Heather O'Reilly is one of our favorite people in the whole world. She's a positive energy force taking on the world one soccer field at a time. We made a list of our 5 favorite things about HAO. If we hadn't been stopped, we would still be listing reasons we love her.
1- Her game face. HAO is unapologetically intense. She is not joking around when it comes to competing. We think that this kind of absolute confidence and intensity is something that all women should strive to emulate. Too often, girls shy away from being absolute psychopaths on the field because they don't want to be too aggressive. This is something that we want to change. So channel your inner HAO, grit your teeth, scream, then run faster.
2- Her fitness levels. HAO can run for days. She's an absolute phenom when it comes to the beep test. She would NEVER not track back on defense. She'll wear down her defender in the first 10 minutes of a game simply by going endline to endline at the speed of light. It's almost unfair, but instead of being jealous we've just decided to be amazed.
3- Her public support of the game. HAO is a true advocate for women's soccer. She has been super supportive of her fellow female soccer players and has publicly expressed her opinion on matters effecting us. Her fearless attitude towards making the soccer community better is something that has inspired us all.
4- Her friendly nature. HAO is one of the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. She goes out of her way to make other people feel at ease and comfortable. She's so caring and invested in everything that she does. She started calling me "Samuel" and it literally made me feel like we were best friends. Basically, we are best friends. (I wish.)
5- Her loyalty. HAO is an American, through and through. She loves her country and she loves to represent the crest. She leaves her heart and soul on the field every single time that she plays and it's because she is loyal to her team and her teammates, whether for club or country. She's recently signed with Arsenal in England, and we trust that we will represent America well by running circles around everyone overseas.
We thought that today, National Girls and Women in Sports day, was the perfect opportunity to honor someone like HAO because she represents so much of what today means. Today is a celebration of all the sports achievements of girls and women. HAO is not only a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a World Cup Champion, she is also a true representative of an honorable sportswoman and an idyllic role model for girls and women of all ages.