Twenty years from the day when Brandi Chastain and the U.S. women's national team beat China in the 1999 World Cup, a statue capturing the iconic moment played at the Rose Bowl was revealed at the stadium in Pasadena.
At the unveiling on Wednesday, Chastain recalled how she felt after scoring a winning penalty kick with her left foot (which she hadn't done in a game before) and immediately tearing off her shirt in celebration for her team's 1999 World Cup win against China.
"I didn't know what that day would mean , and what that celebration would mean because I had no idea it was about to happen," Chastain said. "You can't possibly understand what a childhood dream feels like until you live it. The response you have are raw emotions."
The detailed statue captures the look of triumph on Chastain's face and celebratory position of her body. It also includes her 1999 teammates, including Saskia Webber and Lorrie Fair who were in attendance Wednesday, as well as their signatures on the back.
"The importance of the 1999 victory to sports and to women cannot be overstated," Pasadena City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin said at the unveiling. "Without the work done by the 1999 Women's World Cup Team, victory in 2019 simply wouldn't have been possible."
During her speech, Chastain brought Webber and Fair on stage and together they read aloud the names and numbers of their teammates, as well as names of their coaching staff, who also played in the monumental game on July 10, 1999.
"I was happy that I could contribute to the outcome," Chastain said standing near the statue. "What you see behind us is not for one person. It's for every little soccer player out there. And so that moment, I hope that every player who puts on cleats has a moment like that."
The statue is only the second commemorative monument erected at the Rose Bowl.
The first was a statue dedicated to Jackie Robinson for his time on the UCLA football team.