USA loses to Japan in World Cup, but inspires nontheless

Bummed, but still ridiculously amazing.

They lost, indeed, but one team always has to, and it certainly doesn’t change how they’ve captivated the nation or further shaped our consciousness around women and sports. As I was watching yesterday, I could just imagine all the little girls around the world, gearing up to buy their pink headbands just like Alex Morgan (who scored an awesome goal) or itching to get out of the house and practice headers in the park so they could be just like Abby Wambach (pictured above). And no one could deny that Japan, as a nation, deserves some good news, so props to their spirited team.

I was especially interested in the coverage of Wambach leading up to yesterday’s game, which seemed to mostly acknowledge her incredible strength without objectifying her or questioning her legitimacy as a woman. The New York Times even managed to write about her as a little girl without gender policing:

As the youngest of seven children, Abby Wambach grew up playing the role of family tackling dummy. By age 7, she was routinely lashed into hockey pads so her brothers could fire pucks at her in the neighborhood cul-de-sac. Even at meals, she was on defense: she learned to quickly bite each French fry in half so that her siblings wouldn’t raid her plate. Twenty years later, Wambach offers this sage life lesson: “Always cut your underwear a little so that when your brothers hang you on the doorknob, it will tear away easier.”

Thanks for the advice, Abby. We’re still big fans, win or lose. And, of course, the Olympics are right around the corner.

For more on how the team is taking it, go here.

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