Beyond Bend It like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer

By Timothy F. Grainey | Go to book overview

Foreword

When I was five years old I dreamed of playing in a World Cup, at the Olympics, and professionally. I told my parents, who have always been supportive. They told me to work hard at my dreams, and the opportunities would be endless. At the time, what I didn’t know was that some of my dreams weren’t very realistic. In 1990 there was no official women’s World Cup, women’s soccer wasn’t a part of the Olympics, and playing professionally would almost be laughable, as most countries barely recognized women as being able to play soccer. For me, my role models were male. I watched a documentary on Pele, and he immediately became my favorite player. I believed that if I had faith, when it was time for me to play, the opportunities would be there. So every day I went down to the park and juggled, dribbled, and kicked the ball against a wall. I would miss birthday parties for games because the games were just that much more fun for me. At school I waited for the bell to ring so I could play at recess and lunch. That was the highlight of my school day.

Close to twenty years later, soccer has helped me to live my dreams and continue to make new ones. I’ve played in two world youth championships; in 2002 at the finals, we played in front of fifty thousand Canadians and had over a million watching on TV. I’ve been able to represent my country in two World Cups and recently the 2008 Olympics. It paid for my education, allowing me to

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