How Soccer Star Alex Morgan Inspires Women On and Off the Pitch
When the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ kicks off this week, all eyes will be on the reigning champions: the U.S. Women's National Team. Leading the way for the squad is Alex Morgan, the three-time Olympian and four-time World Cup player. Morgan first launched into the spotlight as the youngest member of the 2011 tournament squad and has since become a role model to women everywhere as a team leader, a hero to a generation of young athletes, and a mom to her three-year-old daughter Charlie.
Morgan is looking forward to representing the U.S. again at this year's FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ — not just as a personal and team achievement, but as a representation of the power of women's sports. "The whole world is focused on one sport and on women for an entire month in a way that no other sport can follow," she said in a recent interview with BODYARMOR SportWater, an official partner of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™. "It makes boys, girls, men, women, people of diverse backgrounds all respect women for what we do on the field, for what we bring, for what we're able to accomplish."
Morgan understands the power of her platform, which is why she's determined to make the most of her time in the spotlight and to lift other women up, both on and off the field. In 2022, she and the rest of the USWNT made headlines when they reached a historic agreement with U.S. Soccer to guarantee equal pay with the U.S. men's team through 2028.
"I want to continue to demand excellence of myself, and I want to do things that my family and my daughter would be proud of," Morgan said. "Fighting for gender equality, fighting for human rights, fighting for [the] LGBTQ community, those are really passionate things that I care about, that are meaningful. You only get a short period of time to feel like your voice is being heard by an incredible amount of people."
Morgan cited her own role models growing up — including her parents and sisters — as central to helping her become the champion she is today. Now, she wants to be that kind of inspiration for the next generation.
That next generation, of course, includes her three-year-old daughter Charlie. Morgan has been vocal about balancing motherhood with the demands of being an elite athlete, calling it "incredibly challenging at times, but even more rewarding." As she and her teammates lead the way in athletic achievements and in demanding the respect (and pay) that they're due, Morgan said that she hopes to pass that work ethic and that spirit of determination to her daughter.
"I always tell girls two words. I say, 'Dream big,'" she said. "And I know it sounds cliche, but it is so important to believe what you feel at the time is impossible. You can carve your own path."
Despite all of her accolades, Morgan is quick to point out that the real secret to success is having a team that supports each other every step of the way: "We're just so much more powerful and strong as a team than as an individual," Morgan said. "Knowing my team has my back makes me feel strong and unstoppable. And knowing that young girls around the world are looking at me and supporting me in this incredible way and seeing myself and my teammates as role models, makes me want to do right by them, makes me want to carve a path that creates a better future in sport for them."