Friday, February 10, 2012

My Inspiration

Us womans soccer legend Mia Hamm takes corner ...
Image via Wikipedia

In the summer of 1999 the United States hosted the Women’s World Cup, a record-setting event that ignited feelings of nationalism and pride, as the Women’s National Soccer Team captivated the United States. The 1999 Women’s World Cup can be described as the pinnacle of women’s soccer in the United States, and even the world. When U.S. member, Brandi Chastain, shot the team's fifth penalty kick past the Chinese goalkeeper, after double overtime, the American team swept the nation off its feet. That summer’s events left a lasting legacy and is considered a milestone, in not only women’s soccer, but also women’s sports in general. I was fortunate to attend the game at Meadowlands stadium and is an experience I will never forget. The United States Women’s national team has dominated the sport on a world level as its most consistent and successful performer. The game garnered the highest television audience ever attained for any soccer game in the U.S., men’s or women’s. The players of the entire team gained stardom, but the most prominent members, including Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, became nationally known heroes and role models for millions of young American girls, including myself. Mia Hamm is one of the two women named in Pele’s “List of 125 Best Soccer Players of All Times” and she is a symbol of women’s sports throughout the World. It is not an exaggeration to say the success of the American women’s national team of 1999 provided the initial thrust for what would become a long and prolific history of women’s professional soccer in the U.S., and, perhaps, the world.
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