Chloe Cross

S: So to start, can you list what sports you do, how long you’ve done them and then any awards or leadership positions?
C: At Bush specifically I played soccer and then I did ultimate frisbee as well. I did a lot more things outside of school. Soccer for me was the one, I played it in high school and in college and, I’m not sure if I had any accolades or anything at Bush. I was captain senior year and we won State. In college I was also captain and then I won a few awards like leading scorer 3 years in a row and I got a coach’s award senior year. I think that’s it. What else? I played club soccer in Seattle as well. I did a bunch of stuff as a kid like figure skating ad ballet and horseback riding but mostly it was just soccer.
S: Did you play varsity at college or club?
C: I played varsity soccer at Brown. Got recruited for Brown from Seattle United. The club team I used to play on, we used to be Emerald City but we changed clubs.
S: How did you get into your sports? C: Definitely my mom. She was a big factor in terms of getting me signed up for everything she wanted to make sure that I found something that I was interested in in terms of sports and soccer seemed to be the one that stuck definitely i fell in love with the sport when I was four or five. I’ve been playing every since.
S: What kept you playing for so long?
C: I think that it was a good team sport and I think that really helped I really liked the team i was on and my parents always made sure that i was on a team with people that fostered a good community. I also think that being successful – I don’t know – I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much if I didn’t have a chance at success. I talked to coaches and good people who helped who like fostered that in me. idk there’s just something about the sport that’s really amazing.
S: Definitely. So growing up, did you have any athletic role models?
C: Oh yeah, I loved Mia Hamm for sure, and then Michelle Akers. She actually used to run a soccer camp here In WA and I thought she was so cool. She used to – she had some sort of sickness and which made her fatigue come really fast but she pushed through it and I thought she was one of the coolest soccer players I knew. I really liked some male players as well, like Messi and I think I liked Ronaldo for a second. I like used to watch all the pro teams play.
s: Did you watch them on TV a lot?
C: Oh yeah. Pretty much when I wasn’t playing I was watching on TV too. I remember waking up and during the World Cup I would wake up in the morning and put it on and we’d be watching all day.
S: Do you watch mostly womens or mens, if you’ve noticed?
C: I watch both. I watch mostly mens because that’s what’s mostly covered but I do enjoy watching the women’s team a lot. It’s just harder because they don’t necessarily get good coverage on TV, unfortunately. I do like to go see the pro stem here in seattle, the Reign. I actually played for the women sounders for a second so I know some of them but they’re not as big as the pro team anymore so.
S: What were some obstacles you’ve faced growing up in athletics?
C: Oh, there are always obstacles. Definitely think um, there’s a stigma associated a little bit with women who play sports. I definitely experienced that in college but I would definitely say it opens more doors than it closed. I met a lot of people though my college team who helped me just like get places in life in terms of schooling and job space and whatnot. I would say also just the time I would spend at least 2-3 hours four nights a week playing soccer and training and games on weekends and you’re travelling so while all my friends were going to go hang out with people and have fun I was going to soccer and training. It did end up being worth it because I got to go to college for it but there’s definitely times when those sacrifices can be hard. I think I remember at bush i took the SAT in the morning, then I had my state cup final in the afternoon and then I had prom that night. It was just one of those days that I was like “why am I doing this?” It made it all worth it and i loved played in college and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had
S: What about as a woman?
C: Mostly from other male athletes but maybe that’s also just the ones I remember the most from college. I can’ think of anything too specifically where I was denied something because I Was a female athlete. Usually it did open more doors than it closed. I feel like there have been a lot of female athletes who’ve paved the way. So that was good.
S: Yeah definitely. Like for me, it’s come up most recently in ultimate. I played coed ultimate and it would get irritating because the boys would never pass to us.
C: Usually I try to just… well things like that definitely happen also I definitely experience it more now that I’m older and play coed adult leagues. I will experience guys who will be like: “oh it’s a girl I’m not gonna pass to her” or “I’m not gonna bother marking her because she’s probably not gonna do anything with the ball.” But I do like to punish them for that, I don’t know. If I have the ball and a guy’s just gonna go mark another guy because he thinks I can’t score, I’ll just go score. I feel like actions can prove that more than words can. I just like to be like “K, if you’re gonna underestimate me, fine, let’s go.”
S: Yeah it’s satisfying!
C: Haha yeah. When I was a kid – yeah I guess I did experience it a lot as a kid – they did try and just like prove it because I guess that was what I was taught to do. I feel like after I proved myself a little bit the boys started to respect me more on the field. I was definitely sad the day I hit puberty and I was slower than all the guys.
S: Aw yeah. Are you still involved in athletics?
C: Yeah I play a little bit – I had some injuries my senior year so it’s been hard, I’ve been out of the game. I graduated college 3 years ago so I’ve had some knee injuries that haven’t allowed me to go forward with it. I’m also in grad school now so I don’t really have time to play more seriously. I play intramural with my graduate school and I play coed sometimes. But definitely if you’re a woman your career pretty much ends when you graduate college. Unless you want to go pro, but that’s hard.
S: Do you have any athletic goals for the future?
C: I’m actually running a half marathon in a month. Slightly regretting signing up but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve been training for a little bit, I run about 20 miles a week. 25? I run up to 25 miles a week. It’s more of I just like staying in shape, ‘i’ve been doing it for so long that it feels weird to me if i’m not moving or playing a sport.
S: Last question, at the end of my project I’m going to be presenting to young students about everything I’ve learned and my goal is to educate them on what it’s like growing up as a woman in athletics but also empower the young girls to play sports. So is there anything you’d like to tell them?
C: I would just say that – that’s so cool that you’re doing that, I really believe in that too – like I said earlier, my mom was the biggest factor and I feel like some people don’t have that. I would just say that if you get hit with a little adversity, don’t give up. You’ll regret it. I’ve had many people you know, women especially come up to me and say “wow I wish I’d stuck with it” because it really is rewarding. There are times when it’s gonna be hard and you really don’t wanna do it anymore but you just have to remember the reasons why you love it so much. When I was a freshman or sophomore in high school I became really anemic, so I got really tired on the field and I couldn’t even play for 10 minutes and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I just thought I was out of shape or something so I would try to run more but it only made it worse. And I remember like on the drive home from a game I just looked at my mom like “I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate it, I want to quit.” And she just looked at me and she was like “You know what? I think something’s wrong. We’re gonna go see the doctor and get it figured out.” I’m really glad she said that and I didn’t just quit right there because my life would be completely different. It’s hard to keep it up and keep believing in yourself, especially when your team isn’t doing well or your coach kinda sucks, it’s not the best or something. You just have to take those problems and remember why you do the sport.
C: I’m glad you’re doing something like this. It’s really important. Definitely think that girls get discouraged too easily. Where did you think to do this project from?
S: Well I knew I wanted to do something with athletics. At first I was just going to paint a mural in the gym somewhere but when that seemed unlikely, I talked to my advisor. She actually suggested talking to alumni and doing this sort of project and I just got super excited about it! And that was basically that. I think as an athlete and a female in athletics it’s super relevant so I’m pretty passionate about it, and here I am.
C: That’s so cool you’re doing it at Bush too. Bush is a great school but I mean, at least when I went there, it wasn’t really centered around athletics at all.
S: Yeah it’s still is like that.
C: We were one of the first teams that really started to get Bush rallied around a sport and a ton of people would come out for our soccer games because we tried really hard to get that to happen, which was awesome. But I wouldn’t say we were an athletic school like SAAS as or something. So I think it’s so cool that you’re doing that.
S: Thank you!