As part of our weekly Wednesday Chasing the Dream posts, we’ll be featuring a USWNT athlete up until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
What do you get when you take an old fence, a used window and some plywood?
To the casual eye, it may seem like a heap of nothing. Items to be thrown out. But with a pinch of Michelle Kasold’s imagination this pile of dumpster bound paraphernalia morphed into a trendy homemade dog crate, side table.
“I like creating things,” said Kasold, USWNT forward.
Might be a bit of an understatement on Kasold’s part. The Chapel Hill, N.C. native can’t help but crank out crafts, healthy sushi and shrimp scampi recipes regularly and write sport blog posts like a well-oiled machine. She is constantly creating. And after the team’s London 2012 Olympic Games last place finish, she chose to be part of another creation; the development of a new team culture, a new direction for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“When you finish last, you have to pause and reassess to find the details you missed,” said Kasold. “There’s such a core group of us that went to the 2012 Games that are still here; it’s like we all realized those missing pieces together. It not only transformed us but it transformed the entire team around us and the culture. This time around, in Rio, it’s going to be different.”
A prominent part of the national team's line up, the Wake Forest University grad, utilizes her ball speed and impressive knowledge of the game. Part of Team USA since 2006, just missing the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Kasold was part of the 2011 Pan American Team and the London 2012 Olympic Games roster.
When she’s not on the pitch, she snapping images of Kora, her loveable and photogenic pitbull. This canine has some social media street credit with her own personal account (@KoraPit) reaching more than 200 followers. An impressive feat for someone without opposable thumbs.
“I had to limit myself to one post of Kora per week to my personal account,” said Kasold. “The rest of the images I post to Kora’s account. Although I love taking millions of pictures of her, I don’t want to flood everyone’s feed with her face. She can do so many cool tricks like I can stack 28 bones on her nose without her flinching for one minute. There’s always something to take a picture of when it comes to her.”
Kasold’s other best friend is equally as popular. Kasold has shared so many life experiences with USWNT athlete Katie Bam. From teammate to Olympians to bridesmaid, the bond the two have is rock solid.
“We can give each other one look and know what the other is thinking,” said Kasold. “We’re laughing all of the time and have gone through so much together. Our friendship translates onto the pitch. She can give me one look and I know which way she is going to cut. We can read each other like that.”
Wearing the Team USA kit beside Bam and the rest of her teammates is a responsibility Kasold doesn’t take lightly or has become complacent.
“Knowing that I can inspire young girls as I represent something bigger than myself is indescribable,” said Kasold. “Some people may shy away from that kind of pressure but it drives me. It motivates me. I have to rise to the occasion and put my best self forward. The end result is I’m a better person and player than the day before.”With that kind of unstoppable mentality, Kasold, along with her teammates, is in the process of creating an unforgettable legacy.