Kelley O’Hara is finished answering questions. Nicely, no, probably not. However one of many extra considerate voices on the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group does have some questions she desires to ask.
An interview topic numerous instances over as a Hermann Trophy winner at Stanford after which a longtime member of the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group, together with key roles in a pair of World Cup championships, O’Hara might be on the opposite facet of the dialog as host of the “Simply Ladies’s Sports activities Podcast.” The brand new podcast launches Tuesday, with O’Hara talking with U.S. teammate Alex Morgan within the ahead’s first interview since giving start to daughter Charlie. Future visitors embrace Chloe Kim, Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart.
At present taking part in with Utah Royals FC within the NWSL Problem Cup, O’Hara recorded the preliminary episodes from contained in the event bubble.
O’Hara and Simply Ladies’s Sports activities founder and podcast producer Haley Rosen, additionally a Stanford ladies’s soccer alum and former skilled participant within the NWSL and Europe, spoke with ESPN in regards to the new enterprise and attempting to elevate the media presence of girls’s sports activities.
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A part of the pitch for the brand new podcast signifies you are hoping to dig into matters that always go ignored, so what are a few of these matters and in your thoughts why do they get ignored?
Kelley O’Hara: What intrigued me and pulled me in to host that is I really feel like quite a lot of instances athletes are telling their tales via a journalist or a reporter and it is not a lot via their phrases. And there’s something very particular and totally different and distinctive about sitting down athlete to athlete and having a dialog. I suppose perhaps not a lot ignored, but it surely’s only a totally different perspective as a result of because the interviewer, because the host, the one asking the questions, I’ve shared experiences. It won’t be in the identical sport, however as a feminine athlete, there’s quite a lot of similarities — and simply an athlete generally. For me, that is what I discovered most intriguing. I really like listening to peoples’ tales, their journeys, how they turned profitable. As a result of I do know in my very own story and journey, it is very nuanced and sophisticated and there is quite a lot of stuff folks do not see. So form of with the ability to open up an area the place folks can inform their tales.
Are you a reasonably common podcast listener?
O’Hara: I do take heed to podcasts. My first foray into the podcast area was “Serial.” I really feel like I take heed to them principally after I’m touring, on planes and stuff. However I do actually take pleasure in them.
What is the sports activities/non-sports cut up by way of what you take heed to?
O’Hara: I do not know if I take heed to that many sports activities podcasts, to be sincere. I like listening to enterprise, as an illustration “How I Constructed This.” I really like that as a result of it is form of the identical vibe we’re going for by way of [how] it explains this journey of success. It offers you the perception into the wins but additionally the losses and the obstacles and the laborious instances, which I discover so fascinating. I like listening to peoples’ tales, and people are the podcasts I gravitate towards.
We regularly check with the thought of gamers having a platform, and this podcast additionally looks as if a manifestation of that. How do you make sense of what “a platform” means to you and what you need to do with it?
O’Hara: For me, it is attention-grabbing. Once I first received in as an expert, folks can be like, ‘You encourage folks, you do all this stuff.’ And for me, I am like, ‘No, I am simply taking part in soccer, I am simply doing what I really like.’ However it turns into actually that you just do have an effect higher than your self and also you do have a duty to only make the world a greater place. And for me, there’s so many issues that you may use your platform for, and I feel you may have to have the ability to discover your bullseye, as somebody as soon as instructed me.
And with this, this is sort of a very particular factor that I really feel very strongly about. I am a feminine athlete, and I do not suppose that the protection is pretty much as good correctly. So I am getting concerned. I am very a lot about, ‘Do not simply say it.’ You need to exit and do it. I feel for a very long time I anticipated different folks to do what I wished to see. And I noticed all through my profession that if you wish to see one thing occur, it’s important to make it occur.
So is there a steadiness you need to discover within the podcast between advocacy and leisure?
O’Hara: I feel that it simply comes hand in hand. That is one of many causes that I wished to do it is because it’s a platform. It is the flexibility for me to convey on visitors and followers and the world to listen to their tales, their beliefs, their opinions via their very own phrases. That form of simply goes hand in hand — the issues which might be vital to the visitors that come on will come out via the conversations. And I feel that is an effective way to have the ability to give a platform to people who perhaps would not have the ability to converse on it as freely or as brazenly as they might need to.
Earlier than the World Cup last final 12 months, I keep in mind being struck by how comfy you appeared throughout one of many final instances gamers spoke to the media. Was there ever a time in your profession whenever you fearful about saying the improper factor or guarding your opinions?
O’Hara: I feel that I nonetheless do. I feel everybody, whenever you speak to the media, is somewhat guarded. As a result of you realize that, until it is like a podcast, the place it is your phrases and also you’re saying it, it is up for interpretation by the media. They’ll write it in the way in which which may match their agenda. However on the identical time, I really feel like I’ve all the time simply tried to be very true to who I’m. I am not attempting to be anyone however myself. So I feel that is allowed me to be as comfy as one most likely might be once they’re speaking to the media. However that is to not say there aren’t instances the place I am like, ‘Oh, that is uncomfortable.’
What made Kelley the individual to suit your imaginative and prescient for this?
Haley Rosen: Kelley is an athlete that really will get a ton of protection, like I feel the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group is mainstream now. I felt like that was actually vital, and we wished somebody that was keen to make use of their platform to essentially lend a voice to athletes or sports activities that perhaps do not get as a lot protection. I give Kelley all of the credit score on this planet for that. … Kelley is extremely sensible, she’s inquisitive, she’s considerate. She’s by no means performed this earlier than, however she’s a complete pure. She’s simply actually sensible, so these interviews are attention-grabbing, however they’re additionally enjoyable and actual. The very last thing is, we would have liked somebody who was keen to do it. It is attention-grabbing to listen to Kelley reply the query about feeling snug or uncomfortable as a result of I do know throughout this course of, I’ve pushed her out of her consolation zone. I simply give her all of the credit score on this planet as a result of it is scary to place your self on the market.
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