Updated: Dec 19, 2019
When a strong woman sets her mind to something, there is no limit to what she can achieve for herself and those around her. There is one strong woman who we are thrilled to be celebrating, not only for dedicating her mind, but her body and spirit as well.
Today, Abby Wambach is known as a two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time winner of the US Soccer Athlete of the Year award, and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion. But, once upon a time, she was a four year old girl who found something she loved and stuck with it.
It’s this lifelong determination and drive that makes Abby an absolute icon of dedication for women around the world.
Dedicated women are resilient, unwavering and unstoppable in achieving their goals. As the youngest of seven siblings, Abby learned early on that it would take hard work to succeed and win, which she did. Her dedication to soccer began early. By her preteens, she was already developing her now signature technique of diving headers to get around defence and score. Set on being a winner, she seemed to know from the start that she would need to step outside the box and blaze new trails to make that happen.
Her drive continued through high school as she earned various recognitions and accolades, became a member of the Olympic Development Program, and trained with the US women’s national soccer team, taking every opportunity to hone her skills and advance further.
At the end of her high school career, she was incredibly sought after by a number of colleges. She eventually chose to attend the University of Florida, attracted by the opportunity to play for a newer, less-established team that she could lead forward. And lead she did! In her first year, she played a key role in the team’s very first National Soccer Coaches Association of America championship win, as well as four South Eastern Conference wins in a row.
After being drafted in the first round of draft picks for the 2002 Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) draft, Abby continued to push forward, displaying and growing incredible skills and acting as a leader within the team. It was a setback the following year when WUSA shutdown due to financial issues, but that didn’t hold Abby back. Her dedication continued to shine as she played in the Women’s Premier Soccer League and with other clubs and leagues.
When the new Women’s Professional Soccer League was founded in 2008, Abby was there, and she continued to pursue greater and greater achievements.
When another setback came in the form of a bad leg break, Abby was quoted as saying, “There's no question of whether or not I'll come back from this, it's more when I'll come back.” Not only did she come back, she went on to compete in two more FIFA Women’s World Cup championships as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics. If that isn’t dedication in action, we don’t know what is!
Now retired from professional soccer, Abby continues to lend her leadership and dedication to the sport as an ambassador for Athlete Ally - an organization dedicated to making athletics more inclusive and ending discrimination, particularly for LGBTQ athletes.
Clearly a woman of true dedication, we celebrate Abby Wombach!
Is there a dedicated woman in your life who you would like to challenge to bring that strength forward? Challenge someone today!