Why Dani “Hopes”
Ask any person who’s ever played a sport. As an athlete, you’ll do whatever it takes to win. At this point in time, there is nothing about me that resembles an athlete; my mentality is weak, I have lost my competitive drive, and I am completely out of shape. I am an athlete who’s lost her motivation.
My mom was a natural born athlete who competed in neighborhood football and basketball games. She raised us to be competitive when it came to life in general. It was under her influence that I began playing softball when I was four. Living in the same place for 10 years afforded me the opportunity to play with the same group of girls. Though my mother introduced us in several other sports growing up, softball was by far my favorite and I did pretty well. I lived for game days and I was able to adapt my athletic mentality to all facets of my life without even realizing what I was doing. I knew in my mind, if I didn’t have the grades, I wouldn’t be allowed to play so I did well in school. I stayed active, hanging out with teammates for pickup games when we didn’t have practice. We were competitive, not only against our opponents but against each other. Though we were aggressive, we were supportive of one another. I fed off of that camaraderie; I lived for it. I moved to a new town right before I started high school. My mom asked if I was interested in playing softball that year and I declined. I knew the vibe wouldn’t be the same and I missed my team and our vibe. Instead, I decided to take after my sister and I joined the guard. (Flag Team) During the next to last game of the season and the day before my last competition, I went down during the performance with what turned out to be torn ligaments in my right knee and I was unable to compete. Unable to walk without crutches, it didn’t take me long to fall into a funk that quickly turned into depression. Unable to compete and do what I loved, I suppressed my emotions with all the wrong foods. It’s been 5 years since my injury and though I have physically fully recovered, I haven’t been a part of an athletic team since. Though I lost my own personal competitive drive, my interest in sports never stopped.
Back in the summer of my freshman year of high school, I was given the opportunity to intern for a professional woman’s soccer team in a league known then as the WUSA. Though I never played soccer, I knew the logistics of the game and I respected it. I had knowledge of the FAB 5 and even watched as they won the World Cup in 1999 but I didn’t consider myself to be a fan of soccer until I started working with the Washington Freedom, ironically Mia Hamm’s team at the time. As an intern, I was able to watch a game before I began working for the team and I was in awe or one player in particular and it was so not Mia Hamm. From then on, I was hooked and an official fan. Even though the WUSA ended quickly in 2003, I continued to follow the Women’s National Soccer Team leading up tothe iconic 2011 Semi-Final World Cup game. I couldn’t help but to pay attention to the commentary as they mentioned the goal keeper for USA had recently had shoulder surgery that could’ve possibly ended her career. Those comments stuck out in my mind because of the incredible dives and saves she made throughout the World Cup tournament. I was incredibly impressed with how driven she was to return to the team and represent the US, so much so that I wanted to learn more about her story. In doing so, I came across a video that became the inspiration to my personal journey.
Our Message To The Fans
Hope Solo is the first person in a very long time to trigger some sort of passion in us. She motivates us to make positive changes in our lives for the better. It would be an absolute pleasure as two of her biggest fans to provide this insight for fellow fans and hopefully to make new ones. We hope you all enjoy the site.