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How the first USWNT paved the way for women’s football in 1985

The Title IX radically changed the sporting landscape, but not immediately and not without resistance. In the statute’s early years, the “forgotten heroes” challenged prejudice and championed equality, and its impact is felt today. Learn more about the pioneers of Title IX here.


The stewardess, as they were then called, of Alitalia flight 747 from Milan to New York, approached the women sitting in the cabin. “The pilot said that there are football players on board,” she said, “and he wants to meet you.”

“I’m in the game,” said Kim Wyant, who got up and took her teammate Linda Ganchitano with her.

This was at the end of August 1985. There were very few women’s national football teams in the world. This sport was not part of the Olympics; there was no women’s world championship or other major tournaments.

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