ESPN

Bodies We Want 2011

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HOPE SOLO

Photograph By Luis Sanchis for ESPN The Magazine

"Growing up, I felt insecure about my build. Guys would say, 'Look at those muscles! You can kick my ass!' I didn't feel feminine. But that's changed in the past four years. I saw the connection between my body and my accomplishments. I couldn't have been a great goalkeeper without power, agility and quickness. I was so self-conscious about my broad shoulders in college that I'd avoid weight lifting, but now I'm most proud of that part of my body. After shoulder surgery threatened to end my career last year, I learned to strengthen my wrists and hands to stop 50 mph shots instead of relying on my shoulders. Confidence goes a long way -- although I still don't buy the idea that I'm a sex symbol. Sure, I've had marriage proposals, invitations to military balls and prom offers. But my entire purpose is trying to be the best, and if that exudes beauty too, that's pretty powerful. It means the image of the typical female body type is finally evolving."