Feb 2nd, 2024 |
Special Edition: U.S. Women's Soccer Originals (Sharon McMurtry)
Yes, it’s been a few months since the World Cup, but we committed to telling the stories of the entire first USWNT, so we tracked down one of the two outstanding players. Here she is!
Sharon was the first woman to be named U.S. Soccer Player of the Year and according to Michelle Akers, she's the ultimate badass. "You showed up at the game on a motorcycle and picture me, I'm just sitting on the ground, just happy to be there and totally intimidated, but you, Sharon show up on this motorcycle, and you're Joan Jett...In my mind, when you were on that US team, there was no one better."
How Sharon got there isn't a traditional story either (not that there even was a path to the USWNT because it didn't exist). Sharon was first introduced to soccer because "Mom wanted me out of the house" once she picked up a habit of doing things with her feet. Sharon had just watched a TV program on a woman born without arms; the woman was sitting on a stool threading a needle with her toes, and given that Sharon always wanted to be prepared, she immediately started learning how to do things with her feet. "Stuff happens to people" and I "wanted to be prepared if I were to lose my arms." To her Mom's chagrin, Sharon started using her feet to open doorknobs and doing all housework. Her Mom soon thereafter decided Sharon's feet would be better used playing soccer.
Since playing, Sharon has had jobs ranging from carpenter to travel agent and coach, and she just completed illustrating a brand new children's book: The Other Side Of Nowhere: A Jack and Sabrina Adventure (link to purchase below).
When asked why it's important people know the stories of the 1985 USWNT she shares, "you always have to have try and to push the limits because there's always going to be somebody somewhere that's going to try to keep you from doing what you want to do. If you want to, you want a better place in the world, you got to do a little bit more. Aim high and go."
TO PURCHASE SHARON'S BOOK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CTLBLKH9?ref_=cm_sw_r_mwn_dp_GG624XWC56EBY7A7P9VB&language=en_US
Media used in this production:
-38 years after making history, first USWNT to be honored at Asheville City regular season finale, Chris Womack, June 29th 2023,
-The Forgotten Early History of Women’s Soccer, Laurent Dubois, January 22, 2016
-ESPN YouTube Channel, 'USWNT win the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage | 2023 ESPYS (📍 @CapitalOne)'