Former Gator Abby Wambach Publishes Memoir

Audio in this story is from Fresh Air, produced by WHYY and distributed by NPR.

Former Gator and Olympic soccer Star Abby Wambach’s memoir “Forward” was published on Tuesday.

The book delves into the personal struggles of the two-time gold medal winner, specifically with her sexuality and substance abuse.

Wambach, who has scored more goals than any man or woman in professional soccer, was raised in a catholic household, which led her to having difficulty accepting who she was—a lesbian.

The UF alum, who was inducted into the University of Florida’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012, said how difficult it was for her catholic parents to accept her—especially her mother.

Wambach, who won the women’s  has also struggled with substance abuse, including alcohol and opiates. She says both were used to deal with pain and described the process as self-medicating

The 2015 FIFA World Cup champion was arrested for DUI earlier this year, an experience she credits for her current sobriety.

Among these revelations Wambach announced that she is divorcing her wife, fellow soccer player Sarah Huffman.


Huffman and Wambach made headlines after they kissed following Wambach’s victory in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The image went viral and Wambach is proud to have been a part of such a  historic moment.

In her interview on “Fresh Air” Wambach spoke on gender inequality in sports. Specifically, Wambach centered on the disparity between Men’s and Women’s soccer teams and their lives after their playing careers end.

Wambach is most proud of her status as a pro athlete because of the example she sets for girls in the future. By being a pro athlete she has left behind an example that girls can achieve and do anything they want.

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