This summer, goalkeeper Hope Solo, hurdler Lolo Jones and volleyball player Kerri Walsh will all be gunning for gold medals at the 2012 London Games.
In the July/August issue of Fitness, on stands now, Hope dishes about battling depression and how she channels her anger, Lolo opens up about losing gold at the Beijing Games and learning to walk again after spinal surgery and Kerri chats about finding balance as an athlete and a mom and having partner Misty May Treanor’s back.
Hope on dealing with loss, battling depression and finding inner strength: “One of the toughest years in my life was 2007:
First I lost my best friend and then my father and then I got kicked off the team in the World Cup. I hit an all-time low. I didn’t leave the house. I was in a complete depression. It took putting one foot in front of the other every single day to get through it to the point where I made it back on the team and won a gold medal in 2008. You’re always going to survive the pain of loss. I can live with that confidence inside of me.”
Channeling anger after a missed save:
“I have to channel my anger. I pick up a piece of grass, hold it for a second, throw it up in the air and let it come down. I let everything go with that blade of grass.”
Hope on going for the gold:
“I’ve learned that winning isn’t everything, and it’s more about the journey. But at the end of the day, I just want to stand on the podium with the gold medal.”
Lolo, on losing the gold medal at the Beijing Games: “Man, I was so close to that gold, I tasted it. Everywhere I’ve gone the last four years, people say, ‘Oh, you’re that girl who messed up.’ I no longer want that reputation.”
Lolo on looking to London:
“My focus is not even about this gold medal. It’s about me having the best possible race. I want to hold my head high and say I put it all on the line.”
Lolo on overcoming obstacles after spinal cord surgery:
“I put so much energy into coming back from spinal cord surgery last summer—learning to walk again—so when I injured my hamstring six months later, my motivation was wiped. Then I started reading a bunch of books, writing down affirmations and goals, and visualizing myself running healthy and superfast. I carry The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale to every race.”
Kerri on crushing the competition:
“I own it now. I’m going to crush you even if you’re my best friend. Also, I’ve learned not to compare myself to other people. I want to be the best that I can be, not necessarily better than you. That’s pretty liberating.”
Kerri on finding balance as an athlete and a mom:
“Now I can go home whether it was a good day or a bad day [at practice] and have it end great because I’m with my kids. It’s like, chill out, you worked really hard today, you have tomorrow, enjoy.”
Kerri on having partner Misty May-Treanor’s back:
“Misty makes me want to be better so I can make her life on the court as easy as possible. If I’m having a bad day, I’m going to keep working to improve. If she’s hurting, I want to step up for her.”
To find out more about Hope, Lolo and Kerri, pick up the July/August issue of FITNESS, on newsstands now.