Wambach ready for more
Posted at: 08/07/2012 5:16 PM
By: Robin De Wind | WHEC.com
Abby Wambach was a natural from the beginning. She was a state champion basketball player for Mercy, but soccer was her sport, and she was a thrill to watch even when she was young.
"As soon as the lights got turned on that's when I would shine. I'm the youngest of 7, I wanted to prove to my family that they should watch me. 'Look mom, look at me.' I got used to when the lights got turned on I performed well," Abby says.
Abby's accomplishments have only grown since her game-winning gold medal goal in Athens. Back then, she was the up and coming star to Mia Hamm.
Her physical style of play has separated her from the rest. "The fact that I'm physically bigger than most the women on the field gives me an advantage on some things people not not be born with. I have more height than some of the other defenders, allowing me to hit balls with my head," Wambach says.
We watched the rising star fall four years ago. The 2008 Olympics never happened for Wambach, who broke her leg in two places in a game before Beijing.
What was devastating is now a lesson she carries with her into every game.
Wambach says, "I want to be completely present and focused. If you lose focus, you can break your leg and your dreams are crushed."
Since that, Wambach has led the US women into an attack high-pressure team with sophistication.
She has grown into the natural leader of the team, evident when she was on the cusp of what would have been her greatest victory during last year's World Cup. She accepted defeat with grace.
"What the World cup did was age the younger players a little bit, a lot of experience and give them that taste of defeat, which is always the best motivator of having a quick turn around to the next championship," Wambach says.
Since the World Cup, Abby was grown beyond being a household name in Rochester to being a hero to young girls around the country.
She is the player all the kids want to grow up to be- a hero, a role model, the ultimate teammate. She's prepared to show what she can do on the world's largest stage.
Abby and the US women's soccer team will play Japan for the gold medal on Thursday at 2:30.
Wambach says this is the match she has been waiting a year for, after the US women lost the heartbreaker to Japan in the World Cup.