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Goalkeeper Hope Solo helped the U.S. Women's Soccer Team win gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She also appeared on Dancing with the Stars in 2011.
Hope Solo - Mini Biography (2:40)
Mia Hamm - Mini Biography (2:32)
Hope Solo became one of the top soccer goalies during her college years. She helped Team USA win Olympic gold medals in both 2008 and 2012. In 2011, she appeared on "Dancing with the Stars."
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo plays forward for Real Madrid. He's considered one of the greatest and highest paid soccer players of all time.
A phenom from the moment he first kicked a soccer ball, David Beckham began playing for Manchester United at age 18. In addition to his status as a soccer star, he and his wife Victoria Beckham are a worldwide power couple.
Mia Hamm is largely considered the best female soccer player in history. She played with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team for 17 years, building one of the biggest fan bases of any American athlete.
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Born in 1981, Hope Solo started out her soccer career as a forward on her high school team. She became one of the top goalies in her sport during her college years at the University of Washington. An alternate for the 2004 Olympics, Solo helped the U.S. women's soccer team bring home the gold medal four years later, at the Beijing Olympics. She won the Golden Glove Award at the 2011 World Cup, and competed on Dancing with the Stars that same year. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London,
Solo won her second consecutive gold medal with the U.S. women's team, in a 2-1 victory against Japan. Nearly 80,300—the largest soccer crowd in Olympics history—watched the match.
Now known as a gold medal-winning goalie, Hope Solo started out as a forward on the Richland High School soccer team. She scored 109 goals in this position, and was twice named an All-American by Parade magazine. At the University of Washington, Solo moved into the goalkeeper spot for the Washington Huskies.
During her college years, Solo dominated the Pacific-10 conference. She earned NSCAA All-American honors in her last three years, and took home a Hermann Award as a senior. Solo remains her university's all-leader in shutouts and saves.
Solo was selected as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic Team in 2004, but she never made it on to the field in Athens. Despite this disappointment, she continued to excel in her sport. Solo became the top goalkeeper the following year, playing 1,054 minutes without permitting an opposing goal.
As a leading member of the U.S. National Team, Solo was irate when her coach decided to bench her during her team's semifinals match against Brazil during the 2007 World Cup. Her team lost the game, and Solo publicly aired her frustration. "It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that. There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves," she told NBC Sports. After this outburst, Solo was let go from the team for the rest of the competition.
Solo was back in fighting form the next year. In 2008, she helped the U.S. Women's Soccer Team win the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. There, she refused to let her shoulder surgery keep her out of the game for long. In 2011, she helped the U.S. team make it to second place at the World Cup. She won the event's Golden Glove Award for her efforts.
Just before the 2012 Olympics, Solo ran into trouble. She tested positive for a banned substance—a diuretic—and explained that she had taken the medication as part of a pre-menstrual treatment prescribed by her doctor, adding that she didn't know it contained the banned drug. After working with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Solo was given a warning for what she called "an honest mistake," and was cleared to compete at the Olympics. "As someone who believes in clean sport, I am glad to have worked with the USADA to resolve this matter, and I look forward to representing my country," she told NBC Sports.
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