Soccer Star Carli Lloyd on Being Estranged from Her Family for 12 Years: 'They Suffered, I Suffered'

The two-time Olympic gold medalist opens up about the 12 years in which she didn't speak to her family on Wednesday's episode of Special Forces: World's Toughest Test

As one of the remaining celebrities on Special Forces: World's Toughest Test, Carli Lloyd is revisiting a "hard" time from her past.

In an exclusive clip from Wednesday's episode, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and retired soccer star, 40, reveals that the experience of being estranged from her family was the impetus behind her joining the show's ranks.

"It was like being taught to become numb, emotionless, which then led into my life off the field and pushed my family out," she opens up to the Directing Staff. "We didn't speak for about 12 years."

She continues, "They suffered, I suffered. I missed out on weddings, birthdays, holidays — literally everything."

And even in 2016, when Lloyd married her husband professional golfer Brian Hollins, she still didn't have contact with her family.

"They've missed out on my wedding," she says. "I didn't feel anything. The plan was for me to become the best in the world and accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish in the soccer world but it's freakin' hard though."

Special Forces | Carli Lloyd Opens Her Heart About Her Family Relationship to the Directing Staff

Lloyd first discussed the family dynamic in her 2016 book When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World. She revealed that she had not been in contact with her family since her father threw her out of the house in 2008, and she was not invited to her sister's wedding.

And while COVID impacted the Tokyo Olympics, and eventually postponed it for a year, the athlete benefited from the pandemic pause and used the time to mend fences with her family.

"Would they have been a part of it? Would I have rekindled the relationship with them? I don't know," Lloyd told Today in 2021. "I'm just happy now that we are in the place that we are, and everybody feels good about it."

SAINT PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 26: United States forward Carli Lloyd (10) acknowledges the fans as she takes a lap after her final game, a friendly soccer match between Korea Republic and the United States on Oct 26, 2021 at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, MN.

Lloyd has since cut ties with the man at the center of the conflict, James Galanis, who was her personal coach of 17 years.

After releasing her book, Lloyd rekindled her bond with her sister. The Olympian told Today that her sister "kind of helped break the ice a little bit" as the soccer star worked to repair her relationship with the rest of her family. Lloyd's parents and brother visited her for the first time in 2020 and they have spent several holidays together since.

"I think I just got to a point where you go for so long with not talking, and you kind of are like a, 'Why are we doing this?' type of thing," she said. "I think it was many different factors that contributed to that."

Lloyd added, "I think when we get older our thoughts change. My parents aren't getting any younger, and life's too short. I feel whole again."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Elsewhere on the episode of the boot camp-style reality series, the star's resilience will be once again tested, when Lloyd and the remaining recruits are set to endure what producers call a "next-level chemical warfare challenge."

Special Forces: World's Toughest Test airs on Fox on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST.

Related Articles