Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better

Last night I went to a lecture given by Mia Hamm. Now, if you're into soccer or women's sports or just sports in general you should know who she is. Or, if you're more of a baseball fan you might know her as the wife of former Red Sox player, Nomar Garciaparra. Or as the player who co-starred with Michael Jordan in those Gatrade commercials. Or as the youngest player to be on the US women's national soccer team, at just 15.

Or as the youngest women to win a World Cup, at 19. Or as a founding member of Washington Freedom, the women's professional soccer club based out of D.C. Or as the FIFA Player of the Year in 2001 & 2002. Or as the person - male or female - to have the highest goal count in history. Or when she helped the US women's soccer team win gold in the 2004 Olympics. Or you might be more familiar with the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup game versus China, in which the US won in overtime during a penalty shot scored by Brandi Chastain {shirt ripping, sports bra exposing to follow}.

To sum it up - MIA HAMM ROCKS!

As a former soccer player {& current soccer watcher}, Hamm, and her 1999 team of champions, were the first female athletes I looked up to as role models. Instead of wanting to play like Pelé or Alexi Lalas, me, & the girls I played with, dreamed of being like Hamm, Chastain, Akers, Scurry, Overbeck, Foudy, & Lilly.

Last night, in her speech, she talked about making the choice to be great everyday. Her answers to audience questions were real & thoughtful. It was so great to see little girls, 9-11 years old, with their entire team decked out in cleats & shin guards with #9 jerseys on -even after all these years, she is still an inspiration. She said she doesn't do many speeches & didn't think what she had done in her life was earth shattering....Oh, Mia I have to disagree. You changed the game, of soccer, & sports for girls.

"You Play Like A Girl" finally became a compliment instead of an insult.

Do you have an athlete you look up to as a role model, perhaps someone who changed the rules of a sport, so more people could play {think: Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph, & even Britt's fave, Babe Didrickson}?

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