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Welcome to the Just One sports podcast, where we usually talk to the biggest athletes in the world about the untold stories behind the success. I'm Kelly O'Hara. And today we're mixing things up for a special bonus episode to end season two. First, I'm going to chat with just woman sports founder and CEO Hayley Rosen about our respective 20s, as well as what's on the radar for myself and Justman sports going into twenty, twenty one.
Then we're going to bring on some special guests to talk about their own 20/20 experiences and what they're looking forward to in twenty twenty one. Hayley, welcome back to this side of the microphone. Kelly, thank you for having me. So 20, 20 interesting year to start a business, but you did it and especially in sports media, where of all the years know all the years to start something in media. Sports was probably the hardest thing to start then because.
They weren't really happening, but then they did kind of come back, so give us a little rundown on your personal 20, 20 years as the founder of Justman Sports.
Will definitely was an interesting year for sports. And it's it's funny like looking back on some of the stuff that was said when the pandemic was first going down, because I remember telling people, you know, like. People, not media sometimes, but what a great time to be in media, right, like like we have nothing physical. We're just covering so we can do it virtually. And then sports one a way. So kind of ate my words on that one.
But I think we learned a lot this year. I think everyone has. And I think something that I think was really interesting in almost sports being quiet, I think women's sports had a chance to really shine. And, you know, people had a chance to watch more women's soccer, women's basketball. And I think that was really cool. I also think it's funny that we're doing this season two bonus right now, because this is almost our one year anniversary of working together.
Well, when did we we had our first sit down in February of last year. And yeah. So it's almost been a year. Yeah.
And we had like our first test run. Do you remember that? And remember the stuff we were talking about too.
And none of that happened because of the pandemic.
I remember interviewing you for the test run and getting your life story, which I feel like we should share that one day. It's a good it's a good story.
It was a it was a good interview.
I remember after being like, all right, she's got better health.
Looks like this down. Yeah, I don't remember. I mean, obviously, I personally remember January, February, even into March being like. Having a very specific goal and outlook on what 20, 20 was going to look like, but that came to a screeching halt, so but it didn't really come to a screeching halt.
It was like, do you remember? It was like kind of happening. Not happening. Kind of happening. OK, that's not happening. I just remember, like, you know, initially we were supposed to do this in person and you were going to fly out to L.A. and we had our first interview lined up.
And we just like interviews lined up for the week after the week that everything shut down. Yeah. And just one by one, we kept rescheduling, rescheduling, rescheduling, and then we just had to accept it. But I think that doing this remotely has there's been, you know, 20, 20, like we've talked about this.
It's been a shit year. You know, there's like no denying that. But I think there's been good that we've that have come out of it. You know, I think you did a lot of the season one interviews from the Utah bubble. Like we wouldn't have been able to do that if we didn't, you know, credit to Robin and the team who figured out how to do remote recordings. And we learned a lot. You know, we did.
We learned a lot.
And that was the biggest thing, though, doing this podcast, I was like, guys, I don't know how we're going to do all this in person. Like, I have my own crazy schedule. All these athletes also have the same crazy schedule.
And I really fought you on that. I know. And I was like, just not going to work this way.
But so, I mean, hey, maybe the way that we were able to do this was because of the pandemic and we had to do it remotely and look at us or two seasons and now so. So look at us now.
So look at us now. Look about the positives. We can take it well.
So you feel like you have a year now under your belt as a founder and CEO. How does that feel? That's a big question.
Any any takeaways? We've talked about a lot of the takeaways.
I think we've just learned so much. And I think the biggest thing there's been so much I mean, we could talk about that this whole episode.
You and I have spent a lot of time talking about these things. But I think the biggest thing that I'm just excited about is when we first launched, people were like women's sports. We said this in our first bonus. A lot of the feedback was, you know, women's sports will never be mainstream, they'll never be big. There's not sponsorship dollars there, all of that stuff. And now we don't hear any of that. And now the feedback is where is this going?
How do you make it bigger? What's the next thing? And I think that's really exciting. And of all the stuff we've done in this first year, like, that's the thing I'm most proud of. I've said this to a bunch of people and maybe this is putting too much importance on myself for the company, but like I think wins for women's sports or wins for women's sports. And I think like signing a deal with Heineken, for example, that's a win for the space.
And so I'm just excited to keep shifting the paradigm for sure. I mean, like you said, people I don't know, they probably doubted you and question you, but now it's like, where is this going? How are you blowing it up? Like I said, Heineken came on for season two, big time sponsor, beer and sports. What do you I mean, you know, I love beer, so.
But how do you feel about that? I feel awesome about it. I mean, it's funny looking back, do you remember when you first signed on and you texted me like, how do you feel about beer in this podcast? And I was like, great.
But, you know, something we talk about a lot is I think sometimes people approach women sports like, oh, you should watch women's sports. It's the right thing to do, almost as if, like, women's sports is like a charity. And we always say, like women's sports is a sleeping giant just waiting for the proper investment. And so I love the idea of like, you know, there's a lot of beer sponsorships in sports. Let's do that in women's sports.
And a lot of people drink a lot of beer while watching sports. Right. But how did you feel about I mean, you're a big part of this company. You're a huge part of this podcast. I mean, how do you feel about bringing on big sponsor all the progress that we had this year?
I mean, again, I love beer, so it was awesome to have Heineken come on. And I do think that beer and sports is like a match made in heaven. I think that that's kind of the perfect pair of a sponsor with sports. And then, I mean, just in general, doing the podcast, I've I've loved it.
I've got to talk to so many incredible people, so many people, athletes I've been fans of, you know, might not know personally, but have followed or appreciated their success and how their whatever they've done. And then I got to sit down and talk with them and learn so much like it was just it was it was awesome. I really loved it. And I'm really excited to to keep it going because I feel like there's so many more athletes out there that we can talk to.
And every time I sit down and have a conversation, I leave like feeling uplifted and stoked and just being like, man, that's another awesome chat. So, yeah, I'm good. Yeah, it's funny too, because I always think, you know, everyone. So I'm like, did you have fun talking to so-and-so? You're like, yeah, it was nice meeting. No one likes to know each other like I always think of the women's sports world as so small.
Well, you obviously obviously know who all these people are, right? But in terms of crossing paths, there have been a lot that crossed paths with. But it's like in passing truly crossing paths. So to be able to sit down and hear from them and have meaningful conversations and kind of pick their brain on how they approach their sport and their lives and their journey and their careers. I feel like I get this inside look and obviously all the fans and the listeners do, too, once they become live.
But to be able to kind of get the inner workings of, like these incredible successful athletes, I feel lucky to get to do that. That's awesome.
Yeah. Oh, I want to talk about you a little bit more.
We don't need to do that just just a touch and never talk about you on the show.
That's right. Twenty 20 brought you back to Washington, D.C.. Yeah. How stoked are you?
I am so thankful. So excited. This is the first time I've made a move for personal reasons.
I mean, I guess everything's for personal reasons, right, that you choose and decisions you make. But for me, this was like this is the best place for me at this point in my career. And I'm just really excited to finally have the opportunity to play for the team in the city where I live.
Like, I don't have to pack my bags, three big bags and like, try to get everything I think I need for the next seven months and move it somewhere. It's just I'm home. I get to wake up and go to practice every day and get to play for the team that's in the city that I call home.
And to me, that's the dream as a professional athlete, like not only in my life for me personally, but also the fact that I can be in this city playing for this city and for the people who live here. And also it gives me the opportunity to be involved full time off the field consistently. And that's something that I've always I will say that Utah did a really great job of community outreach and the opportunity that they provided us while we were there.
The real Salt Lake Foundation was really awesome and I got to do work with them. But there's a different feel when you're like in and out, you don't feel like you can have that consistent, almost like working relationship and impact. And the fact that I can be in this city and do that all the time and I'm not in and out. And then also just like.
The spirit Washington spirit, I'm so excited for the moves we've been making. The players I'm going to get to play with and the potential that this team has, like I watch out world watching the spirit coming in hot.
I love that. And then Emily Sonnett gets traded as the cherry on top. Oh, yeah. She got announced I think it got announced Christmas Eve publicly.
And I was like, did you know that beforehand? Yeah, it was in the works for a bit. But I also knew before it publicly got announced with the fact that it got announced on Christmas Eve, it was pretty cool.
That's awesome. I'm happy for you. And I know this has been in the works for a while, so it took a bit. You know, patience is a virtue. I will say I tried to be as patient as I could.
There were times when I was not. But yeah, at the end of the day, I was like, if it doesn't work out, I'm going to go play in Europe. And that's something I've never done. Yeah. And but I obviously really just wanted to be in D.C. playing for the spirit. But yeah, for me, a lot of things in life, you just, you know, keep the faith they work out and persistence. Yeah.
Just got to hope for the best and make the most of whatever whatever the that ends up being, you know.
Yeah. Yeah. Or just zooming out a bit to like I feel like this has been a huge year for the NWSL. And, you know, we've talked about this to a lot of people worried about the league's future having to cancel the season and stuff. But then the Challenge Cup was a huge success. Seropositive test ended the year with television viewership up five hundred percent, plus two more expansion teams on the way. You've been in the league since the beginning.
You know, how does it feel? It feels great. I you know, it's not to say that it's perfect. It's by no means perfect. But most leagues are not men or women's. But what is this we're going to be going into? Is it the ninth season? When did it come back? Twenty thirteen. So, yeah, eight season coming into twenty twenty one.
Are you Googling this.
Nine years. Nine seasons. It's kind of crazy. I mean I remember when we were going into the third and then made it through the third. Into the fourth. And because that was kind of the threshold was three seasons. And then in the past the leagues have folded. So the fact that we're going into our ninth season as a league is pretty awesome. And but I also know that, like.
Things take time, good things take time, and I'm hopeful that. We're heading in the right direction, you know, that gives me hope, and I want this league to succeed.
I want this to be the best league in the world. I want players from all over to come here to play. And I think that's what we're chugging along towards. So number nine. No, no, hard. No, I. I think there's been so much progress and I feel like there has been, you know, from the outside looking in. I think there's been huge, you know, sort of increases in interest in the league after the World Cup.
We've seen sort of that post World Cup waves before.
Yeah, but this one feels more durable for women soccer in America. What do you think about that? I think it's kind of just a culmination of. You know, the 2011 World Cup, where we lost, but people felt like we won the reaction after, you know, the the crazy at the last minute goal and overtime, extra time and all that stuff. And then that goal has come up a lot in this podcast.
I think I'll never forget it. I remember sitting on the bench being like, oh, my God.
Thinking like, what of what am I going to do if we go home right now, like a normal thing to do and then just be like, no, like give all of your energy, all your cheering into, like, the people on the field and like you, you can't control what's happening on the field, but you can send energy that way. And that's just scored. And I freaked out. But and then 2012, we won.
Olympic's, which we had obviously as a national team, had been winning Olympics for a bit in a row and then 2013.
And I think that was really. The turning point, but I think that really all the years I've been on the national team, it just year after year after year has become. Just bigger and bigger, and we've pushed for more as national team, and I think we've done that for national team, but then also for NWSL and and I think that they kind of they run parallel to each other.
Right. So success of the national team, in my mind, means success for NWSL, but it's not a given. Like I said, you've got to have the right people, the right owners, the right, you know, people leading that sort of thing. So, yeah, I just think that people are into it. It's fun. It's exciting, like. That's really what it comes down to. It's good, it's a good product, it's an exciting product.
I totally agree with that. And I think the question I asked you is something that we get a lot. And I think it it does feel more durable, but I don't think it's just this one off. I think it's been building year after year after year. And I think it's like we're finally sort of seeing the tip of the iceberg. And I think it's across women's sports. You know, we see the end of it all was up five hundred percent.
The WNBA was up eight percent. You know, there's just huge growth across the board. And I think we're just seeing the beginning for sure.
Exciting is going to be big. Yeah. And I even myself, like, I can see it like I'm like, oh, I want to go watch Hilary Knight go play hockey. Like I want women's hockey team to come to D.C. so I can go watch out. Like I'm going to go watch the hockey team in D.C.. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And like for me, like I watch the WNBA bubble this year and the highlights and just was like following it in the success of it. It's and I'm not sure exactly what it is. I don't know if it's I personally for me think it's more visibility like for Instagram. Like I'm just I follow WNBA and Instagram now and I scroll through, see the highlights. I'm like, this is like the plays and all the the different scorelines and the storylines and that sort of thing.
So I think for me I think that's one of the biggest pieces is is the visibility piece. I totally agree with that.
And I also think the cross promotion, like that's like one of the biggest things we're trying to do is like.
Have Hillary come on. Who's our next guest? And get her in front of our audience or vice versa, just cross promote, because I think right now the space is a little bit fragmented and just trying to kind of pull it all together, I think is really important. And I think that's really cool. Like I I've obviously been a sports fan my whole life and a women's sports fan, but I also feel it too. And it's like it's contagious.
Like when you're watching the game and you send me a video of yourself watching the game in the purple hoodie, it's like you can't help but get more into it. You have stuff to talk about. So I think I think the community is building, which is exciting.
Yeah, I think that's that's definitely a big part of it for sure.
So personal perspective. Twenty, twenty. How did this year change the way you think about your career?
Was it more motivating not being able to play soccer for long stretches of time? Did it make you appreciate it more?
I definitely think this year allowed me to.
Look at myself, not as a soccer player, like who am I without soccer and I actually don't mind myself not as a soccer, which is a good thing, I think.
Yeah, it was kind of like you had a mini retallack. I had a mini retirement in the beginning of the year because you just really didn't know when I was coming back what it was going to be coming back as that sort of thing. And and I love soccer like I love playing soccer. I love the fact that I'm a professional footballer like that is I still truly love it. And I've always told myself I'm going to do it as long as I love it and as long as I still can.
And so that's not to say that I don't love it and I didn't miss it. But I also was like, oh, I can I can think about other things. I can focus on other things. And that was nice. It's nice to just have a little bit of a Kelly time. Yeah.
Like there was a couple of days when I was like, oh like my heart hurts, like I miss soccer so much in it. And obviously I'm like, I missed it. And the ability to train a team I was up, but I missed like the creative, exciting playing part of soccer. Like I didn't miss the. That's really the only thing I missed, and it was like, oh, I miss this, the game itself, I just miss play like playing a soccer game for so long you couldn't even play pickup, you know, so which was a good thing.
I was like, OK, that's good to know because you don't really know what you're going to miss when it's over. Yeah. And to know that's what I'm going to miss. And like, I can still have the potential to go out and hop into a pickup game of somebody will have me.
That's nice to know. So that's cool.
Yeah, I that's like the number one thing I miss to not that you asked, but like the feeling of like I always think of it like for me personally, when you get lined up one on one on the wing, you got one player to be. That's what I miss the most. I would pay money to have that like it doing somebody's dirty. Yeah. Yeah. Do you want to dirty like your mags in that game.
Yeah. It's good times for sure. All right.
Last thing for you. I asked you this question a year ago. Oh, gosh.
Looking ahead at the Olympics, a whole big year for you and the national team coming off of a World Cup win.
How are you feeling? How is your preparation? How's the team? I feel great. I feel better than I did last time you asked me, probably, although it felt pretty good back then. But I'm pumped. I'm excited. I'm like I'm hoping that it happens. You know, I there's a part of me that realizes it might not, but I'm hopeful. Try to stay hopeful.
That's all you can really do in life.
But I think that it might be a big year for some younger players, which could be really cool to watch.
But at the end of the day, all I care about is winning.
So I need to go get another gold. That's all I need. Well, I'm excited for you guys.
Should we bring on our first guest? Yeah, let's do it.
All right, guys, we just had Hilary Knight join us. She's subbing in not a full line change, just individual sub here. Coming in to join us, Hilary Knight, a season one guest, and Jada best athlete partner, as well as an Olympic gold medalist with Team USA ice hockey.
Hilary, welcome back. How are you? I'm great. I mean, I'm in sunny. Well, overcast, I guess. Idaho now is a lot of snow on the ground. Yeah, it's snowing right now. Oh, I'm so jealous.
It's like freezing and raining in D.C.. I'm like, can you just snow already, please? You got to watch out for the drivers, though, there when it snows now for sure. Definitely.
I mean, I don't leave the house when it's not, so I just look at it.
How are you doing? How is your new year? How is your holiday season? Oh, it's been great. Obviously, all things considered, family is healthy and team's healthy friends are healthy and happy and just enjoying our time with the people that are kind of in our bubble right now for sure.
Yeah, I feel you on that. I feel like that's all anyone can do these days. So make them make the most of it.
And Hayley and I have been talking about obviously reflecting on our twenty twenties and obviously for you, same sort of deal wasn't as we or you had planned. So what kind of adjustments did you make and how do you feel like you handled the year and coped as a person and as an athlete?
You know, I think what the global pandemic is kind of provided. Some people I guess the positive of it is perspective for sure. I used to travel like every week and a half every two weeks. And to be able to kind of be more of a homebody and be in the same space was really nice. I obviously miss competing. I miss the fans. Traveling is obviously a lot of fun, but I don't know, like gave me some some time to sit and reflect and kind of work on things that I was able to brush off because I was too busy.
I think that's like most people and obviously trying not to get sick and trying to train full time is difficult. But you figure it out. I mean, we have a virtual team Zoome sessions and workouts, right? So not ideal, but we still do them just to stay connected.
Yeah, that's awesome. That makes me really happy. I feel the same way like you could as terrible as and I it's almost I feel guilty saying like oh is actually not as terrible of a year as a lot of people probably experienced, but you were able to make the the most of it. And like you said, perspective is so nice to to be able to take and to have.
Yeah. And I think to you think about sort of like the mental health piece and you're I know we're we're all kind of in our own silos, but you're almost more connected now because you're more in tune with how does it feel or how does this family member feel and reaching out when maybe you just it wasn't top of mind before. So I don't want to diminish the fact that there's a global pandemic and people are suffering and small businesses are closing and things like that.
But I try to look at the positives. And if we take the positives, that's kind of my big takeaway from it for sure.
And finding ways that you can help wherever you can, that sort of thing. And Hillary, I think the way you put it makes more sense to it's like this has been a really tough year, but here are some positives that I found.
And I think that's an important distinction. You know, one of the things, Hillary, you and I talk about a lot and you and Kelly talked about it when you came on the podcast, is you're the founder of one of the founders of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association. Can you catch us up on where things are at with the.
Yeah. What an acronym, huh? Know, I'm actually I'm like I'm starting to talk about this because I'm interested into what's what's going on. Yeah, no, I mean, we had a very exciting lineup and setup for this upcoming year for our Dream Cup tour, which we now sort of abbreviate as a dream gap to our nice name.
You know, some of my friends who aren't necessarily in the sports world of the pool.
And it was like of you, oh, lord. So we got to work on that. But no, I mean, we had an awesome tour, schedule and plan. And obviously a pandemic hits and you kind of have to go to plan B and then you're in plan B and you're like, OK, now we're going to see D, E, F, and now I think we're all the way at X, but well, as long as you're not a Z, like you've got a couple more numbers, it's five.
So I think the ability for this group, the way we can sort of adjust and adapt to the different circumstances, whether that's in Canada or in the US, obviously the border is a big issue for us because we're North American organization. But we've pushed a lot of things back to spring. And like other organizations, we're like most organizations, you know, it's we're kind of we're keeping a keen eye on what's going on in terms of health for our players.
But when it's been safe, we've had different. Exhibitions and things like that, but right now the women are training full time and we're hoping to have something coming in the new year here in the spring.
Can we get a game in D.C.? It would be such a what about 11 D.C. first? I know we should go to Lake Tahoe and play with the guys, but oh that'd be awesome. The NHL just announced there might be two games up there, so. Oh, nice like exhibition or what? Outdoors. Oh, I think I did see that. Yeah, that'll be sweet. You do. You definitely need to get an outdoor game or two.
I don't know. I mean, it's, you know, it was really defeating because the way the organization started, we always felt like we're trying to catch up. As the leagues folded before with girls, us Canadian team sat down. We're like, we're going to do something. But world championships, we're going to do it when we get back from this. And then we're always playing catch up. So they have a really successful year under our belt going into another year.
We're like, OK, we got this. And then everything kind of went left. But, you know, I think just the resolve that the women have in our organization or association, we're by no way, by no means a league. However, the association and the collection of players that we do have is the best of the best. So I'm really excited because there's some really promising things to come in the spring. That's exciting. Can you give us a preview at all?
Can't give us an inside look. Damn, Hillary, I know it's going to be it's going to be really competitive.
In the meantime, there's a there's a group in the US. We've got two regions in the US right now, one in Minnesota and one in New Hampshire. And they're going down to Florida, I think it is tomorrow to join the US men's bubble down in Tampa area. So they're going to be playing games against the boys teams and that's going to be a lot of fun.
Yeah, for sure. Well, to end on a sweet note, what are your 20, 21 goals like New Year?
What's what's happening in and a lot of goals.
A two and my hat. Yeah. Oh yeah.
I mean, I'm hoping we have world championships in the spring. I mean, you know, I think another gold medal is definitely in the near future earlier on our plans list.
And then we kind of go right into Olympic tryouts. Right. And it's focusing on bringing back or returning a gold medal again to us.
That's coming up fast. I mean, it's next, what, next January? Next January, February is Winter Olympics. One twenty two.
Yeah. Wow. Yeah, I'm so excited. I need a USA hockey jersey. I'm like, can't wait for it to be next year in and watching that I got you.
All right. OK, I guess I got hit. Yeah. That's awesome. What's crazy.
Like everything was slowed down for so long and we're in this holding pattern and like every sport, especially Olympic sports. Totally.
Yeah. No it is, it's, it's coming around the the bend fast. But I'm stoked to have you on. So good to see you. Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for chatting for a bit.
Before you leave, one more question. Oh he's going to watch for you. I got one more for you. Twenty, twenty one New Year New Year's resolutions.
Oh I do everything the better of it. Yeah.
I think I came on the tail and you're like I just want to win. I just want to win more win win win. So I love that. It's like if, if you're doing it you might as well be winning. Right. Exactly. Yeah.
There you go. Boom. Awesome.
Well thanks. Thanks for popping on. Yeah. Thanks for having me guys. Hopefully see you play very, very soon, whether it's, you know, watching from afar or in person. But excited to see you back on the ice.
Yeah. Fingers crossed. Thanks, guys.
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All right, we got our next guest and also another Olympic gold medalist checking him, two time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA waterpolo. Maggie Steffen's also a partner athlete, partner with just one sports.
Maggie, what's up, Maggie? Welcome to the show. How are you doing? Thank you. So happy to be on finally. Yeah, exactly.
How you feeling? How's the New Year feel different for you.
It does good. Usually does it. I will tell you a weird thing that happened to me like on New Year. I actually did stay up till 12, which was hard to do staying at home.
I didn't think I was going to make it, but I was like, I got to do it for 21. It's got to be special. I definitely had a moment, the second 20, 20.
And then I was like, wow, I just got hit with some emotions like good emotion, happy emotion, sad emotion, like, wow, we did it like we we didn't just like survive through twenty twenty, but we thrived at it. And now we're on to the next year. Oh I love. That's amazing. It was an interesting, interesting feeling for sure.
That's really cool. Well tell us about your twenty twenty. Obviously you were ramping up for the Olympics and that didn't happen. But you said you didn't just survive, you thrive. So what was 20, 20 like for you? Yeah, well, I wouldn't say I at first it was an emotional year.
It out. Yeah. As far as you can relate, it was definitely an emotional roller coaster. I think something for me that I didn't really acknowledge and still kind of talking to others was when the Olympics were postponed or canceled at first and then realized that were is postponed. It feels a lot better than canceled. Totally. It was a bit of like a morning feeling like I felt really numb at first and bit angry and then went through the whole process.
But I think for me and I was actually talking with my boyfriend about kind of our reflections from twenty twenty. And one thing that really came out of that was how can we be adaptable? And looking back like the second we were able to go through that mourning period, whatever it was called, which isn't really I feel like it's not the correct term, but that is kind of how it felt.
Yeah, no, I that makes sense to me. I felt that too. Yeah. And I didn't really know what it was, but definitely going through those feelings, the ability at the end of that, to just switch and be adaptable and say, all right, what's next? This is done. There's nothing we can do about it. What are new ways to fill that gap in a sense or fulfill maybe other passions and pursue that? And for me, that was kind of the path that I went and a lot of my teammates went as well, was, OK, we can't go on a pool right now.
We can't really leave our house. And we still stay dedicated to the team's dedicated to our purpose and our passion, but do it in a very different way. And so I was able to kind of stay committed to that, but also at the same time dive into other avenues that I've been very passionate about that I didn't have the time. As you know, training for the Olympics is very time consuming. So I was able to put on kind of I have my own company and I was able to actually feel like a co-founder again and an entrepreneur and a businesswoman and really dive into that avenue of my life and almost in a way, adapt to the situation by putting some of my energy into different spaces in my life.
And in that sense, it was kind of thriving because I was able to adapt. And I know a lot of my other teammates, maybe they went back to school or did other things in a similar way. And then once we did come back to sport and being able to play is kind of this new love like you weren't sure, OK, are we going to be able to play this afternoon? If so, we got to take advantage of it because you never know if this is the last practice we're going to get.
Like it fell apart, like all of a sudden it was no longer like, oh, we have a three hour practice this afternoon, which it was like, yes, we get three hours in the pool.
Yeah. It's like, oh my gosh, I'm going to die and barely be able to breathe and probably have some around me this afternoon where you sign me up, sign me up.
So, yeah, it was really interesting to kind of especially after playing on this team for eleven years, kind of reignite that hunger and love again in a weird way, and be able to focus on individual skills like we couldn't do contactor. Strategy or tactics because of covid. So instead of going to work on my shot or how can I work on my fitness or how can I create a new skill that I didn't have and maybe create a strength in an area of weakness that you have before.
So, yeah, I mean, that's all you can ask for, right? Like to be able to thrive when you feel like it's enough just to survive. So and I and like I said, that that morning feeling of the Olympics are maybe going to be canceled, but then they're postponed. Really resonated with me. Like that's how I felt. Like I remember just like getting the news and putting my head, like, down on the table and just sitting there and my girlfriend being like, you're going to be like, you know, like you just like it felt like a dream was lost.
But also it wasn't it was postponed.
So but twenty twenty one. You had a feeling right after midnight. What are you looking forward to most about this year. How are you feeling now.
I'm definitely looking forward to it being a new year. I really like that it's twenty twenty one. I like the number one. Oh nice. Nice. OK, know like striving to be number one. Got to be hungry, stay hungry for that kind of golden year. So I think for me something I'm really looking forward to is just a new opportunity. I feel like maybe it's just the way I've worked with my mind to cope with this process.
But we have been given a gift and a sense to reflect on where we were going in twenty twenty and take a back seat and say, OK, how could I have done that better if I was given the chance in twenty twenty one. Is that chance. Yeah. So really kind of taking this as an opportunity to improve on the things that now with the reflection and a lot of time at home and away from sport etcetera, that I've been able to look at, whether it's with being a better teammate or being a better leader or working on individual skills or really harnessing that love and passion for my sport as well as in other avenues of my life.
Right. How can I be a better founder of this company? How can I help the sport of waterpolo grow? How can I help women in sports and equity diversity, like so many different avenues that I'm really passionate about that I feel like twenty, twenty one is just a gift.
So you seem so refreshed and motivated, like it's contagious. Yeah. You giving me all of the energy right now and I am like I'm feeling like this is what I needed to start off my year.
Like who knows. How old will Maggie, when I met you, you had just won your first gold medal with Team USA waterpolo.
You're just one sports athlete partner, one of our first ones. So shout out. You know, women's sports are on the rise. Your waterpolo has won two gold medals. Now you're going in to another Olympic year. How important do you think Tokyo is going to be for waterpolo?
Huge. And I'll start with kind of bigger picture and dive in. I feel like Tokyo will be the biggest Olympics yet because I do think the Olympics have always been this weird display of world peace. Like you think about how many people go to this one event from all over the world, from all different walks of life. And in that moment, like nothing else matters. There's just world peace in that moment. And I think after this past year, it's going to be even that much more powerful next year or this year, actually.
Well, and so in that sense, I think for overall, that's something that's going to be just so important for sport and art and just people and countries and unity and then kind of taking a smaller step down from that with water polo. It's been a really hard year for our sport and for all sports you can't play. The governing body isn't getting the same. Membership pools weren't open. Not something I've always tried to fight for with our sport is how can we make it more accessible?
You can go to a soccer field or basketball field in the park and bring your ball. You can do that in a pool like it costs money and the lifeguard cage. So this has taken a toll on our sport. And I think one thing we can do is just. Be the best team we can be and showcase how great this sport is and how how far you can go with this sport, whether you're a man or a woman and what or where you're from, what you look like.
Right. I think. This is going to be a really big opportunity for us to stand in that space and hopefully at the end of the day stand on a podium show, OK, this is what can happen with our sport. And now you guys can go do it, because this has definitely been a hit for sport and for you sport. People are just staying in. And I think if we can use this Olympics as a way to inspire.
From all sports waterpolo, of course, because we really need that, we can use this as an inspirational platform. I think it could really change the projection of where waterpolo is going and where youth girls sports are going as well. Love, a last question from us. Twenty. We've talked a lot about New Year's resolutions. Oh, man. I don't know if you guys are like this, but I always try to think of one word.
Hmm. And I never can do.
I thought you were going to have, like, this amazing word for us. You're going to say, oh, yeah, exactly one. So I will say my my like in my journal, I kind of drew it out of cute because I got a bunch of weapons from my sister, like throwback to the 90s.
That's amazing. I love it. Resolution. Let's hear it. Yeah. So definitely like I said, the one. So just that idea of being hungry to be number one and not necessarily like saying, OK, I want yes, of course we want to win a gold medal. But I think the idea of can I strive to be amongst the best and everything I do, can I try to be a better person? Can I try to be a better teammate?
Can I strive to be a better leader? Can I strive to be a better businesswoman and partner in my business? Can I strive to make waterpolo and girls sports number one? So just that that idea of growth and not necessarily like a checklist, but just having that mindset is really important to me. And then the second one I had was live a life of gratitude, which is very simple. But I think that's something all of us can really relate to, especially during this time.
And just being really grateful for the opportunities we do have are the quality time. For me, quality time is like big love language. So just being grateful for quality time. You do that with teammates, with family, with friends, with kids you can inspire. So I would say those are definitely motto's are things I have in my head. And then I have all the little things that I want to do, you know, like read more, which I'm so proud of.
Well, I love those.
That's amazing. I'm excited to to see you shine in twenty, twenty one and hopefully get another gold. Come, come Tokyo come the summer. And also got to have you on next season. Just one source podcast. Got a good chance I know for sure. Sure. Yeah. Which one do I go to interview. Maybe season three. Maybe season three. Bonus maybe. Maybe. And O'Malley thank you for popping in Suban and checking in this afternoon and and just.
Yeah. Thanks for bringing the energy and I hope that you continue this into twenty, twenty one and I'm going to try to do too so thanks.
Sounds good. We'd be a pretty good team. I think so. Helyar Thanks Maggie.
Next up, we got Samuel's checking in, not from England now I'm in Boston. Boston. Is your Boston accent back? Yeah, it actually is back a lot. And you'll probably hear Pat screaming in the background.
I mean, that just is even better. Great news. Yeah, lucky us. Come on. So bad. He thinks he has a future in podcasting. So he's like, let me know when they need me.
I mean, I would definitely listen to that podcast, Sam.
You, us, your 20-20, US Soccer Player of the year is here with us closing out season two.
What's up, Sam? Not much. It was a it was a pleasant surprise, but very nice, big honor. It was big on our great honor. Great honor. I was very proud of you. I feel like it was very deserved. You took 20, 20 the dumpster fire that it was for many people and made it your year.
Well, I tried I feel like obviously luckily I got so many opportunities, even though it was such a tough year, so I felt like I tried to take advantage of them. And fortunately, I had some great teammates helping me out, one in particular. And I'm just getting in particular. Kelly, you know, you say you you had good opportunities.
You also made opportunities for yourself. You chose to take the step and go play overseas for Manchester City, also known as Sam Chester City.
For anyone wondering, when I told Sam that joke, I said, Sam Chester United.
And she like that before. And I was like, yeah, I messed up my big move for you. Big year, big move. How's it been? Yeah, well, it's been great.
I'm, like, really enjoying my time there. Like I said, I think it was like a big opportunity during a really difficult time. And just the chance to get like regular games and into to get to play for such a great club was like a huge bonus for me. So I've been loving it. I feel like I'm growing and learning a lot and I've made some awesome new friends and it's been really great. So I'm looking forward to getting back soon.
Will you go back? Is that my dog? Yes, it is. Your dog, also known as Fen, also known as a poodle. Gets in on come the dog down for like fifteen minutes. Oh, you could.
Do you think that do you think have you held Fynn that he wouldn't bark. Yeah. I want to see him.
Go get him. Yeah. Let's go. Yeah. Can I actually have the dog.
Can you maybe come to knees. Oh oh my God.
Here is yes.
This little we just we, we have Samuels and her. Is it a cavalier cavalier God.
He's so cute. Is he a cavaco. He really just looks like a poodle. If we're being completely honest.
The way you cut him when we got his hair cut, he looks very brutally. But when it grows out, he's very shaggy, shaggy dog, shaggy boy.
Oh, my God, he's so cute.
OK, so you got a dog in twenty twenty, right? Yeah. Yeah. You got be the best thing that's ever happened to me. Did you get Fin before after a pandemic hit in right in the middle. We're going to wait and get a dog at the end of the year, like hopefully thinking that I would try to go to the Olympics and then when they got canceled, we were like, let's just do it now.
Do you really? Twenty. Twenty really. Was your year in the year.
Often I say your fan there, Sam Chester City, the year of Semillas, I would say, and your sister is like them us here.
Yeah, we did that again. Christie had such a great year. She really did. Yeah. Challenge Cup back into the national team. Scored a goal. Great. Ah. Oh my God. Yeah.
I was going to say what is Christie's return to the team meant to you. Like that's got to be wild playing with your sister on the biggest stage.
Yeah. I mean it's something like we hear fine.
This is all part of this.
Didn't really that well don't you have a yard. Well yeah but it's I don't know. It's cold out cold. Is it cold. I don't know. Yeah it's cold. It could be in Boston right now. Now it's going to snow tonight. OK, don't put a sweater on. Will do.
It's been great having Christy back. I think just watching her success this summer and just kind of seeing how well she's been doing ever since she came back from her knee, I, I just been like watching in amazement. But I've always known that she had that kind of character where if she encountered a hard time, she's going to just double down and work even harder and kind of make sure she gets back to her successful self. So I'm not surprised at any of what she's accomplished.
And I think just having her back in the environment has been so fun. Obviously, we had like a couple chances to do it when we were younger. But I think kind of understanding better now, really, what it takes to be there and to stay at that level has made it like a lot more rewarding. So it's been really fun and I hope we have more camps together.
So I think you guys. Well, that's fun. I love it. I love it when you guys are in together.
I mean, yeah, I know you guys are just great because of, like the covid protocols. We can only sit with a couple people at meals. So obviously I like begged to be at Christie's table because we don't get to spend a lot of time together. So I just wanted to be able to eat with her and catch up because that's really like the only social time we can have. So it was me, Rose and so on it and Christie at the same table and it was so fun at the last camp.
We had such a great time. It was a good table. That's a good table. Right? There is a really good table. I felt really lucky.
I was like, this is like my ideal table is that anyway. Twenty, twenty. First of all, I just want to say that yes, twenty twenty was your year.
But like it's been building for you. However I.
People should know that, like going into twenty nineteen, you were so you were you were worried you weren't even going to make the World Cup roster. Like I remember having a conversation with you about it. And I was like, Sam. You're fine. Well, I mean, I was like pretty low down the list at one point, OK, to be honest. And, you know, that was true. Well, I also was like very much so in and out in twenty nineteen leading into the World Cup.
But and I just remember being like, you are doing so well, your time will come like just be ready and take advantage of it when it does. And you obviously did in the World Cup. And then I feel like that was just kind of maybe the validation that you needed, that you are really, really good and have so much to offer this team and you yourself individually have so much that you can accomplish. And I feel like 20, 20 was like you actually taking ownership of that and like showing it on the field and getting recognized for it, which I think doesn't always happen for people, which for me, I was that's why I was so excited to see you succeed so much this year.
Well, that's so nice, Kelly. Thank you. And I feel like at the time, having veterans like you kind of telling me, like your time's coming, like just keep working and kind of seeing what I was doing and how hard I was trying that kind of like gave me a lot of confidence that at least you guys believed in me. And like, as far away as it felt, maybe it really was coming. And I think it's also just like a testament to how hard it is to be on the team.
Like you have a great year and then you have an injury or you have a terrible year, or you seem like you're going to get cut from the team and you have to, like, work just as hard and the horrible times as you do in the really, really good times. And if you ever have, like any let up at all, it can all slip away. So I think the older players and just like that experience of kind of realizing, like you, you just have to keep going even when it sucks, I think that could carry all of us and like, remind us all to just keep you just kind of keep going.
Keep on keeping on, baby.
That's all there is to do. Yeah. Sam, I know Kelly already ACIS but I do want to go back to where you are so humble and you're so grounded and I feel like the twenty twenty US soccer player of the year is a huge award and you gave a really humble answer. But come on, that's got to feel really good. I mean it does.
Yeah. I mean it was cool. Like Mia Hamm got on the Zoome call and like told me I won. Oh she did it.
Yeah. That's amazing. Yeah. It was really cool. I think I just. I mean, it's it's obviously a huge honor, it was just like such a crazy year and I really do just feel like getting to play it all was such a gift. And I I did have a lot of opportunities to play. I also feel like the other nominees were like so qualified to win. And I again was like pretty shocked that they picked me. So I really do just like credit my teammates and credit all the opportunities that I've had because, like, you don't win an award like that by yourself.
So I've been very fortunate. When Mia Hamm was on the Zoome call, were you just like did you put it together at that point or were you just like, what's going? Oh, yeah.
Hiw hiw like had texted me earlier in the week and was like, can we. And he does this like occasionally. Like this wasn't a weird thing for him to do. Just ask me to chat at the end of the week. So I like got on the call and I was just like chit chatting with guys like and then he was just like, OK, I'm like, stop, just like small talk with me. Like we have something to discuss.
And then him face popped up and I was just like, why didn't you tell me to do my hair? Like my hair was all frizzy all round. And I was in this like dark room and true Sam fashion right there. I was so Sam it was so frizzy but amazing.
I didn't know about that. So good. Yeah. It was funny. We're into twenty twenty one. What are you how you feeling? What do you think and what's your vote? I would love to say my vibe is chill, but like, you know, not at all.
If Sam ever says her vibe is chill, just know that it's like that she has this under her sweatshirt and she's like shaking on the inside.
Hundred percent. It is the dark metaphor. It's like, oh, she seems like she's just, you know, on the surface, smooth feet are going a mile a minute.
Yeah, exactly. You know, my vibe is like, let's move on. We've got a lot to do. Got a law we want to accomplish this year Carol. It's business time, it's clear we're in the office, it's we are. It's go time. Yes, correct. So natural natural work mode. Yep. Stressed as ever. But you know what? They'll tell you can thrive. Exactly.
Twenty twenty one New Year's resolutions. Well, so my real honest one is to just like try to be a little bit more mindful. I feel like I am like a very anxious person. So I'm always like planning and plotting and crossing things off the list. Sam, text back and I samsa PR with the Players Association Fashloom and like ladies girls, I would love to cross these off my to do list. So can we do X, Y and Z.
And we're like yes and well let's get those done today. Yeah.
I mean there, there are definitely good things about it. There are definitely like psychotic things about it.
But how are you going to be with my life, how are you going to be more mindful for you like an ability like that's my plan. So meditating. Yeah. I've actually been journaling, which has been very helpful for me because then I just kind of close it, leave it, move on to the next thing. But the real key has been the dog I you guys like I didn't even really think I was a dog person before I got this dog and like I could cry about I could sit here and cry like I love him.
So can we talk about how you were leaving for Manchester? No, we're not going to do that. No, because I could cry now. OK, thinking about that. Well, so we got one of those, like dog video cameras that Rosie has that you can go to treat her. Bobo Yeah.
And so we were setting it up and Pat made some comment like, OK, thing like this is your new mom because like, I'm leaving in the ferbos going to be here. And I literally started bawling just two nights ago in the living room about deferrable.
Oh, my God, you're going to be able to see fit now like live.
I know it's wonderful, but I did just get really sad that I was leaving. But to go back, the thing makes me more mindful because it's the only time when I'm like playing with him or like cuddling him or like taking him for a walk or just like kissing him on the mouth. It's like literally the only time I'm not thinking about anything else. I'm just so absorbed in the dog that I'm like so present. And it has actually been one of the most, like, mindful things that I do like.
Just being with the is awesome. Certainly nice. Yeah, it's been great.
So I knew how much, I mean I yeah. He goes, oh my gosh. Amazing.
Well I'm excited to just watch you absolutely. Smash it again even more in twenty, twenty one. We might be hearing from you more. I hope so.
Could be very exciting. I agree. I really hope so. Keep you posted. Yeah, but hey, thanks for coming on and I'll see you in a couple of days. Sounds good. Thanks for having me. All right, that is it for bonus episode season two, that's a wrap big thanks. All the athletes that came on today and talked with us, chatted with, shared their stories, gave their honesty. That's always what makes those so special.
Also, the Heineken big ups to you guys. Thanks for sending me tons of beer and sponsoring this podcast. It's been it's been awesome having you guys on all the people behind the scenes, all you listeners out there don't know. But there are so many people who work on the show and help us put this out week in and week out. So just one sports team. Thank you, guys. Can't do this. Host this without you all.
And then especially to all the listeners out there, you guys are amazing.
We love you all. Thanks for tuning in.
And stay tuned because we'll have more for you guys come. Twenty, twenty one. But twenty twenty to wrap.
Twenty twenty by twenty, twenty by season to twenty twenty one. We're here. Let's bring in Glasberg and go baby.
Thanks so much for listening. For more great sports content, go to just women's sports dot com and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. Our show was co-produced by Jessamine Sports and Boom integrated big thanks to our executive producers Hayley Rose and Adrian Glover and Robin Lynn. Jawn Murray and Sydney Shot do our research production by Jen Grossman, Jeni Montalva, Victoria Gruenberg, Clint Rose and Juan Garcia, our special thanks to Jesse Louis, Haley Kazmaier, seven Knobler, Doree Newman, Iesus Haywood and Kathleen Blue.
Bobby, I'm Kelly O'Hara and you've been listening to the Just Women Sports podcast. Catch you next time.