LOS ANGELES — Hope Solo’s dance card seems permanently filled.
The U.S. Women’s National Team soccer goalkeeper is cramming in publicity for her ESPN The Magazine The Body Issue photo shoot — she is one of four cover subjects — between regular rehearsals for her gig on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.
Wednesday, she spoke to Front Row about her Magazine shoot after making an appearance on Access Hollywood Live.
The 2011 Women’s World Cup star reveals her favorite Body Issue portraits — hers and those of her colleagues — the challenge of disrobing in front of strangers and the athlete she would ask to pose in the 2012 Body Issue if she were in charge of recruiting.
Solo: I don’t know how I was approached– probably through my agent like most things come through. I’ve always been a huge fan of the magazine; it’s one of my favorites. Of course with the Body Issue I was a huge fan of [U.S. Men’s National Team soccer goalie] Tim Howard doing it. I thought his shot was unbelievable and incredibly beautiful. Not just Timmy, but there were many athletes I admired for taking that risk and putting themselves out there. I didn’t even have to think about it, it was something I wanted to do.
FR: Which shots of you are your favorites and why? Have you seen anyone else’s from this issue?
Solo: My absolute favorite shot, and we were there for hours, we ended up with about six shots and the one that ended up on the cover was my favorite. I saw Blake [Griffin]’s, Apolo [Ohno]’s and Gretchen [Bleiler]’s and every photo was absolutely stunningly superb and very individual to their sport and what they do. Again, I think ESPN allowed the athlete to stay true to who they are as individuals. My favorite shot personally is Blake Griffin’s when he is jumping in the air. But I’ve also got to give my love to Apolo Ohno being from Seattle, of course.
FR: How much of a challenge was posing nude for you?
Solo: It was very tough at the beginning. I remember having my robe on with nothing underneath and it was kind of like the pre-game jitters that you get before a game. I was incredibly nervous and was trying to manage all the nerves. I remember I was ready; I just wanted to get it done and do it and drop the robe and get to work. They had to finish something on the set – the lighting, they had to spray down the road and I didn’t want to wait any longer. It was like ‘get me out of this cage already!’ So I literally walked behind the tent and I dropped the robe just to get that feeling of being naked in the middle of nowhere and I screamed really loud and then I walked in front and was ready.
FR: Where were your pictures taken? When you were tweeting about posing, where were you standing?
Solo: My pictures were taken on a Hollywood set. It looked like it was just a neighborhood full of homes, full of driveways, very domestic setting. It was strange to be naked on such a huge set. It wasn’t a closed set or just one room, it was an entire neighborhood so that was a little strange for me. There was one point a car had driven up to try to get on set, he was lost. I did see some random people walking by from time-to-time.
I tweeted in the make-up chair and after the tweet went through ESPN said uh oh maybe we shouldn’t have done that.
FR: In terms of bumps and bruises, how does the dancing compare with the soccer?
Solo: I have not one bruise, not one bump from dancing. But it’s a whole different world. I am sore in places I never thought I’d be sore — like my hip flexors. It’s a lots more extension so I’m getting a lot more range of motion in my shoulder, which I had surgery on 12 months ago. I feel like it’s helping my overall, not necessarily strength, but knowing my body more and I think as an athlete you need to know that.
FR: Let’s say you’re given the job as editor of ESPN The Magazine’s 2012 Body Issue. Pick some sports figures you would recruit to appear in the issue and tell us why you’d want to photograph them.
Solo: I want to see my own teammates in it. I want to see Abby Wambach – that’s who I really want to see in it! I would love to see Manny Pacquiao in it. He is my idol. He is probably pound-for-pound the best athlete.
FR: After Dancing With The Stars ends, what’s next for you on the schedule? Back to training for the Olympic team?
Solo: Olympics, baby. It’s all about the Olympics this coming year.