Hope Solo On Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Her Competitors, And More On Dancing With The Stars!

Grantland.com has a great interview up with Hope Solo. She talks of how competitive she is. She lives for it. It makes her life complete. But, she also talks of how she can’t dance. Maks tells her to try and just enjoy it. Hope also talks on a few of her fellow cast members. She thinks David Arquette is the front-runner. Below are a few takes, but, be sure to read the link for the full interview! Thanks to @NatashaS428 at twitter for the heads up, you can also listen to Hope talking about soccer, the show, and Maks in a new radio interview at the 6 minute mark >>>>HERE.

Were you at all hesitant to get into something competitive again, right after the World Cup?
I live for competition. It makes my life complete. My life goes in four-year cycles. The World Cup is every four years and the Olympics are every four years. That’s how we base our personal lives — that’s how some players decide when they have families. The off years? They’re not that fun, to be honest! You crave intensity. And [Dancing With the Stars] is intense! It’s grueling, it’s hard. I know at the end of it I’m going to be proud of what I accomplished, but right now it’s not easy. My dance partner Maks [Chmerkovskiy] keeps telling me to try and enjoy it. But I didn’t need a break from competition. I just needed a break from diving on my shoulder.

How does the training compare to the training you do for soccer?
It’s hard. Maks is very direct with me. There are a lot of things you have to figure out that people don’t realize. Having your hips go one way, your head up, your neck straight, your arm positioned in a certain way; there are so many technical things. It’s like soccer: putting together five to 10 different things in one play. So it definitely reminds me of my training. I really do appreciate Maks, for bringing that. I don’t want a soft dance teacher.

As a goalkeeper, you’re in charge of marshaling your defense and making sure everyone is where they need to be. Is it difficult to be the one getting instructions now?
No. I mean, I can’t dance. Maks is a professional. I have no problem getting instructions. And I assure you, he gives them.

Talk to me a bit about your fellow competitors.
Well, Ricki Lake is such a sweetheart. She seems so graceful on the dance floor. I think she’s gonna do really well. She has some experience, so she’s ahead of the game.

Chaz Bono, I had no idea what to expect. But he can kind of bust a move. And he works as hard as anybody. Very, very nice guy. Ron Artest is just a goofball. He’s always filming on his video camera, and he shows up late.

Who do you think is the front-runner this season?
I think David Arquette, because he’s such a free-spirited guy. You can see that he’s not going to hold back. And you can tell he really wants this.

ADDING: Maks has a new blog up at TV Guide. He talks of how he and Hope are doing with only a few more days until premiere time. More in a take below. Be sure to read the full blog. Maks writes about Val and his dog’s birthday too.

Well, the big day is almost here. Everything’s great. We’ve been busy the past few weeks traveling for Hope’s pre-Olympic training and games. We’re in Kansas City right now, where she has a game, so she’s been splitting her time between dancing, training and competing. I’m just trying not to be too distracting! I feel good with what we have, so the traveling and her maybe not being able to devote more time to dancing doesn’t really worry me. She has the routine down. We really can’t complain about anything. There’s never a perfect partner as far as someone who’s perfect and a perfect situation. There’s always something — drama, injury, a difficult schedule or some type of problem. Having said that, I think we’re in a good situation. We’re not crazy. It’s been quite calm and drama-free.