It was great to learn more about Denise in her episode, not having the chance to meet her in Asheville. Denise shared her affinity of multiple sports as a swimmer, diver, gymnastic, and track which ultimately led her to starting soccer at age 14. Her abilities in other sports surely translated to her professional development with soccer.
When I was in high school I loved competing in multiple sports, and for any young kids now I highly encourage them to stick with many sports for as long as possible. In the current youth environment in the US, sport has become very competitive from a young age with pressures to choose only one. I hope people hearing Denise’s story will have the same impact on them.
It is clear the impact the Seattle women’s soccer community had on both Denise and Michelle. They reflected on realizing now how rare it was to have multiple options for women to continue playing soccer out of high school, and how special that Seattle soccer core community is. This proves how special the first US Women’s Soccer team members were to the entire soccer movement in the United States. They ultimately started the dominance of the USWNT which continues to inspire generations of young players. Thank you, Denise!