Hope Solo has already ruffled feathers at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The U.S. national women’s soccer team goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist has been outspoken in her criticism about how the Brazilian government is addressing Zika and recently tweeted a photo of herself wearing mosquito netting and another with dozens of packs of mosquito repellent she planned to bring to Rio and the hashtag #zikaproof.
She also told reporters she would go to Rio “begrudgingly” and was considering not leaving the Olympic Village except for games and practices. “I’m not sure I’m even going to be leaving the hotel room, outside of practice,” she told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in May.
Yet recently, the 35-year-old veteran soccer player offered a semi-apology to the people of Brazil before Team USA’s first game on Wednesday, blaming the American media for spreading fear about Zika and being “really tough on the people of Brazil.” She went on to say that “when you come here you learn for yourself. I think that we’ve been very hard on the local people.”
But perhaps her justification for her July tweets wasn’t enough. Every time Solo touched the ball during the American’s match with New Zealand, she was met with boos and “Zika” chants.
Solo took the trolling pretty well, telling reporters she wasn’t bothered by the chanting.
“I’m glad the fans had fun,” Solo said. “And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them.” She told another reporter, “What goes on around me in the stadium, honestly, it doesn’t really matter.”
Solo is used to putting aside snide comments and criticism of her behavior off the field. In 2014, Solo was charged with two counts of domestic violence in the fourth degree after attacking her half-sister’s 17-year-old son. Solo claimed she was a “victim,” but later apologized to “fans, teammates, coaches, marketing partners and the entire U.S. Soccer and Seattle Reign FC communities for my involvement in a highly unfortunate incident this past weekend.” The charges were later dropped.
The United States Soccer Federation seemingly turned a blind eye on the episode, and the league honored her with team captainship while she was waiting for her trial. In July 2015, Solo helped lead the women’s national team to victory in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The booing incident will likely be forgotten, just as her domestic assault charges were, as the U.S. women’s team gets closer to making Olympic history. If they win gold in Rio, Team USA would be the first female team to win the World Cup and Olympic gold back to back.
It’s a fair guess that Olympic gold is the only thing on Solo’s mind. “I want to set a new standard,” she told CNBC. “I want to break records.”
And she’s not going to let a few boos— or an entire stadium full of haters— stop her.
How to Live Stream the Olympics:
NBCUniversal’s networks and digital platforms will be showing nearly 7,000 hours of programing over 19 days during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app will also live stream coverage of the Games for paid TV subscribers via TV Everywhere. You can download the NBC Sports app to your Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox or Roku or use the iOS, Android or Windows Phone apps.