The New York Times Soccer Blog features a post today about out soccer player Natasha Kai, in a post entitled "Natasha Kai is Always Looking for More Ink."
The Olympic gold medallist is currently playing for Sky Blue, New Jersey’s team in the first season of the Women’s Professional Soccer league, which is attempting to bring women’s pro soccer back to the U.S. after the demise of the Women’s United Soccer Association in 2003.
Kai’s "unique style and extraordinary flair attracts eyes on and off the field," writes Times blogger Abigail LePeilbet, speculating that the public’s fascination with Kai may also be attributed to the fact that she "rolls around in a large pick-up truck, has a strong Hawaiian accent and is covered with body art."
And then there’s the fact that she’s openly gay/bisexual (she spoke publicly about her ex-girlfriend leading up to the Olympics), but the post doesn’t mention that.
LePeilbet gives a little background on Kai:
The Kahuku, Hawaii, native has been attracting attention since earning her first cap for the United States women’s senior national team early in 2006 — becoming the only woman from Hawaii to pull on a United States jersey. Two years later, Kai and the American team earned gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she scored the game-winning goal in extra time in a quarterfinal match against Canada, sending the American team into the medal round. Now she is playing an integral role for Sky Blue in the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer.
And she goes into detail about Natasha’s many tattoos:
Kai has quickly become one of the most recognizable female soccer players in the world and recently raised that profile (if that is possible!) with an appearance on the TLC (The Learning Channel) network show “LA Ink,” with her club and national team compatriot, and New Jersey native Christie Rampone. The tattoo artist, Kat Von D, gave Kai her only soccer-related tattoo.
For more about her tattoos, and her performance so far with Sky Blue (she recently scored the league’s second-fastest goal), read the blog post at the Times.
But first, here’s a look at Kai playing for Sky Blue:
And some cool photos from a recent promotional photoshoot for the league:
Thanks to AE reader MeL for the tip!