By Molly Lauryssens
It was a sweet day last summer for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) when, after a month of going head to head against over twenty of the world’s best teams, our girls finished with a victory over Japan to take the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Kelley O’Hara, the Olympic gold-medal athlete from Georgia, scored a goal against Germany, placing the United States in that final championship match.
Kelley is still basking in the glory of the FIFA win, as she and her teammates have since scored an ESPY Award, Sports Illustrated covers, and lucrative commercial endorsement contracts. You’ve probably seen Kelley in those chocolate-milk TV spots or maybe on the larger-than-life Under Armour posters she graces in sporting-goods stores. Above all, Kelley is a champion athlete…and underneath? She’s a gal who keeps herself centered despite her sport-celebrity status.
Kelley O’Hara On Staying Grounded
Kelley says she surrounds herself with amazing people and cherishes any down time at home with family, which leaves her feeling energized. “I also enjoy doing other activities, like surfing or playing other sports,” she says, “or drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. That can be very peaceful.”
Video: Kelley O’Hara’s Story
Kelley O’Hara On Teamwork
Kelley feels fortunate to work with such empowering women. “It is one of the best parts of the job. I feel lucky to get to go to work with people who are as passionate about their craft as I am. My teammates inspire me every day. They keep me motivated, they push me, and they also make me laugh and enjoy the journey.”
Kelley O’Hara On Lofty Dreams
She offers up this advice when it comes to tackling a big game or goal: “I always tell myself to remember what got me there. When I do that, it helps me to realize that I have everything it takes to accomplish whatever I am about to take on, because I have put in the practice. I have overcome obstacles, and I am ready for whatever is thrown my way.”
Kelley O’Hara On Refueling
With soccer being such a rigorous sport, Kelley needs to fuel her athletic body just right. She takes this matter pretty seriously and has it down to a routine. “Breakfast is a smoothie—banana, peanut butter, milk, cinnamon, chia seeds—every day. In training camp, I eat that along with two eggs over-medium with breakfast potatoes. Post-workout, I drink chocolate milk. For lunch, it’s typically a big salad with some form of protein. For dinner, it’s whatever I’m in the mood for. I love to cook.”
♥ Kelley O’Hara’s Banana Cinnamon PB Smoothie ♥
1 frozen banana, peeled
1/2 cup almond water (or milk)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons peanut butter
Throw it all in a Magic Bullet (or any blender), and you’ve got yourself deliciousness for breakfast. I top it with chia seeds after blending to kick up the nutritional value of the meal. Also, bonus points—it keeps me full longer. This smoothie is also the best because you can add in a lot of different stuff and it still tastes pretty on point because peanut butter trumps all, such as spirulina if you’re feeling frisky, or any types of seeds—flax, hemp, and sometimes I throw in oats if I don’t have chia seeds handy.
Grab a straw and sip up your smoothie to energize yourself for some full-on soccer-girl gaming….
Video Game On!
FIFA 16, the newest installment in a series of popular soccer-themed videogames by Electronic Arts (EA), features female players…finally. Entertainment journalist Megan Logan recently wrote in a Wired.com article, “I bought my first FIFA game years ago largely because the USWNT was taking the summer Olympics by storm and, as a video-game lover and soccer fan, I wanted to play along. I was excited to see who would be in the game and how they’d be represented. Would there be a killer-header Abby Wambach? Crazy fast Alex Morgan? Versatile workhorse Kelley O’Hara?
“When I popped the disc in, I was greeted by [male players] Messi and Ronaldo and Dempsey and Donovan, but no Wambach. No Morgan. No O’Hara. I searched every menu and option in the game for the USWNT, hoping I’d just missed something, but ultimately came up empty. It hadn’t even occurred to me that female players wouldn’t be in the game at all. Naïve, perhaps, but I’d assumed that winning four Olympic medals and two Women’s World Cup titles would earn the USWNT a seat at the EA Sports table a bit sooner.”
Well, we say it’s never too late to set things straight….
The total prize money offered by FIFA for the women’s 2015 tournament was $15 million, which represents 2.6 percent of the total prize money for the 2014 Men’s World Cup ($576 million). The winning team, United States, received $2 million, representing 5.7 percent of the amount received by Germany for winning the 2014 Men’s World Cup ($35 million). —Wikipedia.org