An exuberant Kai took off her shirt in celebration of the gold medal win, perhaps in a nod to Brandi Chastain’s famous (and controversial) celebration of the U.S. win over China in the 1999 World Cup.
Kai celebrates the Olympic win
Kai, the first Hawaiian ever to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team, was branded as the team’s rebel in a Nike commercial earlier this year, both because of her somewhat erratic performance, and her 19 tattoos (which she says are more cultural than rebellious).
Kai came out publicly just before the start of the Olympics, when she revealed in an interview with NBCOlympics.com that she had "a hard time" when she initially joined in January. "I had missed the first camp in early-January because I had bronchitis, and I was going through a nasty break-up with my girlfriend," she explained. The coach told her she was close to getting kicked off the team if her performance didn’t improve.
Kai got the message, and stepped up her game. At the Olympics, Kai started one game, and played in all six as a substitute. She played 199 minutes total, and scored one goal, with eight shots, including four on goal.
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