With the London Games less than a month away, we can barely stay in our seats with anticipation. Now imagine what it’s like for an athlete who’s actually competing. We talked to gold medalist Abby Wambach about how she feels in the days leading up to the Games, her training and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
How are you mentally preparing for the Olympics?
It’s an ongoing process; for me it’s been a 30-year process and lifelong dream to represent our country in the Olympics. It’s an honor and even though I’ve been in the Olympics in the past, I still feel like pinching myself. Right now, I’m training my hardest and focusing on the little details to give us the edge.
What’s a typical day of training like for you?
Training varies depending on the schedule of the tournaments and games. My daily routine involves waking up, having a smoothie for breakfast, working out or going to practice with the team, going home and having a sandwich. In the afternoon, I’ll either lift weights or do something regenerative like a cold plunge or a massage.
When you’re not playing soccer, what other fitness activities do you enjoy?
I like all kind of sports: tennis, mountain biking, anything that involves cardio. It’s nice to go for a run without a watch or a heart rate monitor; anything that keeps me active while having fun.
As the big awards season circuit draws to a close with this Sunday’s Academy Awards, we wanted to share a few last picks for our fitness-related moments, ideas and people worth celebrating. Check out our other best of picks here and here!
Most Fun Red Carpet Moment of 2012 (so far): Sofia Vergara at the Golden Globes
The Modern Family star told Ryan Seacrest that she hit the gym for two sessions daily leading up to the awards “for the first time in my life.” She then flexed her strong biceps and said, “Gunnar Peterson [her trainer] here…But cake over here [pointing to her torso].” Vergara worked hard to achieve her killer curves, but admitted that she treats herself too. We love an honest celebrity! It makes her seem more relatable—it really is all about moderation.
Most Classy Runners-Up: USA Women’s World Cup Team
Although Japan took the gold during a finals shoot-out, Team USA inspired a new generation of soccer fans with several come-from-behind wins earlier in the tournament and the way they took second place with grace. We were also introduced to some up-and-coming athletes. One standout? Hope Solo, with her amazing goalkeeping skills and inspiring muscles, which were later showcased on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue.
Best Free Fitness App: Nike Training Club
Sweat like a celebrity (Lea Michele), athlete (Shawn Johnson) or trainer (Ary Nunez, who puts Rihanna through the paces) during more than 85 custom routines contributed by these big names and more. You can even set your own soundtrack and share your successes with your pals on Twitter and Facebook! We find ourselves repeatedly tapping back to this app for the physical results and for the rewards we can earn for racking up workout minutes, including tips, recipes and more.
Most Popular Unisex Workout Trend: CrossFit
Everyone from Bob Harper to Jessica Biel has touted the powers of CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program that mixes resistance training, running and plyometrics in a high-intensity, efficient workout. Learn more about the sport and follow along as one of our readers tries it out in the March issue of FITNESS!
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Now tell us: What celebrity, athlete, workout or fitness tool earned your kudos this year?
A few weeks ago, all eyes turned to women’s soccer. The sport that rarely gets the attention it deserves (those ladies are serious athletes!) finally got its due when the U.S. team made it all the way to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals against Japan. The Japanese won in a nail-biting shootout, but the tenacity of the Americans throughout the tournament surely inspired a new generation of soccer enthusiasts stateside.
Since coming in second place is still a “win” in our books, we wanted to catch up with one of Team U.S.A.’s stars, Amy Rodriguez, about her feelings post-World Cup.
What has been the most memorable part of this year’s World Cup experience for you?
Winning the quarterfinal game against Brazil. It was so dramatic, exciting, and exhausting. My team worked so hard to come back and tie the score up in the last minute of double overtime. Winning in a penalty shoot out made the game even more memorable.
It was amazing to see and feel the support we got from fans in the U.S. while we were in Germany, and I hope the excitement around women’s soccer is something that will keep growing!
Which is more exciting: The Olympics or the World Cup?
They both are in their own way, and both only come around once every four years. The World Cup is exciting because it is a soccer-specific tournament and the best 16 teams in the world compete. All different sports compete at the Olympics, including soccer, so the events are filled with the world’s best athletes.
Keep reading to find out how Amy trains her quick feet and to discover what artist pumps her up before a match.
For the past three weeks, the FITNESS crew has been captivated by the amazing action on the field at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. The incredible agility and endurance on display each match takes us back more than a decade, when women’s soccer burst onto the world stage after Brandi Chastain gave her famous sports bra show at the 1999 World Cup. So how fitting is it that we were able to connect with one of Brandi’s teammates (and one of our favorite sports icons of all time) Julie Foudy?
After retiring in 2004 and being inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007, Julie now keeps busy as a mom of two and a soccer commentator for ESPN. We caught up with her—she’s over in Germany for the World Cup as we speak and she’ll be doing commentary for this Sunday’s final match!—to hear about her impressions of this year’s team and how the sport has changed since she first stepped on the field.
The U.S. Women’s team is headed for the finals this Sunday against Japan! What are your impressions of the team and their performance so far?
Their courageous play has been awesome to watch. During the game against Brazil, they had to go a player down for almost an hour. They were still able to gut it out given the referee, some of those calls and everything else—it was tremendous. I think they can win it all, but the next level will not only involve that mentality, athleticism and great fighting spirit, but will also require combining in a little more possession play, especially against the Japanese team that’s so good.
Who do you see as the rising stars of U.S. women’s soccer?
Lauren Cheney is a name people are less familiar with, but she’s had an awesome World Cup. Lauren’s played from the middle of midfield to outside midfield, but her natural position is forward, so it shows how versatile she is. The youngest player on the team, Alex Morgan, scored a goal against France and scored it with class, I think. And Amy Rodriguez had an awesome game against Japan in May. I think their style suits her, so she’ll probably have a great game on Sunday. She has a confidence boost from playing well against them in the past. Amy may end up getting her first World Cup goal on Sunday, and that would be great to see!
Keep reading for more about Julie Foudy’s top career memory and her tips for keeping cool when the pressure is on.