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Brandi Chastain


Brandi Chastain is a two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with 192 U.S. Women’s National Team appearances, scoring 30 goals, primarily as a defender. She was named to the U.S. Women’s National Team Best Eleven in 2013 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2017.

It was in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, hosted by the United States, where Brandi Chastain scored the deciding penalty-kick against China in the sold-out Rose Bowl, clinching the World Cup title. Chastain celebrated by spontaneously taking off her jersey and falling to her knees in a sports bra, her fists clenched, flexing her arms. The image of her celebration was described in The New York Times as "most iconic photograph ever taken of a female athlete", and it has been considered one of the more famous photographs of a woman celebrating an athletic victory. Chastain described the celebration as "momentary insanity, nothing more, nothing less. I wasn't thinking about anything. I thought, 'This is the greatest moment of my life on the soccer field.'"

Following the 1999 World Cup, photos of Chastain's goal celebration were featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Time, and Newsweek as well as numerous newspapers around the world. In 2015, the Sports Illustrated cover was voted as the second most iconic cover in the history of the magazine.

Chastain was born and raised in San Jose, California and began playing soccer at the age of eight. Because there was no girls soccer team at Davis Junior High School, she played for the boys' soccer team after a successful tryout. Chastain attended Archbishop Mitty High School and helped lead the team to three consecutive Central Coast Section championships.

Chastain attended University of California, Berkeley where she was named All-American and earned Freshman Player Of The Year honors by Soccer America. After transferring to Santa Clara University Chastain helped lead the Broncos to two consecutive Final Four NCAA College Cup appearances. She graduated from SCU with a degree in communications in 1991.

Chastain has been featured on numerous television shows including The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, and Good Morning America. In February 2001, Chastain appeared on an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! and won with one dollar. The children's cancer research organization that she played for received $15,000. In 2007, Chastain appeared in the HBO documentary Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team. The 44-minute film, Brandi Chastain: A Tribute to a Champion was broadcast on Fox Soccer in December 2010 and focused on Chastain's testimonial game that occurred in October of the same year.

Chastain appeared as Candy in the season 6 premiere of Fresh Off the Boat, an episode which also included her World Cup winning goal in 1999.

Following the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, Chastain signed a number of endorsement deals, including Nike. She was the official spokesperson for Pfizer's (legacy Wyeth) multivitamin product Centrum Ultra. In July 2016, she partnered with pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. to promote education and awareness about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In 1999, she was featured on the Wheaties box. She has appeared in television commercials for Nike,[61] Bud Light, and Gatorade.

Chastain has worked as a color commentator for soccer matches on two networks. She broadcast for NBC Sports during the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Her work with ABC/ESPN has included Major League Soccer matches and being part of a rotation of studio commentators for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Chastain married Santa Clara Broncos head coach Jerry Smith on June 9, 1996. They have a son, Jaden Chastain Smith, and she is stepmother to Smith's older son, Cameron. In March 2016, Chastain announced that she would donate her brain after death for concussion research. On December 10, 2019, Chastain was inducted into the California Hall of Fame by governor Gavin Newsom. She is also a founding member/investor in the NWSL team, Bay FC.