her time defending her goal against 12 penalty kicks in 6 games, coming up with jaw dropping saves, and diving onto a shoulder that most people would have given up on after her almost career ending injury to it.  I’m not sure if you heard me correctly either so I will reiterate and make the font slightly larger so you see it…12 penalty kicks in 6 games.  Asking a keeper to deal with that is like asking Snooki to go out for one night with no bronzer and to not show her kooka.  Is it physically possible?  Yes.  Is it probable?  No.  There is no keeper in the universe whether it be a man, a woman, or a mechanically engineered robot goalie who could have dealt with it any better.  Morgan and Solo each had a phenomenal World Cup and have nothing to look back at and regret.  And yes, they looked good while doing it.  How dare they?!?

 

Those of us who know the sport know that these ladies truly are some of the best in the world.  I get it, people just want everyone to have a fair shake at it.  I agree there are plenty of female athletes who probably don’t get the media attention they deserve because they might not be as pretty as others.  But is that reason to penalize the ones that are?  True, it may be sexist for people to view female athletes this way, when male athletes are very rarely based off of looks, but again let’s not target the wrong people here.  Let’s not ridicule the ones breaking through and gaining support for women’s soccer.  And luckily it is only a select few who put up the ridiculous argument I have been ranting about.  The guys who say it are ignorant about the sport and just want to sleep with them and the girls who say it are ignorant about the sport and are jealous of them.  Sorry guys, saying they’re not talented probably won’t help in your pathetic attempt in your delusional fairy tale land to sleep with them.  And sorry girls, that you have a pig face.  (I know, I know, I am stooping to their level with that, but I just couldn’t resist)

 

I say we praise these women for being the best at what they do, and just be happy when they get the media attention.  Anyone who supports women’s soccer or just women’s sports in general should be thrilled head over heels that they are getting the attention that they are.  Our Women’s National Soccer team is filled with beautiful talented athletes who will hopefully continue gaining attention and being beasts on the field making our nation proud knowing that we have some of the best athletes in the world. 

 

So Alex, Hope, if you are reading:  Keep up the great work on the field and please don’t cut your hair while 6 shots of vodka deep with safety scissors, we love you the way you are.

Hope Solo Rap!! 

By: @BigAfrika88 AKA CJ Sadong

International Holo Luv

We Hope Solo community Orkut in Brazil we try to show briefly the importance of Hope for us:
http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Community?cmm=39628171


– “I love you Hope.” by CB Rodrigo Kiko

– “Hope Solo marry me?” by βяůŋŏ

– “I love you, Hope Solo, because you are a great example to follow. You teach to fight for what we want and not give up even when everything points to it.

I love you, because you show that women can play football well, and that football is a woman thing to do.

I love you, because your eyes hypnotize me, and when I look at them, I can see the purity of his soul.

I love you, because with your unique way of being conquered my heart.

Hope Solo, you’re my inspiration.” by @RoseBenvindo

– “Intensity, seriousness and passion! The name given to the result of the merger of these three words? Hope Solo.
According to the logic of football, as a Brazilian I would have to “hate” Hope Solo. But we’re talking about football. Who says football is logic? Football is passion, admiration… Football is emotion! I learned to admire and respect Hope Solo for her life, story for his character and his person. Hope Solo is an example of overcoming. My respect and admiration to you Hope Solo… My respect and admiration, the best goalkeeper in the world!”
 by @HopeSoloFans
– “Describe a feeling in words is impossible! No dictionary entry has the strength and intensity of feeling!
After the 2011 World Cup, the world’s eyes turned to Hope Solo, presenting her as a muse. And honestly, when I see, not see only its beauty indiscutível and heady, there is something beyond the mesmerizing beauty that attracts to you all the attention: the ability to overcome. So why could not relate it to the eagle?

Animal large, fast, determined, enchanting beauty and agility! Infallible in their attacks and when it encounters an obstacle, rises above it by taking refuge on top and when returns, is even stronger!” by Juliana

– “Admiration may be the primary definition of what I have for Hope, the seriousness and discipline that she has in the field, is not for everyone. After the 2011 World Cup, many people came to see her with different eyes, say they went to see the women’s game differently, and it is undoubtedly one of the main people who made it happen, either for their beauty, by his talent (undisputed), or his amazing ability to overcome. I fortunately I was able to follow most of their games, and although a rather sad for the defeat of the Brazilian team, watch and cheer wildly for the USA in the finals! and regardless of results, or rivalry, all I have to say is we love you Hope, we admire and respect you very much: THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER!” by  Jєηiffєr

We love and admire you so much, Hope Solo!!!

Rodrigo, Bruno, Rose, HopeSoloFans, Juliana e Jeniffer – Hope Solo Orkut Community – Brazil

More Love From Brazil

@lucat16

An idol is someone that can be part of your life without knowing you existence. A hero can change your life , can inspire a whole nation and the world. Hope solo and all the u.s women’s national team showed me that all it takes is one chance and if you do what you need to do with your heart , with passion don’t matter the result you will always be the winner. I’m from the country that is known by being the ”soccer country” its really true , the Brazilians are born with this soccer love but sadly this fanaticism is just about the men game. We suffer with lack of support and a prejudice that is getting better with the years. The difficulties just make us , and when I say us I include all the girls that play soccer here in Brazil , stronger everyday but our hopes to one day have at least a fair support are so far away…

This world cup showed us all that heck yeah women soccer is an incredible sport and it certainly will keep growing. For this happen we need some stars , some celebrities to increase it support and hope solo is just the right person to do it , to be this role model that our sport needs. She is a great women with great personalty.Is a person to look for , and its a huge example of life and of true beauty. She made some mistakes and learn with those , coming back better. In a world that kids “wannabes” are always drunk or doing bad stuff hope is exactly what we needed.On the field she’s for me the best goalkeeper that ever played and you can see through her eyes her passion for the game and her power , I’m sure that her future is full of gold and purple , that jersey is just legendary. Outside the field she’s one of the sexiest women and her beauty is not fake , is not “‘Hollywood” , is a real and strong women beauty what all of us wish for.

When I say that an idol can change your life I really mean it because it happened with me , after watching this epic world cup I decided to go for my dream – Playing for a college in the U.S. Something that I always wanted to do but I was never brave enough to really try it , and a certain gk ( not goalie ) gave me the strength that I needed to made my decision. My dream college- University of Washington , just like Hope.

Some people are able to change lives , to inspire. They are born with this , and Hope Solo changed mine. She doesn’t know that I exist but I’m sure that she would be proud to hear my history , maybe one day I’ll get to know her and say a simple and truly- THANK YOU! ( a tweet would be just fine too ) but while this doesn’t happened I will stay cheering for her and for her success because just like that poster in the world cup said – All you need is hope.

From her biggest fan in Brazil,

Luisa Cat


Gretchen’s story about “Hope”

First you should know that I’m not a soccer player, I’ve tried but with little success.

I’m in my mid twenties and I’ve never moved away from home before.  My husband is in the Navy and last summer we got relocated a few states away from home.  I didn’t deal with this move very well and I got really depressed. Being confined to the couch and my house is something that I’m not proud of and almost ashamed of.  I was able to get a hold of my life for months, however this past summer I felt the depression taking hold again.  My couch became my best friend and I felt I was letting my husband and family down as well as my self.  One day in June, my husband turned on ESPN and there was a soccer game on.  Me not being a fan put up a fight to have the channel turned which he refused to do.  Now looking back that was the most important thing that happened to me this summer.  I gave in and watched the game with my husband.  The Women’s National Team had something special that got my attention.  Hope Solo most of all caught my eye.  She was someone who had such passion and spirit (words that I’ve now learned she loves to use) that it was hard not to notice her.  After watching these games I was hooked.  I went into research mode to learn as much as I could about Hope.  She has over come so much in her life that I felt I could take a page from her book and take control of my own life.  During the WWC, I decided that I needed to be a person I could be proud of.  Hope Solo is someone that I wouldn’t be ashamed to idolize.  It’s kind of hard to explain the influence that Hope Solo has had on my life just in these past few months and I can’t even begin to thank her.  Hope along with the rest of the WNT has made a fan for life.  I’ve been to two WPS games as well as making the long trek to NY for the championship.  I am committed to making my life a positive one, and it is all thanks to Hope Solo.

I hope this made sense 🙂

~Gretchen W.

Hope by Charlotte (Charley) Roxberry 

I have never met Hope Solo, but I do admire her a great deal. She is one of the biggest inspirations to me as a soccer player. She came back from a possibly career ending injury and ran with it. I don’t care that people say our team is no good, because we didn’t win the world cup. That is over, and they won hearts of fans. Hope is like a superhero…no joke. She plays with so much heart and passion that it is almost unreal. I will stick up for Hope (and the other girls) in any soccer discussion. I am cheering for Hope all the way in DWTS, and she’s gonna do great I mean come on SHE IS HOPE SOLO AFTER ALL!!! she inspires me to keep pushing past trials and to never give up on my dream. I respect her so much, and I am proud to say I am a huge fan of her. I drew a portrait of her for art class, and the sad part nobody really had any clue who she was. I thought to myself “WOW!!! How can nobody, but myself know who she is?” After the Women’s World Cup, and after Hope’s amazing saves, and her skill level people still don’t know who she is? What’s wrong with this picture? Hope shouldn’t have to do DWTS to make people know who she is, and really if people actually cared about women’s soccer they would know who she is. Hope is Hope, and she brings me hope when I feel down. If I met Hope Solo I would probably cry she is just that amazing. I don’t like DWTS I never got into watching it, but I will suffer through it, and then be super excited and in to it when Hope Solo comes on. Honestly if there is a girl out there who doesn’t know who Hope is, they are a lost cause. She’s what makes me want to be better and maybe someday play for the USWNT. Hope Solo fever is running around, and I think I’ve got a bad case of Hope Solo Fever. I’ve been Hope’d!

Flying Solo: Brandi’s Story about “Hope”

So that happened. As I tweeted earlier, Hope Solo was on my flight back to Los Angeles this morning. In fact, she sat right in front of me. She was delightful. Here’s how it happened.

My sister and I are waiting at KCI airport to head back to LA after spending the weekend in Kansas City to attend the USWNT vs. Canada friendly. We had a great time: took pictures, flailed, and in general, fangirled. LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is beautiful and an excellent venue to watch a soccer match.

While my sister and I are waiting to board our plane, I mention that we should have arrived at the airport extra early to stalk see if the USWNT would be there leaving for Portland. Naturally, I take to Twitter for updated USWNT news and I see that Hope Solo’s tweets are blowing up my timeline. Nary a peep from another player, however. Hmmm. My sister, who heretofore has never shown a predilection for deductive reasoning, confidently declares that Hope will be on our flight to LA since she has to rehearse for Dancing with the Stars tomorrow.

I laugh at such a preposterous notion. The call for boarding goes out. I look up and who insouciantly wanders in? Hope Solo.

I’m reeling. Worlds are colliding and paradigms shifting. I’m used to running into actors, musicians, politicians, and other high profile athletes, but when it comes to soccer players, I lose it. Love ‘em. (I’m looking at you Boca.)

Wait a minute. Why is everyone else acting so nonchalant? Don’t they know who this is? It’s at this point that I stop to briefly reflect on USWNT fandom and how it’s still a pretty small segment of the general population.

My sister and I are giggling as we fall in line behind Hope. The atmosphere now becomes anxious for us. Where is she going to sit? She takes her seat. I barely contain myself as I take mine in the row behind her. After Hope gets settled, my sister makes her move. She is, after all, the bold one.

“Excuse me, Hope, will you sign my hat?” my sister asks.

Hope half turns around and her eyes light up as she reaches for a US Soccer hat that’s already sporting several player signatures. Not to be left out, I take the opportunity to lean over and tell her what a great time we had at the game. Hope then turns around to speak directly to us. We chat about the great atmosphere in KC, her excitement at being back with the team, and how nervous she is for tomorrow. She is, as she emphatically notes, “out of her element.”

My sister thanks her for signing her hat (momma taught her well after all), and we all settle in for takeoff. Hope sleeps, I sleep, the clueless guy next to her sleeps. (No, I didn’t take pictures of her asleep.)

Once we land, I ask Hope for a picture. She says, “Sure, no problem.” I thank her for her time (momma taught me well, too). My sister and I wish her good luck on tomorrow’s DWTS. I congratulate her on her 100th cap while in Germany and wish her luck during Olympic qualifying.

We file out of the plane behind Hope, headed toward baggage claim. Hope looks back and notices us behind her and slows down and walks with us to the exit. That’s right, I walked through LAX with Hope Solo. We chat a little about the LA Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders while we walk. Hope comes to her exit and wishes us well and thanks us for coming out to KC. We again wish her luck and head on to baggage claim.

Here’s a picture because proof is always needed. I cut myself out of it because I am looking rougher than usual. Hope, on the other hand, is looking great for it being so early.

-itsbrantastic (Tumblr)


One comment on “Fans Who Have Experienced Hope

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