Soccer Star Brandi Chastain Pledges to Donate Brain to CTE Research

Brandi Chastain CTE
Roberto Schmidt—AFP/Getty Images Brandi Chastain celebrates after kicking the winning penalty shot to win the 1999 Women's World Cup final against China on July 10, 1999 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The soccer star scored the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup final

Brandi Chastain will donate her brain to research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the retired soccer star said Thursday.

Chastain, known for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 World Cup final, described the choice as an opportunity to aid research into a degenerative disease that affects athletes in a number of contact sports.

“Hopefully, what can be learned is, can doctors and scientists and neuroscientists look at the brain of someone like me, who has been playing soccer a majority of my life, and really dissect the brain and say, ‘Here’s where we see it beginning?'” Chastain said in an interview with USA Today.

Chastain joins a small group of women who have donated their brains to Boston University for CTE research. Boston University, which will receive Chastain’s brain following her death, has dissected more than 300 brains to study the disease, but only seven have been women. The disease can only be uncovered once a brain has been opened up after death.

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