Cindy Parlow Cone
“I never fully recovered from that concussion. I still have the exact same symptoms. When I look back over my career, it’s with pride and joy and now through my coaching, I therefore take great pride in trying to help make the sport I know and love safer.”
Cindy Parlow Cone is a retired American soccer player and a 9-year member of the USA Women’s National Soccer Team, winning 2 Olympic Gold medals, an Olympic silver medal, and a Women’s World Cup Championship. In 2006, she announced her retirement from international play, due to post-concussion syndrome. She concluded her career with 158 caps and 75 goals. She has coached at collegiate level, winning 4 national Championships in 7 years. At the professional level, Cindy is the youngest coach to ever win an American professional sports championship as the Portland Thorns head coach. She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina and is also the Director of Coaching for Triangle United Soccer Association. Furthermore, she works as the Director of International Outreach for Girls, a non-profit organization that connects girls from different countries to address social and health challenges through soccer.
Kristine Lilly Heavey
“I have been pretty fortunate with injuries throughout my playing career. I think when any athlete retires from their sport, there is always a toll taken on their bodies, from the years they gave on the field. My body definitely feels the effects of a 23-year career. I definitely think the focus on the athlete’s well-being and health has been more prevalent these days, especially dealing with concussions. I teach young kids the game, and I emphasize being strong and protecting themselves. Always have your arms out for balance and protection when going up for a head ball.”
Kristine Lilly Heavey is a two-time soccer world champion and two-time Olympic medallist, who last played professionally for the Boston Breakers. She was a member of the United States women’s national team for 23 years and captained the team from 2005 to 2007. At age 16, Kristine was first selected for the national team and with 352 caps she remains the most capped player in the history of the sport (men’s or women’s). Wearing jersey number 13, she scored an impressive 130 goals for the national team. After her active career Kristine founded the Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy , which she has run for over 20 years now. She has also joined forces with former teammates Mia Hamm and Tish Venturini Hoch, to start the TeamFirst Soccer Academy , where she travels the country and teaches young people soccer and how to be a good teammate.
“Given the first results of the Head in the Game study and also based on my own experience, it is clear that health in retired elite football players needs further investigation. Long-term health consequences can be prevented, treated and cured. We have to overcome the myth that professional football players are invulnerable and care for the health of tomorrows elite players.”
Birgit Prinz is a former German soccer player of the German national team, who was named FIFA World Player of the Year three times. During her active career, she won 3 Olympic bronze medals and two Women`s World Cup Championships. Birgit remains one of the game’s most prolific strikers and is the second FIFA Women’s World Cup all-time leading scorer with 14 goals. In 2012 she concluded her career with an impressive track record of 214 caps and 128 goals, which makes her Germany’s most capped national team player and top goal scorer. Birgit received her M.Sc. in psychology from Goethe University Frankfurt and currently works as a sports psychologist for the youth male and all female teams of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Furthermore, she was named FIFA ambassador for women’s football.