What my parents did to make me an Olympic athlete
More from Expert
Founder of the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy
Julie had a sensational soccer career while playing on the USA National Team for 17 years. She is the former Captain of the US Women's National Team. She was a captain on the National Team for 13 of her 17 years with the team. Julie participated in 4 Women's World Cups and 3 Olympics for the USA Team. She is a two-time World Cup Champion and she is also a 1996 Olympic Gold medalist, 2000 Olympic Silver medalist and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist.
Julie finished her National Team career with 45 goals, 59 assists and 272 international appearances (caps) for the USA. Her 272 caps rank fourth in the world all-time, male or female. Julie played all 3 years as Captain with the WUSA's San Diego Spirit. She was a 4 time All-American at Stanford University and was inducted into the Stanford Hall of Fame. While at Mission Viejo High School, Julie won three CIF Championships and three CIF Player of the Year awards. Julie was voted Los Angeles Times' High School Player of the Decade for the 80's.
Most important to Julie, she has made a difference off the field as well. She was accepted into Stanford University's Medical School but decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Julie was the President of the Women's Sports Foundation from 2000-2002. She served on the Women's Sports Foundation Board of Directors for 7 years and was a WSF advocacy consultant for two years, with a focus on Title IX, childhood obesity, and athletes' rights issues. Julie also served on the Board of Directors for the WUSA (the professional women's soccer league) as the Player Representative. Julie currently sits on the board of Athletes for Hope (AFH), a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization created by successful athletes who have a deep commitment to charitable and community causes. Julie is an espnW advisory board member and is a global spokeswoman for Global Girl Media, a non-profit helping young women around the world find their voice through journalism. Julie also has been instrumental in a number of women's rights and child labor issues around the world. The world governing body of soccer, FIFA, awarded her the FIFA Fair Play Award, the first woman and American to receive the award, for her work against child labor in the stitching of soccer balls.
Julie served as a member for the Commission on Title IX, appointed by President Bush and Secretary Paige. She has been honored numerous times for her work on behalf of Title IX. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Smith College in 2005 and was honored by the National Women's Law Center.
Julie was named as one of the "100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes." The NCAA defines the 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes as those who have made a significant impact or major contributions to society.
Julie was inducted in the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007, alongside longtime teammate and friend, Mia Hamm. Julie and Mia were only the 6th and 7th women ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and the first and only ALL FEMALE induction class.
Julie founded the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy (JFSLA) in 2006, along with her husband Ian Sawyers. The JFSLA is a unique residential camp experience that uses sports as a vehicle to teach leadership skills for life. In 2006, Julie also founded the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation (JFLF), a non-profit, 510(c)3 public charity. The mission of the Julie Foudy Leadership Foundation is: Building on a foundation of sports and fitness, we empower young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds to become leaders who positively impact their communities.
Most recently, Julie produced and narrated a documentary for ESPN Films called ‘The 99ers’. Using footage shot by Foudy during the US team’s journey to win the Women’s World Cup in 1999, ‘The 99ers’ is a behind the scenes glimpse at that historical event.
Julie is currently a reporter and analyst for ABC/ESPN, contributor and writer for espnW, director of her Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academies, motivational speaker, proud mother of two children, Isabel and Declan, and the best chocolate-chip pancake maker in the entire universe (source: Izzy and Dec).