Tuesday was a day of enthusiastic fist pumps as Obama called women in sports “badasses” at The White House, but it was also tinged with some sadness for fans of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, which won the World Cup in July.
The world’s all-time leading scorer, Olympian, and team captain Abby Wambach announced her retirement from the sport at the end of the year with the following statement (via ESPN):
“After much deliberation and talking with my friends, family, teammates and our coaching staff, I’ve decided to finally bring my soccer career to an end. While we still have more work to do for women’s soccer, after bringing the World Cup back to the United States this summer, I’m feeling extremely optimistic about the future of our sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”
Her team mates shared some memories of being on the field and in the locker room with the player with Fox Soccer, offering a pretty special glimpse into the warm and jocular personality behind the on-field force that is Wambach.
In her official announcement, which you can see the video of right here, ESPN W got the scoop on her thoughts about retirement, the reason for her timing, and exactly how great it was to hear Obama say that women’s sport players are ‘badasses’ on screens across the nation.
Basically, as Wambach tells it, she never wanted her annoucement to overshadow in any way the success of her team from the World Cup, and so she waited till they’d all made it to The White House and met Obama for the proverbial ‘mic drop’ moment.
The president spoke with eloquence about the USWNT as role models for young women in sports, but he also gave a beautiful shout out to Wambach and the now infamous post-World Cup win kiss with her wife Sarah Huffman.
“I’m not sure [Abby] could have written a better ending: a world champion at last, draped in the Stars and Stripes, showing us all how far we’ve come -– on and off the field –- by sharing a celebratory kiss with her wife,’ Obama said.