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Hope Solo

It was a long wait for her shot at redemption, but when the call came, Hope Solo responded where others have failed — Solo shut out the might Brazilian team as the Women’s U.S. Soccer team beat Brazil 1-0 for the Olympic gold medal.

The lone goal was provided by Carli Lloyd in the first stanza of extra-time. In the second portion, the U.S. fought off wave after wave of Brazilian attacks as they tried desperately to equalize the game. But Solo was not to be denied. The game had a huge amount of meaning for Solo, who was benched during the World Cup when the Americans played Brazil.

The resulting beatdown — 4-0 — stung the benched goalie so much, she sounded off on the U.S. coaching staff after the game. This resulted in her being ostracized by the team and put the goalie in damage control mode for a few months after the Brazil debacle.

But the opportunity for redemption came with the Beijing Olympics and this time, Solo did not let it slip away. The fact that she anchored a performance that blanked one of the best offensive soccer teams in the tournament is a testament to her ability to bounce back and help lead her team to victory.

In this case, Beijing Gold.