Hope Solo Calls Out Rio Olympics Security Problems

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As you already know, United States Women’s National Team Goalkeeper Hope Solo does not hold back. When she speaks her mind, it makes headlines. Just as it should because an overwhelming majority of athletes are “corporate” 99% of the time, and don’t say anything that ever strays from the party/company line.

Solo is the opposite. She often lets loose, and because of that she isn’t often available for match related (and both the club and country level) media opportunities. When she does talk to the press, it’s a special treat, and today was definitely one of those special occasions.

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(Update: following Saturday’s game, Hope Solo speaks out about the USWNT’s ramped up #EqualPlayEqualPay Campaign)

Ahead of the USWNT friendly versus South Africa, the first ever meeting between the two countries and Team USA’s penultimate Olympic warm-up, Solo discussed all the major serious issues surrounding the Rio Summer Olympics next month. In the media mixed zone at Chicago’s Soldier Field (site of tomorrow’s friendly) Solo opined on a myriad of sociopolitical and public health concerns.

Scroll to the bottom for full audio, but here on are some of the highlights transcribed below.

Hope Solo on basic security of the athletes at the games (around the 3:oo mark)

“Jill (Ellis, USWNT Coach), especially, and our GM Tim Ryder, are really looking into the security aspect in Brazil. Some of the players are worried a little bit about that, especially not being in the village. We want to be given the proper security if we’re not in the village, the village is going to be very secure, but obviously we’re going to be playing in the outside areas, and they don’t have enough workers in Brazil right now.”

“So there’s all these things that we’re dealing with right now, but for the most part, the players are focused, and letting Tim and Jill kind of deal with those aspects.”

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“I don’t think that anyone is 100% feeling great about everything, I know that I’m not.”

On the threat of the Zika virus, sewage, public health issues in Rio (4:10):

“The lack of security is kind of…(pauses, sighs) I sat there in the meeting, and I’m like, look, I’m going to deal with the hotels that aren’t 5-stars. I’m going to deal with being in Brazil and perhaps dirty water, and dealing with zika and I made the decision to deal with that, but I didn’t make the decision to deal with the lack of security, and for me that’s kind of like, enough is enough.

“We have to be secure as athletes.”

On Rio/Brazil’s local and national political strife (4:40)

“We’re already putting ourselves in position to deal with the Zika, to deal with a number of current issues going on in Brazil whether it’s the President being impeached or the police offers not getting paid. There’s so many things that we already have to deal with, at least can we make sure that athletes are secure.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication.

He also consistently appears on numerous talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

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