By Tim Nash
Sometimes it was hard to miss. The routes they took usually avoided it — airport to hotel, hotel to training field, hotel to stadium. Still, it was there and they knew it.
When U.S. National team players travel abroad, they are protected. In some cases, depending on the country, they are escorted and given strict rules to follow. The rules are sometimes designed for the safety of the players, other times to hide the extreme poverty and substandard living conditions of the people.
Lorrie Fair saw it. A lot of it. In at least 70 different countries during her 10 years playing with the U.S. Women’s National team. She remembers the views from the bus windows, things she saw walking the streets, and conversations with players and locals. It’s hard, she says, to take what you have for granted in those situations
“The national team itself made me acutely aware that being born as a girl in the U.S., is kind of like a lottery ticket,” says Fair, now Lorrie Fair Allen. “I’m not saying that’s the case for all girls born in this country, but by and large, if you are a female born in this country you have opportunities that many don’t. You can participate in sports, education and be an equal and contributing member of your society.
“Travelling the world and all the different countries I’ve been to, I just realized soccer had provided me with so many gifts.” Continue reading