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cerative colitis. Imagine 30 major-

We all know Brandi Chastain for her iconic moment in U. Youth Sabres Jerseys .S. soccer history: scoring the final penalty kick of the 1999 World Cup, which led her team to victory over China and catapulted womens soccer to global fame. While she doesnt spend too much time dwelling on that day, she says she understands how important it was for people watching at the time and the growth of the womens game.We talked about that moment with Chastain, who is now the assistant coach of the boys soccer team at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California, and the assistant coach of the womens team at Santa Clara University, her alma mater. We also discussed the U.S. squad heading to Rio for the Olympic Games, coaching and her 10-year-old son, who last year was diagnosed with Crohns disease.This interview has been edited for length.espnW: What do you think about the U.S. roster heading to Rio this summer?Brandi Chastain: Im very confident that they have a team that can win the gold medal. Winning a championship like the Olympics or a World Cup takes a lot of attention to detail. Theres timing, theres commitment to the overall goal, a lack of self-interest and good management at the same time, either game-by-game or in lineups and rosters.Theres a lot that goes into it, but I think theres a great combination of veteran leadership and experience, and youth and enthusiasm that exists on this team.espnW: What do you like about some of the younger players, such as Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn?Chastain: I think Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn share some unique qualities. They have speed and agility and quickness and explosiveness that is very difficult to deal with. When you look at the best teams in the world in mens or womens soccer -- to win a championship, there needs to be players that scare the other team. And they scare the other team because theyre unpredictable in their own right and they can explode at any time.Then when you have someone like Julie Johnston playing in the back, who can clean anything up, win anything in the air, track things down on the ground, that gives a lot of comfort to the midfield and allows the other players to feel a bit freer to express themselves in a creative way and take risks in that attacking half or final third. The complement of players is what really allows Pugh and Dunn and Christen Press to do what they do best.espnW: And you were just inducted into the Hall of Fame -- how does that feel?Chastain: Very humbling. There were many, many amazing players who came before me who started on this crusade or journey of sharing soccer with the masses in America. Im very proud that I was on and a part of some amazing teams.Im super grateful to U.S. Soccer for the opportunities that I had, to wear the red white and blue and our countrys flag. Im incredibly grateful to my father and my mother for, from the very beginning, recognizing that they had a young girl who was super aggressive and loved to be competitive. They were unapologetic and allowed me to go out there and get dirty and to sweat and to think that I could conquer the world. To all my friends and family: none of this would be possible without every single person -- in the good times and the bad times-- because I learned something from every one of those moments.espnW: Do you think about that famous moment back in July 1999?Chastain: I cant say that I spend too much waking time on it. But I am in an environment constantly where there are young soccer players around me, boys and girls, or adults or people my age who were playing soccer at the time who remind me of how much that moment meant to them and how it changed, influenced or improved their life because they witnessed it; just as I think I felt when I watched and cheered and said to myself that I want to do that when I saw the 1980 mens hockey team win the Olympic medal. I didnt play hockey, I had no reason to watch it, but it was on the Olympics. Maybe I was just very patriotic from the get-go. When they won and celebrated and the American flags were waving, it was just such a thrill for me. I wanted to be in that environment.I get that people want to talk about it, it feels good. It reminds them of a good moment.espnW: Are there any other Olympic sports youre looking forward to watching?Chastain: Im excited about swimming. My son has taken up swimming, he really enjoys it. Of course me, I love watching the soccer, so Ill be keyed into that.But the Olympics are special. I dont care what the sport is. I will watch and record probably every moment of it. Im such a fan of the ideals of the Olympics: do your best, be your best. Competition is important. Of course we love to all celebrate the medals, but, can you personally take yourself to new heights? Can you go beyond what you thought was possible and reach new outcomes?Right now I feel like I can go out and conquer the world just thinking about it. Its so special.I feel like the womens side of this U.S. team has great potential to make an impact like the 1996 Olympic team did -- softball, basketball, track and field, gymnastics, soccer, water polo. The list goes on and on about the success that was experienced. Again, its not just the success of winning the games and winning the gold, its the manner in which it is achieved that I think makes it the most special of outcomes.espnW: Youve coached both boys and girls in your career. Do you see a difference in how they approach the game?Chastain:?I enjoy coaching both of them equally as much, and what I found is that the information is not any different, the skills are not different. What is unique to each side is the way they receive and process information and communicate information. If you know your audience and you know their strengths and their weaknesses, you can be a successful and positive influence on them.There is great confidence and physicality on the mens side that I think exists on the elite level for women. But for young girls, its more about the communication and each other and togetherness and team. And on the girls side, its caring about your teammates.I really had to instill in my boys program that, for us to be successful, we need to care about each other -- not just can the guy pass me the ball, or dribble through someone and score a goal. Its: can I help him be successful every day, and how do I do that and take great pride in knowing that Im doing that, and that will help our team?And on the girls side, I had to say, take the baton, take the ball, run with it, be aggressive, be confident, know that you personally can make an impact and your team will always support you. This is not about being conceited or look at me. This is about: what can I do to help my group? And if confidence is something that is necessary and needed, I have to show that to my teammates, because that will inspire them to also be confident and strong.Its good for both sides to know there are different ways that you can look at a problem and find solutions.espnW: Tell us about your familys battle with Crohns disease and how your career as an athlete has changed the way you approach it or how you talk about it with your son.Chastain: One year ago, he was diagnosed with Crohns disease. The pathway to that diagnosis was -- he wasnt feeling well for a while, he was struggling in the third grade, he just wasnt himself. And as parents, we were taking the precautions we thought we necessary. Most kids get some kind of cold or sickness being with other kids so much, and we didnt know anything about Crohns disease, we didnt know anything about IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).Then things persisted, and we ended up taking him to his pediatrician, where he had a physical system that was undeniable, and the doctor said, you need to have an appointment with a gastroenterologist. Again, that was a term I had never really thought about.The next day, I was given the diagnosis. From that moment on, sort of similar to my soccer career, we had choices to make. You can attack something with a positive attitude, with the can-do spirit, with, how can we make this better and find positive results, find your resources?Im partnering with AbbVie right now on My IBD Game Plan, and were sharing this story because we know that there are 1.6 million Americans out there who have some form of IBD, more specifically Crohns or ulcerative colitis. Imagine 30 major-league ballparks full to capacity, plus 300,000 people sitting outside waiting -- thats how many people have been diagnosed.And theres a population that hasnt been diagnosed yet. Because of the nature of the disease, it can be awkward for some people. It could potentially make them feel slightly isolated or alone. Thats why I feel like sharing my sons story and our familys story is really important, to say, Youre not alone. Just like the athlete who has been hurt and is on the sideline, I unde

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    cerative colitis. Imagine 30 major-
    cerative colitis. Imagine 30 major-
    We all know Brandi Chastain for her iconic moment in U. Youth Sabres Jerseys .S. soccer history: scoring the final penalty kick of the 1999 ...
    Dec 8 '17
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