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Q&A: Lindsey Horan Reflects On the Loss of the Olympics This Month

COVID-19 canceled some of the biggest events on the globe-trotting soccer star's calendar. While she was stuck at home this spring, we chatted with her about what it was like playing the waiting game.

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For the past few years, Golden native Lindsey Horan has lived with her bags constantly packed, regularly crisscrossing the globe to play as a member of the Portland Thorns and the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT). With the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season originally scheduled to begin in April and the Tokyo Olympics slated for this month, 2020 promised more of the same. That is, until play was suspended on account of the novel coronavirus. While Horan has been holing up here in the Centennial State, 5280 chatted with the 26-year-old about the perks of being home, the disappointment of missing the biggest events on her calendar, and her two newest loves.

5280: Were you in Colorado when everything got postponed?
Lindsey Horan: I was actually in Portland. I played in the SheBelieves Cup with the national team in early March and came home to Denver for a few days to grab some things before heading to Portland to start preseason training with the Thorns. After about a week in Oregon, it was clear [the season] wasn’t starting anytime soon. I came back here around March 20.

Is this the most time you’ve spent in Colorado since going pro?
I think so. I typically get about two to three months off, but I’ve had to travel with the national team during that time the past few years. I have a place downtown, and I’ve been seeing my family as much as possible. This is where I grew up, and this is my favorite place to be.

Have you been able to train?
I’ve been trying to do as much as I can, and that means a lot of at-home workouts and lifting. I like that I’ve been forced to try new things to stay fit—like trail running, which has helped me see more of Colorado. I went on a run last weekend in Evergreen. It’s beautiful.

Are you talking with teammates and coaches?
I’ve been having Zoom calls every week with the Portland team and the national team. It’s been helpful to see that everyone else is also losing their minds. And you know coaches these days: They want to do tactical meetings and check in on our fitness and such. It all kind of makes me feel like I have a regular job.

It sounds like not being able to play soccer is taking a bit of a mental toll.
It’s tough not to be around teammates and coaches doing the thing you love to do. I have just come to accept that there will be moments when that drives me crazy, and that’s OK. You also can’t help but be a little bummed about not being able to go to the Olympics. It takes a lot to go to a World Cup and then a year later be working toward the Olympics. Your full focus is on that one tournament, so there’s certainly an emotional letdown.

Especially because you seemed poised for a big role under new USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski.
I do feel a little bit more trust from him. I know exactly what he wants from me, and that makes me more confident on the field. Going into this year, the goal was to be more of a standout player.

I saw you got a French bulldog puppy. Surely he’s lifting your spirits.
Thank goodness I have him during this time! Given the circumstances, I have been able to spend every second with him. That’s one of my positives through this whole thing.

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