Scurry’s career, the law forever tied to the Smithsonian

Briana Scurry’s national football team jersey is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in a permanent exhibit marking the contribution of Title IX to leveling the playing field.

The law helped pave the way for the black goalkeeper to break down barriers with her talent, determination and courage, amassing a long list of honors in what was a predominantly white sport.

“When the curators of the National Museum of African American History and Culture contacted us, I remember thinking that this could not be real, because the reason was that I did not realize that my work in football and my defense of the TCE (brain “traumatic injuries) and gay rights were having such a big impact on my community to the point that I would be worthy to be in this museum,” he said.


Scurry, 50, holds a World Cup title, two Olympic gold medals and was the first black woman to be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

It’s a drop-down resume, one that’s even more impressive considering Scurry’s complex journey.

She faced challenges as an openly gay black woman in what was a predominantly white sport. There were hardly any players who looked like her when she stepped on the biggest stage in the sport; today the U.S. football team’s roster features eight women of color.

Scurry reflected on his career in the memoirs “My Greatest Salvation: The Brave Journey and Breaking the Barriers of a World Champion Goalkeeper” published this month, appropriate for Thursday’s 50th anniversary of Title IX.

The world champion benefited from the scholarships the law brought for women’s sports; it was the only way I could go to college. She was also lucky enough to have defenders who raised her, from coach Pete Swenson, who secretly paid the fees for her elite youth team in Minnesota, to the woman – later his wife – who helped her recover from an injury. brain that attenuated his spirit for three years.


But Scurry’s perseverance led her to the national team in 1994 and she played 173 games for her country during a 14-year career.

His turning point was the 1999 World Cup final at the Rose Bowl. The game against China went to the penalties and Scurry’s penalty stop established Brandi Chastain’s winning shot. The sweater Scurry wore is the one on display at the Smithsonian.

Scurry remembers the moment vividly. Usually for the PK he followed a strict routine, focusing his focus inwards and prowling the goal “like a big cat” while avoiding the shine of his opponent.

“For some reason, and to this day I can’t explain it. he trotted out and really didn’t seem to trust me, and I read everything at that look and said, “This is the only one.”


“So before I got into the goal I knew I was saving this one.”

Then, 13 years after that glorious moment, Scurry was embroiled in controversy during the 2007 World Cup.

Coach Greg Ryan has decided to start the veteran goalkeeper on Hope Solo in the semi-final match against Brazil. The United States lost 4-0 and Solo publicly criticized the decision, essentially blaming Scurry for the defeat.

“I think the silver side was my teammates, who supported me. I had a lot of respect for what the women’s team represented, and what she did was out of bounds and an anomaly: take her out of the house,” Scurry said of Solo. “I also learned to forgive someone, that was. Really what it was: to learn to forgive someone I clearly felt was betraying me.”

But the real drama in Scurry’s life would come years later, as she played on her professional team, the Washington Freedom. During a game with Philadelphia Independence, Scurry got a knee to his head.


Diagnosed with a concussion, she was only expected to be out for a few days. But for the next three years, she struggled with constant headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to light, and memory failures. An experimental surgical procedure that removed two tangled nerve balls in the back of her head eventually brought her back.

“I felt completely disconnected from what I used to do before and all these different things. People describe depression this way: you no longer like the things you were in before, you isolate yourself, you retire, and you have low energy,” he said. “I mean, it’s literally like disconnecting, that’s how it felt. For me.”

From that dark period came a light: he met Chryssa Zizos, the head of a Washington DC public relations firm. Zizos helped Scurry buy back her Olympic gold medals, which she had pledged, and put her on the road to recovery.

They fell in love. In 2018, the couple got married.


“My head, that’s all started, right? So isn’t that amazing? And that’s the beauty: I’ve learned to find that silver side in everything. That’s a cliché to say, but when it comes to concrete things and horrible, which at the time I felt was the worst, ended up being the beginning of something amazing, “he said.

“Yeah, it’s all about how you look at it.”


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Scurry’s career, the law forever tied to the Smithsonian

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