Hope Solo Calls Sweden 'Cowards' After Losing at the Olympics
Hope Solo hasn’t been having a great Olympics.
The soccer star was vocal about her concerns over traveling to Rio due to the Zika virus. In May, she announced that she was “begrudgingly” going to play, and crowds chanted “Zika! Zika!” at the 35-year-old during the U.S. team’s soccer matches over the past week.
Then, Thursday, the team lost to Sweden, and Solo responded by calling them cowards.
“I thought that we played a courageous game,” Solo said after the loss, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Grant Wahl. (He asked her, “Your thoughts on the game?”) “But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today.”
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“Sweden dropped off,” Solo elaborated. “They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer.”
“I don’t think they’re going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly. But they won, and we’re going home,” she concluded.
Wahl asked Sweden manager Pia Sundhage about Solo’s criticism, specifically asking if she was “comfortable” with the team’s approach. “Yes,” Sundhage replied. “We won.”
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Solo offered another statement to Wahl shortly after making her initial comments:
“I’ve won and lost a lot of games in my career. And not all wins have been pretty. Sometimes it’s just finding a way to win that matters the most and tonight Sweden found a way to beat us. Nevertheless, I am so proud of the way we played tonight, our fight, our heart and the skill we showed. Things don’t always go the way you want them to. Such is life, and such is sport.” She later added, “Losing sucks. I’m bad at it.”