LAURA WAMBACH – SisterAbby Wambach: She’s fearless, competitive, fun, adventurous, giving, a stand-out and my sister! Growing up in the Wambach Flock toughened Abby up from an early age. She wasn’t afraid to compete with the big kids in any sport even with a ten-year age gap. Off the field, even at McDonald’s when we would all try and steal her French fries, she held her own by taking a bite out of each fry, knowing no one would want to eat a ½ eaten French fry. It was survival of the fittest or perhaps survival of the youngest.
Many people who just see Abby on the field don’t realize she is serious about her fun. She majored in “Leisure Management” at University of Florida. Yes, it really is a major. She’s a big kid at heart and always generous. Abby always buys the “funnest” toys for everyone to enjoy: giant blow-up trampolines, fast jet skis, remote control cars and helicopters, wave-boards and airboards. Her adventurous spirit and “live life to the fullest” attitude are values I want to live by and values I want to pass on to my children.
As proud as I am of all that Abby has accomplished in her career -- all of her success, all of her wins, gold Medals, World Cups -- it is how she has handled her losses that have made her a standout in my book. When she broke her leg five days before the team was to leave for the Olympics in 2008, she accepted the reality of her situation and took on the challenge to get back into the game like a true champion. After losing in penalty kicks to Japan in the 2011 World cup Final, she was one of the first to walk over to the Japanese to congratulate them on their win.
She is a role model because of her sportsmanship, leadership, and character, and there has never been a moment where I wasn’t proud to say: “That’s my sister!
By: Laura Wambach
PETER WAMBACH – Brother
One of the things we admire most about Abby is the fact that no matter how famous she became, she never lost sight of the thing that mattered most: family.
A few years ago we were at our cottage in the Thousand Islands and she went with all of our nieces and nephews to get some ice cream. When they returned, she had a smile on her face from ear to ear showing her latest purchase, a huge 15-foot water trampoline! What she didn’t consider is that our Island does not have electricity, so as you can expect, inflating the trampoline took some ingenuity, but of course, she got it done.
She always thinks of someone other than herself and she was always willing to do anything for our family. She would spend countless hours signing autographs for family, friends, and charities, which is probably the last thing she would want to do with the limited amount of time she had when she came home. But she would do it and never complain. She would also surprise my kids at lunch, and sit at the tiny table while other classmates would get paper towels from the dispenser and surround her for an autograph.
Abby has always made our entire family feel like we were celebrities, whether it is VIP access to an event, or having the 22 grandkids run around the field at the end of one of her games. She would always look out for each of us and has made an imprint in each of our lives that we will never forget.
Despite the fact she is retiring, it is nice to know that she can now have the time to be able to enjoy life. She has spent so much time traveling the world that she hasn’t had much time to herself. Everything won’t be so rushed, and she won’t have to miss important events, holidays and family functions. The days of coming home on Christmas eve, only to be followed the next day with her lost luggage in a black plastic garbage bag (minus a few watches), are over.
We are so proud of all your hard work and accomplishments. You will always be a true champion to all of us.
By: Peter Wambach Jr., Carolyn Wambach, Mitchell Wambach, Brady Wambach, Connor Wambach