The USWNT star opened up to PEOPLE about life and training while isolating with her girlfriend, Sue Bird

By Claudia Harmata
May 22, 2020 11:23 AM
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Megan Rapinoe
| Credit: Press Association via AP Images

Like many athletes, Megan Rapinoe is looking forward to getting back to the field when the country can safely reopen from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the U.S. soccer star tells PEOPLE that she isn't expecting a return to "normalcy," and opened up about life and training while isolating with girlfriend Sue Bird.

"I'm pretty lucky, to be honest," Rapinoe, 34, says of her time at home. "We have a place to shelter in and I was able to kind of adapt quickly and we are just trying to do our part."

"Basically the only thing we can do right now is just stay home and continue to follow all the guidelines and be safe," Rapinoe adds. "I'm not thinking every day, 'When am I going to go back to my other life, my normal life?' This is the new normal, so how do you adapt and make the best of what's going on and just try to do our part in society and keep things interesting and still continue to try to do good in the world?"

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
| Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty

Part of that new normal has been adjusting her training regimen to her new environment.

Prior to the pandemic, Rapinoe was gearing up to return to the international stage with her teammates on the U.S. women's national soccer team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In late March, after much back and forth, the International Olympic Committee officially announced that the Summer Olympics would be postponed until the following year.

"I'm really hoping and trying to stay ready for the possibility that they're coming back next summer," Rapinoe tells PEOPLE. "Training has changed quite a bit."

"I think the first thing is just not beating myself up over things that I can't control," she says. "I don't have a full-sized soccer field in my backyard. There's certain things that I can't do, but knowing that, I'm basically staying ready to get to the point that if I need to ramp up I'll be ready."

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Rapinoe says that includes focusing on overall "health and wellness." The soccer star recently partnered with BODYARMOR for a new campaign promoting their sports drinks.

"I'm very conscious of what I put in my body. I'm going to make sure that everything I'm putting in is going into what I'm trying to bring out on the field, which is to be the best player that I can be, and I'm constantly trying to grow," she says. "It's all natural, there's no added crap in there. There's natural sugars and all that — great for hydrating."

Megan Rapinoe

And while she's making sure to "stay sharp" during this indefinite downtime, Rapinoe adds that it has also been a welcome period of relaxation.

"Honestly, this is the first time in a long time, probably since college, that we've had this much time either at home or not traveling," she says of herself and Bird, a star basketball player who is also set to compete for Team USA in the Olympics.

"I mean, certainly Sue and I, getting to spend this much time together, we're just trying to enjoy that for what it is and kind of not focus on how frustrating things can be, but kind of trying to take the silver lining," Rapinoe adds.

When the USWNT finally returns to the Olympic stage, they'll be defending their gold title from the previous 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rapinoe also led the team to victory last summer during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, claiming the top spot in a close game against the Netherlands.

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