Kelley O’Hara, 32, is heading into her third Olympic Games as a seasoned star of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she played every minute of every game, and USA took home the gold. After an upset at the 2016 Games, the U.S. Women’s team are looking to reclaim their title.
O’Hara has long been a vocal proponent of gender equity in soccer and in women’s sports.
“We’re trying to push the sport forward, not just in this country but in the world,” she told ESPN. “It’s not a fun fight. It’s not an easy fight. But the generations before us have done it, and we feel a responsibility to continue to push.”
Right after the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won their second consecutive World Cup in 2019, O’Hara delighted fans and made headlines when she ran to the sidelines and kissed her girlfriend, a move that was unexpected because she hadn’t yet publicly come out.
During the pandemic, the Georgia native has turned to podcasting, hosting candid conversations with world-class athletes on the Just Women’s Sports podcast (IG: @justwomenssports).
“I’m a female athlete, and I don’t think that the coverage is as good as it should be. So I’m getting involved,” she told ESPN. “I think for a long time I expected other people to do what I wanted to see. And I realized throughout my career that if you want to see something happen, you have to make it happen.”