The soccer star says she "felt insecure" about her athletic form growing up – but no longer

By Rennie Dyball
Updated October 05, 2011 06:20 PM
Credit: Courtesy ESPN The Magazine

She’s an international soccer star, an Olympic gold medalist and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s dream partner on Dancing with the Stars.

Just don’t call her sexy.

“I still don’t buy the idea that I’m a sex symbol,” Solo, 30, tells the annual ESPN Body Issue, in which she and a slew of other top athletes pose nude.

“Sure, I’ve had marriage proposals, invitations to military balls and prom offers,” she says. “But my entire purpose is trying to be the best, and if that exudes beauty too it means the image of the typical female body type is finally evolving.”

The same can be said for the soccer star’s self image.

“Growing up, I felt insecure about my build,” adds the 5’9″, 150-lb. athlete. “Guys would say, ‘Look at those muscles! You can kick my ass!’ I didn’t feel feminine. But that’s changed in the last four years.”

The Body Issue also features a slew of other athletes, including speed skater and former Dancing star Apolo Ohno, Olympic gymnast Alicia Sacramone and snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler.