Giving back

Holiday shares her story with current BD athletes

Two time Olympics gold-medalist and women’s National Soccer Team member Lauren Holiday (or Lauren Cheney while she at BD) returned to Ben Davis last week to share her story and advice with students. She answered questions from student athletes and shared stories with our girls soccer team.

Although Holiday has always had a passion for the game, she has faced many obstacles on her road to success.

At the age of 4, she had open-heart surgery and although she was very active, her siblings had to treat her with care. As she grew up with siblings, her older brother was her motivator.

According to Lauren, “anything he did, I did” including soccer. Soccer stuck with her because she said “felt the most free and creative” while she played.

Her passion for the game quickly translated into her skill. She was a soccer star at Ben Davis and said BD prepared her to “deal with anything that came my way,” but the high school team was just the beginning of her journey.

Holiday, after semi-randomly choosing UCLA as her college, chose to graduate early and train with the US Women’s Soccer team at the age of 17.

Many of us would struggle to leave behind our friends and miss most of senior year but Holiday knew right away that she wanted to pursue soccer. Although she missed a lot, she graduated from Ben Davis and went on to success.

She soon joined the women’s national team. When asked about hard work versus talent in relationship to success, she said “obviously I was blessed with talent, but I don’t think talent gets you to the next level.”

Of course, she faced obstacles and although she had a very high goal, confidence was not one of them. She understood that it may take a while to make the team and meanwhile had college which she joked “can’t be a wrong decision.” She is especially grateful for that decision because she met her husband, Jrue Holiday, at UCLA. College soccer, she said, is a “completely different game” but she excelled in that just as she had in high school and she soon joined the national team.

She offered plenty of advice during her visit to coaches and student-athletes alike. After asked about her article on (fellowship of christian athletes), she talked about her faith that was kindled by a coach during her senior year of high school. She has now pursued a relationship with Jesus Christ that was largely inspired by her coach.

Holiday also discussed women’s equality issues that she has encountered on her journey. Because her career requires lots of travel, she’s often experienced different countries where women are still oppressed. In the 2015 World Cup in Canada, the women will be playing on turf rather than grass. She said “it’s a big deal because they would never allow men to play on turf.” She said that women “still have some fight to go” but she firmly believes in achieving your dreams regardless of gender.

Her visit was promoting #SheBelieves and she truly offered lots of inspiration. She said, “whatever you dream, even if it’s not to go to the Olympics or to play in the world cup- if it’s to be a doctor, to be a lawyer, if it’s to be a teacher or to be the best person you can be- I think that you can do it.” She added, “Anything you put your mind to, you can do it. I’m cheering for you and I’m pulling for you.”


Meet Lauren

Graduated from Ben Davis: 2006

Named Indiana girls soccer player of the year in 2006

College attended: UCLA

Currently plays for: FC Kansas City in National Women’s Soccer League

Olympic Gold Medals: 2008 and 2012