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Former U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo opened up about her DWI arrest in North Carolina and the discipline that followed in a recent podcast episode.
Solo pleaded guilty last month to DWI after she was found passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in a shopping center parking lot in March with her 2-year-old twins in the car. She was also charged with misdemeanor child abuse and resisting a public officer at the time. According to the Winston Salem-Journal, her attorney Chris Clifton said the latter charges were voluntarily dismissed.
She entered an alcohol treatment program, received a 24-month suspended sentence, was fined $2,500 and was forced to pay the cost of the lab tests, which amounted to $600.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist said on the “Hope Solo Speaks” podcast she was trying to move on from the arrest and explained she believed drinking may have been connected to postpartum depression and the lack of support in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I didn’t think I needed help,” she said. “And I certainly wasn’t going to ask for it. At the time, I didn’t know that I was only doing a disservice to my family. I thought that I could white-knuckle it. But the reality is that nobody gets to live without asking for help. My sense of strength and pride became my two worst enemies. And I found myself living the worst night of my life. I let alcohol get the better of me in this moment on this godawful day, and I will suffer the consequences for some time.”
Solo also felt the criticism toward her role as a mother as her kids were in the car at the time of the arrest.
“I put doubt in others of my ability and commitment to motherhood. I’ve disappointed my husband, my friends and family and it has caused arguments between Jerramy and me. I feel never-ending guilt, shame and embarrassment. I was mother-shamed around the world,” she said.
In a statement released after the judge handed down her discipline, Solo said she took pride in being a mother and how she and her husband handled their kids during the pandemic, “it was incredibly hard and I made a huge mistake.”
“Easily the worst mistake of my life. I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become,” she said. “The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful.”
Solo played on the U.S. national team from 2000 to 2016, sharing in a World Cup victory in 2015 and winning Olympic gold in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. She was a member of the team when the squad won silver and bronze in the 2011 and 2007 World Cups, respectively.
She left the national team following its 2016 exit from the Rio Olympics. She was suspended by U.S. Soccer for six months following the fallout from a match with Sweden.
Solo was the 2009 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
Solo married former NFL player Jerramy Stevens in 2012 and they have two children together.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.