Almost sixteen years ago, in front of 92,000 supporters at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California and more than 40 million bulging eyes from all over the world; a female athlete tore off her jersey, bared her black sports bra, and ran at full speed towards the stands to celebrate her finals winning penalty against China.
The moment was then featured on the same year’s Sports Illustration and is one of the most defining images in female sports: Brandi Chastain celebrating the clinching goal at the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final.
Before that, two courageous teams, China and USA, had been playing under Southern California’s notorious scorching mid-summer sun for nearly three hours. Both showed the mental toughness that was not found even in any men’s game I’ve seen later in my life.
And then I knew, as a seven-year-old, that women are as competitive and tough as the men, and whenever I stare at that photo of Brandi Chastain in her famous bra – I see a powerful person, and a big soul.
And that’s why you should have your daughter watch the Women’s World Cup with you, especially if she happens to be a footie fan, and you happen to be a footie fan who stays up for men’s World Cup. Despite the lack of promotion that the men’s competition generates, this world cup is equally important for the participating countries.
In a mere three days, China will play host Canada in the opening game. The whole event will stretch for a whole month from June 7 to July 6, and the final will be played at the BC Place in Vancouver, Canada on Saturday, July 6 at 7am Beijing Time. All China’s games will be live broadcast by CCTV sports.
Following is the full group-stage game schedule for China:
China vs. Canada, Jun 7, 6am
China vs. Holland, Jun 12, 6am
China vs. New Zealand, Jun 16, 7.30am
Other group stage games that might be worthwhile watching include:
USA vs. Australia, Jun 9, 7.30am
France vs. England, Jun 10, 1am
USA vs. Sweden, Jun 13, 8am
A full schedule of the World Cup can be found here.