Exclusive Q&A: Alex Morgan talks pay equality, her career and more
America's No. 1 female soccer player has teamed up with America's No. 1 Greek Yogurt, Chobani, to inspire people to fill their lives with positivity and goodness, and cutting out the bad stuff –- something she demonstrates by example from her integrity on the field, to the food she put in her body.
Handpicked for their passion of practicing goodness not only in their specific craft, but also in their daily lives, from the way they overcome obstacles, to the food they put in their bodies, Team Chobani is comprised of the following athletes:
Morgan Brian, soccer – 2016 Olympic hopeful, hoping to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time
Jordan Burroughs, wrestling – 2016 Men's Wrestling Olympian, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, three-time World Champion
Ashton Eaton, track and field – 2016 Olympic hopeful, 2012 Olympian (1 Gold), two- time decathlon world record holder and considered the "world's greatest athlete"
Marlen Esparza, boxing – 2012 Olympian (1 Bronze)
Allyson Felix, track and field – 2016 Olympic hopeful, 2012, 2008, 2004 Olympian (4 Golds, 2 Silvers)
Luis Gil, soccer – member of U.S. Men's National Team
Allison Jones, Para-cycling – 2016 Paralympic hopeful, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2002 Paralympian (2 Golds, 3 Silvers, 3 Bronzes); Allison has been a Team Chobani athlete since 2012
Alex Morgan, soccer – 2016 Olympic hopeful, 2012 Olympian (1 Gold)
Melissa Stockwell, paratriathlon – 2016 Paralympic hopeful, 2008 Paralympian
Alex Morgan took the time to hang out with AOL Sports and discuss her new partnership, her amazing career, pay equality and more.
Q: How did you get involved with Chiobani?
A: Initially, I've been eating the yogurt for so long, and when I have an opportunity to work with a company, I want it to be authentic -- and this provided that. This new campaign really resonates with myself, as well, and it's all about creating a positive outlook. It draws parallels to myself and the product.
Q: How excited are you for the upcoming journey in Rio?
A: We'll continue to ramp up and I'll continue to stay healthy about my summer. It's an exciting time for me and my teammates. I think 2016 is going to be an exciting year -- and I'm really excited about being wrapped up in it all.
Q: You've become the face of women's soccer. When you were younger, was that something you wanted and/or thought was attainable?
A: I never really knew the responsibilities that came with playing professional soccer. I always wanted to play pro soccer, but that was the extent of it. So many young girls look up to us, and it's really fun to grow into the role and have a good amount of time to grow into it. Now, I'm more experienced and I can take on a new role as a real leader. It's definitely different, but a lot of fun.
Q: The New York Times best-selling series of books 'The Kicks' is an empowering, fun-filled middle grade series about believing in yourself and working as a team. Was publishing a book always a goal too?
A: Going off last question, when I was younger, I never knew the impact I could have on young girls' lives -- and I find it interesting ... and it's something I became really passionate about. It grew into something great and with Amazon picking up the TV show, 'The Kicks' it's grown even larger than I could've imagined. It's fun to watch it all happen and to see how passionate young girls are about playing sports. It draws resemblance to when I was younger.
Q: Is being a role model for young women everywhere the most rewarding part of your career?
A: It's definitely the most rewarding part of playing professional soccer and playing in front thousands of fans every time. We want to inspire people, and we take that seriously. It's a huge part of why I love playing pro soccer so much.
Q: One hot topic has been the USWNT taking a stand for pay equality. Throughout the process, has it been difficult on you and the team?
A: If anything, we've gotten such a positive response from women and men in support of us. It's been a great experience to go through it. It's been a learning experience for me, but I don't want something off the field to impact what happens on the field. We want to promote the team, but women in sports and women in general. Gearing up for Rio is all about the Olympics -- but we have a platform to speak for those who don't have a voice. We stick up for ourselves, and we felt it was the right thing to do.
Q: You've accomplished so much, but what goals do you still have, soccer or not soccer-related?
A: I've been so fortunate to have so much success with my team. Although I'm happy about what we've been able to accomplish, we're never quite content. We're always looking for ways to be better and push the game along globally.