Abby Wambach

by Abby Caballero from San Diego, California in United States


The Goal of Life

In The Office’s “Diversity Day,” Dwight K Schrute describes a hero as: “part-human and part-supernatural. A hero is born out of a childhood trauma, or out of a disaster that must be avenged”(7:57- 8:08). This statement is wrong. In real life, heroes are not superheroes. Heroes invoke hope into our society through their actions. As a society, we look for role models that possess qualities that we aspire to have. Heroes do not have to be famous. A hero can be anyone who has those high standards we aspire to obtain. Dwight Schrute was right about something, heroes do arise in a challenge. A hero can be a single mom struggling to provide for her kids or a war hero fighting for their life. The impact of a hero can be minimal or enormous, but the result of their work is the same for all, awe inspiring.  The people affected by these acts are constantly benefited. A hero who affects people in such a way possess courage and determination.

Because of her brave choices and strength to stick through the hard times, Abby Wambach exemplifies what it means to be a hero through her determination and courage. Abby Wambach was born in the small town of Pittsford, New York. She was brought up in a Christian family where she was the youngest of seven siblings. This made her very competitive.  From a young age she discovered her talent for soccer. She was moved to a higher level boys’ team at the age of nine for her advanced skill. Her high school games solidified her dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. In high school Wambach came to terms with something about herself that was always there, but she had to accept it: her sexuality. After high school,  she continued to struggle with her sexuality, but her soccer continued to excel. She played for the Florida Gators and the team was unstoppable. Despite the team's success, Wambach left school to join the Women's National Soccer Team.  She pushed herself to become the best and made many strides for women’s soccer. She won multiple awards for her soccer achievements and she still to this day holds the record for most goals scored in a career for both men and womens’ national team soccer: 184 goals. After her retirement, she reached even more feats: “She landed on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Today, Wambach remains an ambassador for the sport, but she’s recently cultivated a new area of expertise: that of mom/soccer mom to her three stepchildren, after her marriage last year to author Glennon Doyle”(Epps 1). Abby Wambach is more than a soccer player, she is a hero worthy of admiration because of her determination to get things done and her courage to remain true to herself despite what people may think.

Abby Wambach’s positive outlook helps her remain determined and focused  as she works towards the extremely high goals she sets for herself. During Abby’s career there have been times where she dropped the ball but she always got it back. During her first season with the Washington Freedoms, she was falling behind and realized something needed to change: “I listened; I focused; I pushed Chill Abby away. I finished the Washington Freedom’s season with thirty-three goals, the most in the league, and scored the winning shot at the championship game”(Wambach 44).  Abby Wambach helps her readers understand how hard she worked by using words such as, “pushed” and focused” to show how she changed her attitude towards soccer. Wambach is dedicated and put more work into her dream than most people because she wanted it that bad. Abby worked hard and confirmed that with extra training and mind power she could be unstoppable. Abby proved herself to her team and to her fans by showing them she has what it takes to be a professional soccer player. She showed the world how determined to be the best she was. Wambach had one of the most successful careers ever in professional soccer. Her hardwork and talent payed off and made her the best: “Female Athlete of the Year, U.S. Soccer, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013; gold medal, Olympic Games, 2004, 2012; FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, 2012; inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame, 2012”(Gale 16).  Abby won six athlete of the year awards and many other awards that show how her hard work paid off.  The list of her achievements could keep going, but it could have stopped too, after her first gold medal or her first world cup title. She could have quit on top but she did not and by doing so she convinced the country that she has what it takes to represent the best of them. As a result of her accomplishments Wambach earned people’s respect. With their respect Abby inspires others to strive to be powerful and strong just like her. Abby Wambach has verified that she has determination to push through any challenge with a positive attitude and her talent.  

Abby is a courageous character who is unafraid to be her true self, therefore inspiring others to do the same. Abby made a non-traditional decision to drop out of college to pursue soccer full time. She is known to make these types of decisions before but this one really shook her life in a good direction: “She decided not to finish school and dedicated her time to training hard. In 2002 she tried out for the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) and was the second player chosen overall”(Gale 5). She knew school was important, but at that moment  the right thing for her to succeed in soccer was to leave school. Most people would be too scared to risk their life path in such a drastic way, but Wambach was so determined to achieve her dream that she made the unpopular decision and risked a different direction. An even more courageous moment in Wambach’s life is when she came out to her college soccer team.  Abby Wambach is lesbian. When she played soccer in college she had to come to acceptance with who she was and had the confidence to tell her team: “One night, I decided to tell my teammates that I was gay. They suspected something, I was sure of it; I’d heard them whisper, but not in a mean way. They were just curious. I was scared, but then I thought: “Gay” is only one part of who you are, and you should be vocal about that as you are about everything else”(Wambach 33).  Abby Wambach uses the word “scared” to show her audience what an emotional experience coming out was for her. Coming out to her teammates was difficult for Abby because the only other person she had come out to was her best friend, Ari.  He was very accepting but Wambach felt worried that not everyone else would be the same. She got over that fear because she needed people to know who she really is. Abby is known for her strength but in this situation she became vulnerable. Abby Wambach let this experience shape her into the confident women she is today by making it a learning experience.  She learned that people would accept her more than she thought and that she should not hide who she really is. Abby Wambach made decisions in her life that shaped her into the person she is today. Being courageous helps Wambach make complicated decisions that were necessary for her career to soar.

Abby Wambach inspires others by teaching through her example of taking risks and never giving up her dream.  Abby Wambach has lived her life around soccer. She holds many records in the sport and has pushed others to do the same. Her achievements have let women all over the world know that they can achieve great things too. When I was ten, I met Abby Wambach at a fundraiser lunch. When I went up to have her sign my jersey, she said hi and asked how I was, I just smiled. In that moment I almost fainted because I just could not believe I was meeting my hero. Now, when I look back at the experience I remember how much Abby Wambach inspired every person in that room. If I am lucky enough to ever be half as inspiring as she is, I will be extremely honored. Wambach teaches me that if I work hard enough, I can achieve my goals. She made sure that a young girl like me could succeed in a career of soccer. I may not eventually play professionally like Wambach, but my dreams are still there and they would not be as big if she did not prove to everyone that girls can do it too. Abby was a normal person with a talent and she uses it to inspire not just girls, but everyone impacted by the sport of soccer. Perhaps Dwight Schrute was right Abby Wambach is a superhero to me.

Works Cited

"Abby Wambach." Gale Biography in Context, Gale, 2012. Biography In Context, Accessed 13 Apr. 2018.

Epps, Sharon Van. “Perspective | Soccer Star Turned Soccer Mom Abby Wambach: Here's What Sports Parents Get Wrong.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 Oct. 2017,

“The Office (US) – Diversity Day Script.” Genius,

Wambach, Abby. Forward. Dey Street Books, 2016.

Page created on 5/30/2018 2:19:52 AM

Last edited 5/31/2018 5:54:49 PM

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