Krieger makes Body Is­sue about spirit as well as skin

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - BY CLIN­TON YATES clin­ton.yates@wash­post.com

The body that Ali Krieger is dis­play­ing to the world in ESPN The Mag­a­zine’s Body Is­sue when it hits news­stands July 10 is one that has been to the brink and back.

The U.S. women’s na­tional team and Washington Spirit de­fender nearly died in col­lege, when blood clots in her leg al­most cost Krieger her life. Krieger, a Vir­ginia na­tive and for­mer All-Met Player of the Year, went through the or­deal when she broke her leg play­ing against a men’s club team at Penn State.

She talked about it in her in­ter­view with ESPN The Mag­a­zine.

“I once thought I would never be able to kick a ball again,” Krieger said. “I was fly­ing over Christ­mas break, and I had blood clots inmy leg and inmy lungs. I didn’t know at the time, but I wasn’t feel­ing right. I couldn’t even go to the bath­room with­out feel­ing out of breath. When I went to the doc­tor they told me it was a good thing I came in, be­cause if I would have gone to sleep that night, I prob­a­bly would never have wo­ken up.”

And though she val­ues her strength as an ath­lete, Krieger also ac­knowl­edges it’s im­por­tant to show vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

“I’m proud of my body, I’m proud ofmy sport, I’m proud of be­ing a fe­male ath­lete. Be­ing naked is just another as­pect of that. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s hon­est.”

Over­all, Krieger dis­cusses grow­ing up, fam­ily and life af­ter soc­cer.

In the past, her team­mates Syd­ney Ler­oux, Me­gan Rapi­noe, Hope Solo and Abby Wam­bach have all ap­peared in the Body Is­sue. Alex Mor­gan ap­peared in the Sports Il­lus­trated swim­suit edi­tion last year.

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