Abby Wambach, the retired American soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, will be the keynote interviewee at the third annual OWN IT Summit April 9.
OWN IT is a student initiative that seeks to connect students with women in leadership, featuring numerous speakers from various professional fields.
OWN IT Co-Chair Allyn Rosenberger (NHS ’17) said Wambach’s attendance is significant for the summit.
“The impact she’s had, not only on soccer, but on women’s sports, on women’s role in the world, has been absolutely remarkable. And so to have somebody who has been so legendary at the summit I think is just going to be totally unrivalled in terms of what we’ve seen before,” Rosenberger said.
Wambach competed in four FIFA Women’s World Cups, the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2012 Olympics in London and was U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year six times before her retirement in 2015.
Rosenberger said Wambach’s contributions to soccer and society in general are particularly inspiring.
“I’ve wanted her to come to the summit since the summits began. Like I said, she’s been my idol for as long as I can remember, and I’m completely overwhelmed that she’s coming and thrilled beyond belief,” Rosenberger said. “I think she’s done so much good for soccer, for women, for the world and I just can’t wait to meet her.”
OWN IT Co-Chair Soraya Eid (MSB ’17) said Wambach’s perspective of the sports industry will be particularly valuable.
“Soccer is growing in popularity in the States. I think it’s really cool to have a woman driving that growth and interest. The whole world was watching as she was playing in the FIFA finals, I think it’s going to be really cool to hear her perspective,” Eid said. “I definitely think that it will be cool to have someone from the women’s sports industry, because it works very differently than women in the media or women in activism.”
OWN IT Co-Founder Helen Brosnan (COL ’16) wrote in an email to The Hoya that Wambach showcases OWN IT’s values.
“It is an honor to be able to bring such a relevant, inspiring and highly accomplished speaker like Ms. Wambach. To our team, she truly embodies what OWN IT is all about: equality, perseverance and inclusion,” Brosnan said.
Wambach, after being interviewed by co-anchor of CBS This Morning Norah O’Donnell for the keynote, will be presented with the OWN IT Award during her visit for her impact on women’s sports and dedication to women’s issues, according to Rosenberger.
The specific details of Wambach’s visit — including the time of her speech and topic — have not yet been finalized, according to Eid.
Eid added that OWN IT’s structure allows speakers to choose their own topics.
“Part of the beauty of OWN IT is that we don’t really structure their content,” Eid said. “We leave that up to the moderators and the panelists because we think that fosters more organic conversations and that allows them to really talk about what stuff that’s important to them and what they feel the audience is looking for.”
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.