Among the many happy images to come out of the July 5 USA win over Japan in the women’s soccer World Cup final is that of Abby Wambach running to the sidelines to kiss her wife Sarah Huffman in celebration.
Wambach was playing in her fourth (and probably last) World Cup.
The two have been married since 2013, but that bond was not legally recognized in all 50 states until the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage on June 26.
It was an especially powerful moment for Wambach, 35, who holds the record for international goals but who many speculate will retire after a long, successful career.
She has been open about how devastating it would be to have to retire without a World Cup win and took emotional and physical risks to make the championship a reality.
“It’s like love,” she told the New York Times on July 5.
Twitter, at least, saw the moment as a dual victory, and all the sweeter for it, with many fans expressing their approval and realization of the moment’s symbolic importance.