SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Legendary U.S. soccer player and team captain Abby Wambach came to Mount Holyoke College on Thursday afternoon. Her visit was the kick-off to the Weissman Center for Leadership's 2016-17 "Imagination" series. In addition to her talk at Chapin Auditorium, the World Cup champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist also participated in several events across campus.
Prior to Wambach's talk at Chapin, she took part in a community pep rally, held in the Field House of the Kendall Sports & Dance Complex. Mount Holyoke students, along with faculty, staff and their families were invited to the open rally, which was attended by Acting President Sonya Stephens, Director of Athletics and Chair of Physical Education Lori Hendricks, and representatives from the Weissman Center.
Wambach then took the stage that evening, encouraging the audience members to keep dreaming. She engaged the crowd of over 800 people with a number of stories and examples from throughout her life and career. Reflecting on topics from her start in the sport of soccer, her substance abuse issues, and what her newly released autobiography shows about her.
Among the many reflections during the talk was her famous header goal, which occurred in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil. In her recalling of the moment, she urged the crowd to seize their own moments when they present themselves, and to work hard for what you want in life.
Throughout Wambach's entire talk, the message was to keep dreaming and work to make it happen. "Think of your 10-year-old self," Wambach urged the crowd. "We all have that natural ability to actually create the life that we want."
Wambach closed out the evening with a Q & A session with the audience, followed by signing copies of her new book, "Forward," for the crowd.
This series opening event for the Weissman Center was co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke Department of Physical Education and Athletics.
Photos featured from Wambach's visit courtesy of RJB Sports Photography.