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Imagine this: the championship soccer game is tied in overtime and one penalty kick decides the game; the pressure is overwhelming, the crowd is roaring. "Momentary insanity," explains Brandi Chastain after taking her nerve-wracking penalty kick during the 1999 Women's World Cup finals. Brandi Chastain was a famous soccer player who is well-known for her success in her penalty kick that won the World Cup for the United States. Throughout that game, she had to deserve her victory through many experiences, just like in her life in general. She went through many ups and downs throughout not only her soccer career, but her lifetime course. Brandi earned what she deserved via her ambitiousness and motivation. Even though Brandi Chastain was living the life any soccer player would want, she had to earn what she accomplished throughout her ambitious life.
Brandi Chastain took many different paths to get to where she is today. From the beginning, she's been very motivated and never gave up on herself, even throughout hard points in her life. Brandi was born on July 21, 1968 in San Jose, California ("U.S. Teams"). Her parents were Lark and Roger Chastain and she has one younger brother, Chad, who she grew up playing soccer with, along with other boys ("Brandi"). Unexpected bad news in 2002 came in that her mother has passed away in her sleep, following with her father passing away seven months later ("Detailed Bio"). Her mother, Lark has explained how as a child, Brandi never was interested in dolls, she'd rather play outside, embarrass boys who taunted her for being the only girl on the field, and she would constantly be playing soccer and kicking the ball for hours and hours ("Brandi"). Growing up, she was first interested in ballet and she also always wished to play American football, but she ended up sticking with soccer, that she started to play at eight years old ("Brandi"). Her first team she played on was the Quakettes, from the North American Soccer League's San Jose Earthquakes ("Brandi"). She was entirely committed to the team, even though she was only eight years old. Brandi even wore her uniform to bed every night and also wore it for Halloween ("Brandi"). Brandi then joined another league called the Blossom Valley Soccer League for a team called Horizon, a team that her own father coached ("Brandi"). The Blossom Valley Soccer League was a team for kids under 12, so Brandi decided to step it up and play in another league with fourteen year olds ("Brandi"). Following that, she joined the Under 16 West Valley Cougars and the Under 16 ODP Northern California State team ("Brandi"). Later, at sixteen years old, she was called to the youth national team. ("Brandi"). Brandi focused her high school career mostly on soccer, also. In junior high, she played on a boys' team for Davis Junior High School, because there wasn't a girls' team ("Brandi"). She then kept playing soccer when she reached high school. Brandi played on the girls' team for Archbishop Mitty High School ("Brandi"). While Brandi was on the team, Archbishop High went to three consecutive state championships ("U.S. Teams"). In 1986, Brandi played on the team for the University of California-Berkeley with her teammate, Joy Faucett ("Brandi"). During this year, she was named Soccer America's national freshman of the year ("Brandi"). After that year, she transferred to Santa Clara University and played for the Broncos ("Brandi"). Brandi dealt with an injury during college soccer that made her sit out for two years, which to her was the end of the world ("Detailed Bio"). She graduated from Santa Clara University in 1990 with a Television and Communications degree and returned there in 1994 to coach the Broncos until 2000 ("Brandi"). Brandi did not only coach the Broncos, but she also coached in Cuppertino, California for the Monta Vista High School girls' soccer team ("Brandi"). During those busy years, in 1993, Brandi earned MVP playing for Shiroki Serena Japan ("U.S. Teams"). She was also a part of the 1997 Western Regional Champions, the Sacramento Storm, a women's' club ("U.S. Teams"). Brandi came out of college with her career totally focused on soccer.
Brandi took a big step in her life, playing on the U.S. Women's National Team which she joined in 1988. ("Brandi"). Their team won the FIFA World Cup in 1991 for the first time ever ("Brandi"). In 1996 she was given the nickname Hollywood by her teammate Julie Foudy because she was so dramatic ("Brandi"). Two years later in 1993, Coach Anson Dorrance cut Brandi from the national team, so this is when she joined the Japanese team and made the All-Star team ("Brandi"). However, she was assigned back to the national team in 1996 by Coach Tony DiCicco ("Brandi"). This time, instead of playing as a forward like she always has, she played on defense ("Brandi"). Brandi became a part of a core group of U. S. National Team veterans called the 91ers ("Brandi"). She played in this group from 1991 to the 2004 Olympics ("Brandi"). In June 2005, there was an unfortunate alteration in her career. Brandi was once again dropped from the national team, but this time by Greg Ryan ("Brandi"). She was very depressed with his choice, especially being only eight caps shy of her 200th ("Brandi"). The whole world was shocked and upset with Greg Ryan at this point; hence there was a lot of poor commentary on him ("Brandi"). He was fired later on and replaced with Jerry Smith, Brandi's husband ("Brandi"). In March 2009, the Gold Pride team chose Brandi to play with in the Women's Professional Soccer league (WPS) ("Brandi"). She was forty years old at the time; seven years older than her own coach and also she was the oldest on the team ("Brandi"). At this point, she switched from defense to midfield ("Brandi"). After being released from Gold Pride, Brandi was inducted into WCC Hall of Honor on March 6 in its second ever WCC Hall of Honor class ("Brandi").
Brandi Chastain engaged in a few other activities besides soccer. After getting her Television and Communications degree from Santa Clara, she was involved with broadcasting. She became a side-line reporter for the ABC-ESPN Broadcasting team for the 2005 Major League Soccer season ("Brandi"). Some of Brandi's other hobbies include snowboarding, drawing, and golf ("U.S. Teams"). As her soccer commitments were decreasing, she started to golf more often ("U.S. Teams"). Brandi competed in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, the Ladies First Celebrity Golf Classic, a fund-raiser to benefit the Women's Sports Foundation, the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course Celebrity Tournament, and other tournaments ("Brandi"). On top of soccer and golf, she engaged in many charities. Brandi was a part of charities and causes including the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative, the Children's Cancer Research Fund, and worked a lot with the Women's Sports Foundation ("U.S. Teams"). She also has signed a declaration against child labor and joined an anti-flu campaign to raise awareness in 2009 ("Brandi"). Brandi's whole life career has been mostly focused on soccer. She has dealt with a few bumps in her road of life, but somehow snuck by them like they weren't even there and became a very successful professional soccer player.
"And to learn, you have to be willing to push yourself," Brandi once explained. Obviously Brandi is going to have many accomplishments throughout her life, being a professional soccer player, but she wasn't just handed them. She completed her life goals through her motivation. 1999 was a life-changing year for Brandi. On July 10, 1999, Brandi was involved in "the third most significant soccer event of the decade" (Brennan). It was the day of the final game of the 1999 Women's World Cup contest; United States verses China ("Brandi"). The game was decided by penalty kicks in overtime, due to a full 90 minutes game of no goals ("Brandi"). The whole game was decided on Brandi's penalty kick, after the score being a tie, 4-4 (Brennan). She led the U.S. to a win after delivering a perfect penalty kick that many say "no goalie could have saved" ("Brandi"). After that moment, Brandi was well-known by many people of the world (Brennan). Besides her kick making her famous, she earned world-wide notice for her celebration afterwards. She swung her jersey around victoriously after shucking it off of her body, revealing a black Nike sports bra ("Brandi"). Her celebration earned her the front page of Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine, and Newsweek, not to mention all over the news ("Brandi"). Her on field celebration had a reverse impact on male players ("Brandi"). Players copied her celebration, including Landon Donovan and Jim Rooney who revealed their own black sports bras ("Brandi"). After being a sudden celebrity, her kick and celebration allowed her to participate in in exciting opportunities. This includes throwing out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game, flying Air Force One with President Clinton, and playing golf with Tiger Woods ("Brandi"). Not only did she become famous, but so did her sports bra. There was an unplanned boon to Nike; therefore their company signed a one million dollar contract to Brandi for continuing their promotion ("Brandi"). Her black sports bra was inducted into the Sports Museum of America located in Lower Manhattan ("Brandi"). After the museum experienced bankruptcy, it was sent back to Brandi for free, even though many had to pay for their possessions back ("Brandi"). In October of 2004, Brandi released her own book called It's Not About the Bra: How to Play Hard, Play Fair, and Put the Fun Back Into Competitive Sports ("Detailed Bio"). The goal of her book is to "encourage parents and coaches to improve current youth soccer programs because they recently have become too pressured and violent" ("Brandi"). "The only way to bring out kids' greatness is to let them find their own inspiration," (Chastain 80) says author, Brandi Chastain ("Brandi"). In her book, she deals with the idea of competitive sports using her own experiences ("Brandi"). Brandi has held records and featured in many other opportunities in her life. She has featured on David Letterman a number of times ("U.S. Teams"). He has stated, "You'll come for the Hamm, you'll stay for the Brandi!" ("Brandi"). Besides being involved with the third most significant soccer event of the decade, Brandi has been named one of People Magazine's 25 Most Intriguing People of 1999 ("U.S. Teams"). Also, she is number 97 on Street and Smith's 100 Most Powerful People in Sport for 1999 ("U.S. Teams"). Believe it or not, prior to the World Cup, Brandi has even posed in a photo shoot for Gear Magazine wearing only soccer cleats and holding a soccer ball ("U.S. Teams"). Brandi has held a few records in her lifetime. For fifteen years, she held the NCAA record for the most consecutive games with at least one goal each ("Brandi"). This was for the Santa Clara Broncos in 1990 ("Brandi"). She also held the record for number of goals in a single game; five goals against Mexico on April 18, 1991 ("Brandi"). Those goals were ironically her first goals scored for the National team, and she didn't even start ("Brandi"). During the Olympic Games, Brandi started every game, and even played every minute of every game ("Detailed Bio"). As anyone can see, Brandi has had a perfect soccer life, being the most famous soccer personality of America. Her life was made up of many achievements she deserved through her desired personality.
"Make sure you always enjoy yourself, because when you enjoy yourself, you'll learn, you'll want more information, you'll push yourself" (Chastain). Brandi Chastain is considered a role model for many people around the world. Her dedication brought her far in life where she met her life goal as a professional women's soccer player. She currently enjoys her life with a job as a mom with her husband, Jerry Smith, her son, Jaden, and stepson, Cameron in California ("Detailed Bio"). She mentally has pushed herself her whole life and reached where she is today. Brandi Chastain has past and presently been living her dream life.