From that first day that you pack up team snacks and send your tot out onto the soccer field, it’s hard to imagine they might someday become a professional, but for the parents of 13-year-old Olivia Moultrie, it’s already a reality.

At 11 years old, Olivia became the youngest girls’ soccer player to publicly accept a college scholarship and two years later at 13, she has just become the youngest to turn pro. Giving up her scholarship, Olivia has just signed a deal with Nike and is on track to become one of the greatest professional players in her sport.

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Olivia, who has been homeschooled since she was in fifth grade (to make time for training) said in a 2017 interview, “I really became passionate about soccer when my dad and I made the decision to start working as hard as I do now. When I started treating every day like an opportunity and training to be a professional, I really fell in love with the process of trying to become great.”

The young athlete still has a long road ahead as the National Women’s Soccer League and FIFA rules require that athletes must be at least 18 to compete. For now she joins the Thorns in Portland, Oregon as a developmental player. Despite not being able to play in a match for five more years, this incredible young woman has already made her mark on history.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Olivia Moultrie via Instagram

 

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