Olivia Moultrie isn’t just your average 13-year-old girl. At this age, the majority of girls are focusing on completing the seventh grade and playing middle school sports. For Olivia Moultrie, however, it is the opposite. She recently became the youngest professional women’s soccer player in history by joining the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League and signing an endorsement deal with Nike. Moultrie, who previously accepted a scholarship from North Carolina at age 11, decided to forfeit her collegiate eligibility by signing a contract with Nike. Spencer Wadsworth, the agent of Moultrie, declined giving the details of her deal with Nike, however claimed that the contract was worth more than a four-year scholarship at the top universities in the country.
Although Moultrie’s success may shine bright, her talent didn’t come to her naturally. Her parents had to instal a turf field in their backyard and homeschool Olivia in order for her to train for at least eight hours a day and achieve her lifelong dream. The New York Times quoted Olivia’s father, K.C., saying, “I tell her all the time, ‘Nobody cares that you’re the best at 12. If you’re not the best at 17 or 18, nobody’s going to care.’”
Olivia’s parents have been motivated to train her extremely hard and are determined to help their daughter become the best soccer player that she could be. When she was seven years old, she had a personal coach; at age 10, she became the youngest girl ever to train full-time with boys in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy; and when she accepted a full scholarship offer to North Carolina when she was 11, she became the youngest person ever to accept a scholarship offer.
While most 13-year-olds are clueless about their futures, Olivia is playing with one of the most elite franchises in the National Soccer League. She also hopes to join the USWNT for the next World Cup in four years. Her hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, along with the guidance and help from her parents allowed Olivia to accomplish her dreams and play professional soccer at such a young age. She’s an inspiration and role model for all young girls in the soccer world, proving if you put your mind, effort, and belief into something, you can reach your goals.