World Cup champion visits USF

Pamela Tavarez, Staff Writer

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  FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach visits the University of South Florida and took a spot on the stage of the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom to give a lecture on sports, equality and life.

  The soccer champion joined the University Lecture Series (USL) March 10 with the doors of the ballroom opening at 7:30 p.m. It was an event opened to the general public in a first come first serve basis after USF students got priority seating.

  Wambach has had an incredible career that places her as the highest scorer in the history of international soccer players, both female and male, with 184 career goals.

  She is recognized as a soccer legend earning two Olympic gold medals and winning the U.S Soccer Athlete of the Year award six times. She is also recognized as an activist as she is involved in many organizations. One of the organizations she participates in is the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) that works against poverty around the world. Moreover, Wambach is involved in the LGBT community and works toward woman equality in sports.

  At the MSC Ballroom, Wambach was introduced to the crowd and interviewed by Joselynn Fisher. Although Wambach graduated from the rival school the University of Florida, she was welcomed with cheers.

  The speech began with the soccer legend elaborating on her childhood and how her “competitive nature” was “instilled in her DNA” from a very young age.

  She went on and spoke about her college years and how important it was to discover which road to take. Wambach shed a light on college students by commenting that the key to success is to create balance in school and in life.

  Wambach shares the personal moment of her epiphany that made her decide a soccer career was best for her, “After watching the 1990 Womenís World Cup, I remember how spectacular that moment was and I thought I was really gonna dedicate myself and give it my all.”

  Wambach’s lecture was full of humor and inspiring quotes that showed the soccer player is of great character.One of Wambach’s outstanding messages in her lecture was, “I challenge people to find their IT factor, everyone on this planet has something that they, themselves have that is unlike anybody else.”

  USF Student, Daniris Occasion, shared that “Abby is an inspiration. I was interested in the fact that despite her challenges, she became successful in her career and helps out to make the world better.”

  After the short speech, the Lecture Series provided a fun twist in letting a few people from the crowd ask Wambach their own questions.

  One particular crowd member asked Wambach what she would like to be remembered by, “I want to be remembered as a person, not a soccer player. A person that cared for others and somebody that put other people first as Abby.”

  After the round of questions, few people had a once in a lifetime opportunity to stand in line for a short meet and greet session with the world class woman and soccer player.

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