29 February 2020

US World Cup winner Jessica McDonald's inspirational message to young players of colour

US World Cup winner Jessica McDonald has said young players of colour shouldn't stop until they achieve their dreams.

McDonald was a part of the US team that won the World Cup last summer.

She revealed that US goalkeeper Briana Scurry inspired her as a child.

She said: “She stood out. She wasn’t just a goalkeeper but she was just dominant as well. As a female athlete in general just seeing a woman of colour dominating in her career, that was just a really cool thing for a little girl of colour to see.

"That’s why I always looked up to her, even though I was never a keeper. But her presence on and off the field was admirable, and I was very excited by that.

“I remember her making this incredible save [in the 1999 World Cup Final v China]—not only did she save it, but it was her reaction after she saved it, I have goosebumps right now just talking about it.

"I remember getting pumped up after that. It was this incredible rush of happiness to see something so historical happen. That really hit me,” she told FIFA.

Scurry celebrates saving a penalty against China (PA Images)

After reflecting on her own role model, McDonald shared her own message to young players of colour.

"At the end of the day I understand how hard life in general can be. Life is hard. It really is at the end of the day. But if you’re inspired by something, if you have a dream or a goal, don’t stop until you get there. 

"Stay inspired by whatever it is you’re trying to capture in your life. Find your purpose. If you find your purpose, I think that you’re going to be happier with your life. There are going to be hard days and times that you’re going to fail or lose.

"It’s about how you bounce back from those hardships that will define your character. Know that you’re not the only one who goes through tough times. We all do. 

"There are going to be people out there who will doubt you, they’re going to talk badly about you and try to hold you back, but use that negative energy and turn it into something positive and something you’re able to inspire yourself with. Know that it is possible to make your dreams come true."

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