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Exclusive Interview: Amy Rodriguez, Soccer Olympian

Aug. 31, 2012


Amy Rodriguez

Amy Rodriguez, known as A-Rod by her teammates, added a second gold medal to her collection after Team USA beat Japan at Wembley Stadium 2-1 at the 2012 London Olympics. Her first taste of gold was at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.

A former Trojan, she played on the University of Southern California's college's women's soccer team from 2005 to 2008. In 2007, the squad earned the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. Known for being a speed demon, she usually plays forward, but sometimes plays the midfield position.

Rodriguez, 25, has played in two FIFA youth Women's World Cups, and is a former member of the Philadelphia Independence of the Women's Professional Soccer League.

She spoke to this week about her Olympic experience and how her family has helped her achieve the success she enjoys. What was the highlight of the 2012 London Olympics for you?

Amy Rodriguez: The highlight of the Olympics for me was standing on the podium receiving the gold medal. At that moment, you look back at what it took to get yourself there, and it's a very proud feeling. How was it living at Olympic Village?

Amy Rodriguez: Living in the village was exciting, fun and somewhat distracting. There are so many athletes to see and fun things to do.

Related story: Exclusive Interview: Brenda Villa, Water Polo Olympian Describe the camaraderie and rivalries among U.S. Olympic athletes.

Amy Rodriguez: It was great to cheer for other U.S. Olympic athletes. It was cool to root for each other and to feel that sense of camaraderie amongst each other. You really only get that at the Olympics. Describe how your family and cultural background have influenced, hindered or helped your athletic career.

Amy Rodriguez: My athletic career is greatly influenced by my family. My parents have always been dedicated and motivating in terms of my soccer. They were at every game, drove me to every tournament and encouraged me through all the ups and downs of my career. Without them and their support, I don't think I could be where I am today. Tell me a little bit about your upbringing and family background.

Amy Rodriguez: I am second-generation Cuban-American. My grandparents on my dad's side were born in Cuba and came over here in the 1950s. I grew up in Southern California in a family of five. I am the oldest child and I have a brother and sister. All of us grew up playing soccer. What advice do you have for future Olympians currently training to represent the U.S.?

Amy Rodriguez: Start with creating goals for yourself and plan out the best way to achieve those. You have to commit to do all the hard work and be patient. What's next for you?

Amy Rodriguez: I plan to continue playing soccer. I would love to be a part of another World Cup and Olympics cycle. In the near future, I hope to play in a professional soccer league here in the U.S.

For more information about Rodriguez, visit her athlete profile.

Also, stay tuned for more one-on-one interviews with other U.S. Hispanic Olympians, including Sarah Robles, Carmelo Anthony and Danell Leyva, among others.

And don't forget to enjoy this one about Diana Lopez, Taekwando superstar.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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