Crystal Dunn, a seasoned defender for the U.S. women’s national soccer team, is vocal about the necessity for increased investment in women’s sports. As the team prepares for the upcoming Olympics, Dunn highlighted the positive changes she’s witnessed, particularly following the recent buzz from the women’s NCAA basketball tournament. She shared with NBC News her excitement about the growing recognition and investment in women’s sports, crediting high-profile backers like Carli Lloyd and Kevin Durant for pushing the envelope in support of women athletes. Dunn, who also plays for Gotham FC, emphasized the significant impact that investment has on the visibility and treatment of women’s sports.

Dunn’s perspective on financial backing is mirrored in her observations of the evolving landscape of women’s soccer, where increased funding has begun to match the profound adoration fans have shown since the U.S. team’s victory at the 1999 World Cup. She pointed out that such support not only elevates the sport but also ensures that women athletes receive the recognition and treatment they deserve. This shift comes at a crucial time as the team aims to capture gold at the Olympics, building on their recent victory at the SheBelieves Cup against Canada.

Preparing for the Olympics Amid Growing Global Competition

As the Olympics approach, Dunn is focused on the rigorous preparations underway with her teammates, including fellow Gotham FC players Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett. With several training camps scheduled before heading to Paris, the team is determined to leverage their collective experience from past tournaments to enhance their performance on the international stage. Despite the painful memories of last year’s World Cup defeat, Dunn views these challenges as indicative of the global advancement in women’s soccer—a shift she welcomes for the sport’s growth.

Dunn is particularly attuned to the diversity within the team, reflecting on her experiences as one of the few Black players in soccer during her youth. She is committed to using her platform to foster inclusivity and inspire young girls who may feel marginalized in sports. By sharing her journey, Dunn hopes to empower the next generation of athletes to pursue their dreams with conviction, regardless of the obstacles they may face due to their background or identity.

With the Olympics on the horizon, Crystal Dunn stands not only as a formidable player on the field but also as a pivotal figure in advocating for the transformative power of diversity and investment in women’s sports. Her resolve to propel her team to victory is matched by her dedication to championing a more inclusive and equitable sporting world.