Photography by Ryan Pfluger at Milk Studios, new york, on October 6, 2015. Styling by Michael Cook. Hair: Naivasha at Exclusive Artists management. Makeup: Angela DiCarlo. Shirt and pants by Nike.
Abby Wambach has been playing soccer for 30 years, and she has scored more goals than any other person in the history of international soccer. But while she’s won Olympic gold, she could never call herself a World Cup champion — until this year.
“I feel so lucky, because when I was first on the team, there were really no gay people,” the 35-year-old athlete says. “The girls were like, ‘No, we’re straight.’ They had long hair and ponytails.” And now you see this eclectic group of people from all different places, who are different colors, with different preferences. That’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
Wambach recently decided to retire from soccer at the end of 2015, but she’ll remain an advocate for equality in sports no matter what happens. “I hope the women, the studs that come behind me, get better pay and get treated a little more like the men,” she says. “We’re the ones who have been winning time and time again, but the men are still pulling more money. This has to change. We have to stop letting this happen. That’s part of what I want as my legacy.”