Updated: Jul 27
Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking to the legendary Briana Scurry. As someone who grew up in the '99ers era, I vividly remember Scurry's fierceness! She was one of the first Black women I remember being – what I perceived to be anyway – unapologetic. That clip of her celebrating a save in PKs at the 1999 World Cup is branded in my mind.
Therefore, it was equal part surprising and refreshing to read Scurry describe herself in her new book My Greatest Save: The Brave, Barrier-Breaking Journey of a World-Champion Goalkeeper.
Scurry takes us through her life, starting with being the youngest child who was also several years younger than her closest sibling. Scurry talks about her love of hockey and how that fueled her Olympic dreams. She talks about her first love and heartbreak. She talks about her first battle for the keeper position and one of her last, which in her estimation, birthed toxicity on the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.
"My Olympic dream started with watching a hockey game, not native Minnesota hockey, but the Olympic Games in Lake Placid in 1980. The men's hockey team had a few Minnesota players on it. That's that was the inspiration for me to be an Olympian."
Scurry also talked about the time her gold medal high led to her complacency and nearly the end of her International career. This was particularly interesting to me because self-sabotage can be a very real thing. How does one learn how to truly be honest with themselves? I struggle with this, and it was helpful to read how Scurry battled reality vs. imposter syndrome vs. outside validation.
The book also describes how Scurry worked her way through a concussion and ***TRIGGER WARNING*** the subsequent depression and suicidal ideations. I remember hearing about Scurry's career-ending injury.
Overall, I highly recommend Scurry's book to anyone who's felt alone on their path in life. Whether you are literally "The Only" in your circle or profession, or you are an ambitious visionary who operates on a different wavelength than what is deemed "normal", this book is for you.
In a forthcoming podcast episode, I also talk to Bri Scurry about representation in soccer and sports overall and why the notion of "more is more" is a slap in the face to systemically marginalized communities. As a quick recap: We cannot say more exposure is more for everyone when, for example, Title IX has had an adverse impact on Black girls and women in sports.
Overall, I believe readers will find Scurry's biography an enjoyable read. You can use our affiliate link at Bookshop.Org to purchase your copy from an independent bookstore. Here is what Scurry wants to leave readers with:
"I wrote the book, because I really had a story to tell and purpose of my life has always been to create and inspire. So I created this book to hopefully inspire all those that read it, to understand that you can overcome all sorts of obstacles, things that you deem that are in your way can actually be a springboard for something new and more exciting than you imagined."