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Michelle Akers Biography

"girls Don't Play Football", Embarks On Pro Career, Glory At The Rose BowlSELECTED WRITINGS BY AKERS:


American soccer player

Michelle Akers led the United States to an Olympic gold medal and two World Cup championships in women's soccer, and has drawn acclaim for her successful battle against chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. "If I hadn't had the illness, I would've thought soccer, trophies, World Cups and scoring goals would've been the best thing about my life," Akers said of her battles with her condition. "But it's not. I consider this illness a blessing. And, that has helped me get through each day and through the tough times when this illness is really an anchor, dragging me down day to day."

Akers, who scored 136 goals and is one of only four players, male or female, to score more than 100 goals in international competition. She sparked the United States to arguably its most shining moment in women's team sports-the 1999 World Cup. And while many consider the choreographed, made-for-television clip of Brandi Chastain ripping off her jersey as the signature moment of the American victory over China at the Rose Bowl, Akers embodied the U.S. grit during the 90 minutes of regulation before succumbing to fatigue in the 110-degree heat at Pasadena, California. "Want to know a secret? Brandi wasn't the only player who lost her shirt when we won the World Cup," Akers wrote on the Sports Illustrated for Women Web site in September, 1999. "I lost mine, too: Team doctors had to cut it off me after I got knocked out late in the game and staggered off the field. All I remember was lying in the fetal position in a Rose Bowl exam room while they snipped off my jersey and attached me to two IVs, an oxygen mask and an EKG machine."


Akers, Michelle et. al. Standing Fast: Battles of a Champion, Singapore: JTC Sports, 1997.

Akers, Michelle and Judith A. Nelson. Face to Face with Michelle Akers, Integrated Resources, 1998.

Akers, Michelle and Greg Lewis. The Game and the Glory: An Autobiography, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Sketch by Paul Burton

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsSoccer