Abby Wambach is one of the most decorated United States athletes of all-time. During her 15-year career with the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), she led them to gold medal wins in the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games, and helped them win soccer’s most prestigious championship, the World Cup, last summer. Additionally, she was named FIFA Player of the year in 2012 and her 184 goals make her the leading career scorer – male or female – in international soccer. Although her accomplishments and impact on the game stand high, Wambach is finally opening up about her struggle over the last couple years.
In April 2016, Wambach was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence. In what left many people shocked and disappointed, Wambach has admitted that she has been dealing with alcohol and drug abuse for years. “I was stubborn and I was in denial. I didn’t want to face the truth.” While dealing with the abuse problems, Wambach recounts that her friends and family would plea for her to seek help. However, it wasn’t until her arrest and facing public humiliation that finally woke her up. Since her arrest Wambach says she has stayed sober and is working on becoming a “whole human being.”
Wambach’s story demonstrates that our judgments and thoughts can be flawed by the little amount of information that we have. Many people assumed that Wambach had a perfect life because she is a national icon and one of the greatest US athletes of all-time. Then, when news of her DUI arrest went public, many were dumbfounded that someone with such a perfect life could just throw it all away. However, Wambach’s confession of drug and alcohol abuse to the public demonstrates that her accomplishments created a false perception and masked the struggles she has been dealing with in her private life. Thus, the more information we have, the more likely we are to be understanding and the less likely we are to make false assumptions.