Soccer win a result of Title IX

July 16, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Boston Globe, which was published Wednesday.

BESIDES the victory, the thrill of the Women's World Cup soccer game was how well it played out in the hearts of fans.

These players have pulled off a nearly chivalrous balance. They are aggressive athletes but with a gentle love for the game.

In this world of pure joy about the game, the word "confidence" shakes off its hackneyed shell. It becomes a crackling term that bundles the virtues of practice, focus, desire and hard work.

In this world, Brandi Chastain's game-winning, penalty-kick goal doubles as a compelling psychological contest between Ms. Chastain and the Chinese team's goalie Gao Hong. Ms. Gao, Ms. Chastain explains, can get into confidence-shattering staring matches. So without looking at Ms. Gao, Ms. Chastain saw what had to be done.

The win also sheds glory on Title IX, the controversial 1972 policy that required gender equity in school and college sports. Title IX created opportunities for female athletes even when demand wasn't obvious. It was a leap of public policy faith, an ancestor of the baseball movie chestnut, "If you build it, they will come."

As more girls and women played sports, more friends and relatives paid attention. Television cameras followed. Now members of America's younger generations take female athletes for granted -- blase about the fact that women are not only televised gymnasts and tennis players, but also soccer and basketball players.

It's a change that promises to grow. The World Cup's new champions will surely inspire future champions who will renew our passion for hard-won victories.

Pub Date: 7/16/99

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