Three years ago I was given the opportunity to proudly represent the red, white and blue in Taipei, Taiwan. I competed with 15 amazing female athletes from all over our great country in the popular sport known as Football to the world and soccer to us. Three weeks in Taiwan gave me a complete transformation as a person. We went through the five circles of hell and came out champions. The gold medal hung around our necks as we celebrated the night away. The memory is forever cherished amongst us veterans.
Fast forward three years later, I am continuing my soccer career with National Women’s Deaf Soccer team. The feeling is strange and yet it is so familiar. I am excited beyond measure and yet, I feel the weight of a nation settling on my shoulders. It is a huge responsibility, but an honor and privilege. I will be suiting up in stars and stripes once again! This time the destination is Ankara, Turkey, a new and fascinating country. We are competing in the Deaf World Cup and could not be more pumped up!
Time since our victory in Taiwan has passed quickly with quite a few low lows and several highlights. Teammates have retired and moved on from soccer, veterans have continued sacrificing and training their bodies in preparation for the next challenge.
A roster of 19 incredibly talented, amazing and athletic women will gather in New York City July 12th. With dreams, perseverance, passion, and hope, we will begin a new journey towards another championship. We will go for our third gold as team! We face the usual challenges: variety of communication, diverse lifestyles (we have a farmer, a PE teacher, an audiologist, several graduate students on our team), and the age gap. Our youngest player is 16 years old and the oldest is 31 years old! We have nine returning veterans and ten new players. Needless to say, we will have some obstacles to get through. What team doesn’t? One of the biggest things I learned during the Deaflympics in 2009 is that if it’s easy, then it’s not worth doing.
While we battle against Russia, Poland, Germany, and Japan in Turkey, we will need your help! Please support us in any way you can. Cheer for us, think of us, pray for us. We will feel your spirit and it will make all the difference. It takes a village to raise a child. For us, it takes a nation to create this team. Without you, we would not exist. Our first game is July 18th against Russia, our biggest rivals. I have utmost faith in our team that we will prevail!
I will do my best to keep you all informed. As far as I know, there is no media coverage of the Deaf World Cup. Keep your eyes peeled for an update! I will also be tweeting as regularly as I can. You can follow me through this name: agoober13.