World Cup Champs

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Gabe and I were fortunate enough to go on our first big kid-free getaway in France shortly after our arrival in Europe. Our main draw was watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup and seriously, what better place than France? We bought our tickets for the semi-finals and final match in Lyon prior to the group announcements and were just banking on the USA making it through. It was a tough road at times, as the US faced off against the host nation of France and a highly competitive English squad prior to meeting the Netherlands in the finals. The US Women’s National Team (USWNT) demonstrated both physical and mental strength, playing with unyielding confidence and tenacity throughout the tournament. They pulled off the win with a combination of grit and finesse to earn their 4th star as world champs! It was such an amazing experience to be amongst the 57,900 fans at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium. Watching the game at the world level, basking in the camaraderie of American fans, and bringing home such a big win was exhilarating.

The USWNT not only cemented their impact as athletes, but also as advocates and ambassadors for women’s rights and equality. They are inspiring the next generation of young girls to dream big, be fearless, and stand up for what they believe in. They were joined by athletes across the globe, like Brazil’s legendary Marta, to highlight gender gaps and push for equality in sport and in life. My hope is for a ripple effect to those nations that are lacking the more basic support, funding, and development, or simply the opportunity for girls and women to participate in sport.

My connection to soccer runs deep. Soccer is one of my greatest passions and has been a constant in my life in some form since age 8. I feel so fortunate to have returned to the game post-kids and although my “training” is quite different, I still have the same joy for the game. I was able to reconnect with two of my former college teammates in Lyon and reminisce on my college days when team meant everything; being part of something greater than yourself and working together as one. I hope to play in some capacity here in Budapest. At minimum, you will find me kicking the ball around at the park with my little all-stars, hoping to pass along that spark.