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When you ask members of the Deaf Women’s National Soccer Team why they dedicate their lives to the game, their answer is simple; “We hope that one day you can ask a little deaf girl who her hero is, and maybe you’ll hear one of our names”.
These women are heroes for more than just deaf athletes. They are awe-inspiring role models whose talent and tenacity have won them two Deaflympic gold medals and the World Deaf Football championship. Not only have they found kinship with other deaf women and teammates that have become family, but a relentless energy that fuels them to greatness on and off the field.
FlipGive was lucky enough to speak with a few of these amazing women on life, their top Nike picks, and what makes a winning team.
Sydney Andrews: Defender, Missouri Western U senior, Physical Therapy Assistant:
On how the team changed her:
“Being on the team enabled me to understand that there are others out there who share the same struggles and difficulties as me, and we all get through it together and make the most of it. It has helped me be proud of who I am and my deafness. Being on the team has given me such an appreciation for soccer and it’s so humbling to know that I am a part of something like this. “
On her teammates:
“I strive to be the best version of myself because of this team. I am honored and blessed to say I am part of such an amazing and awe-inspiring group of women. We are the USDWNT, we are winners, we are fighters, we are women with a dream. “
Her Nike pick: Mercurial Cleats
Mercurial cleats in a sweet color. “people may not admit it, but when your shoes look cool, you feel that much more confident”.
Liza Offreda: Midfielder,10 year team veteran, PH.D candidate:
On being a mentor:
“I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my parents who told me everyday growing up not to allow deafness to be an obstacle. They told me I should use it as an advantage, because it’s something that makes me different from everyone else. With their positive outlook, I gained a confident perspective on how I see the world, I always felt like I could do anything I wanted, and I am. I’m really living the dream, playing the game I love and being able to help other deaf girls grow into strong women.
Her Nike Pick: The Tech Fleece Pant
The tech fleece pant is a staple in my closet, especially training and living in Washington. The pants are life changing and provide comfort and ease, which is so important for me when performing at a high level.
Allie Galoob: Midfielder,9 year DWNT player, Saint Louis University Grad:
Her Nike Pick: The Lunarglide 7
I’ve faithfully trained with the Lunarglide model since it was first created. Each upgraded version is consistently better than the last. I feel supported and light on my feet whenever I wear them.
On overcoming obstacles:
“For fifteen years , I had always been the only deaf player on the field. While I had a great chemistry with my teammates, I always felt left out on the bus rides home and at team parties. I never really felt like I truly belonged to a team until I was officially invited to try out for the Deaf Women’s National Team in 2007. It was as if I had found my soccer family. I was finally a part of the inside jokes and the laughter. It was that feeling of belonging that inspired me to keep playing.”
On the team as a sisterhood:
“As much as I am honored to represent my country, I also am honored to play for my teammates. They are the only ones who make it worth the extra sprints, the early morning workouts, and the hardships of fundraising. My life has taken so many twists and turns to places I never expected, and it’s all because I trust the process and try to live in the moment. I have my amazing team to thank for that outlook. It’s like they say, there’s no time like the present”.
The USDWNT desperately needs your help to get to the World Cup in Italy this summer.Without funding, all expenses fall on the players. Click here to support these inspiring women on their quest to bring home gold again.