Founded in 1973 by tennis legend Billie Jean King, the Women’s Sports Foundation will host the 4th Annual Billie Awards at the Beverly Hills Hilton on April 1, 2009 to recognize media excellence in the portrayal of women in sports and physical activity. The media shapes our perceptions of what the female athlete looks like – who she is – whether or not her power is beautiful and as such the Billie Awards recognize achievements in Journalism – print / online; Journalism – broadcast; Entertainment; and Breakthrough and Innovation.
Portrait of Passion, published on March 7, 2008 by Competitive Image Publishing has been nominated for the 2009 Billie Award for Journalism – Print / Online.
Portrait of Passion takes an inspiring look at 21 of soccer’s most successful women. Gail Stewart, author of over 200 books for young adults, interviewed Olympians Christie Rampone, Carli Lloyd, Natasha Kai and Hope Solo, as well as International greats Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, and more — all the players on the 2007 US Women’s National Soccer Team roster. She examines the women’s lives, painting portraits of their childhoods and families, their friends and pastimes, and goals beyond soccer.
Stewart has woven the fascinating stories of these great role models into an enticing and inspirational read for soccer fans of all ages. What were the players like growing up? How did they acquire their toughness? How do they handle controversies? What would they have done differently? Over 250 action and candid photos tell the story visually as the players progress from their youth all the way to the international field of play. Page after page of stunning photos by top sports photographer Paul Phillips fill the pages. He followed this amazing group of female athletes thousands of miles, from Chicago to China and the FIFA Women’s 2007 World Cup, to capture the pictures found in this 148-page book. In addition, many snapshots of the players showing them when they were kids are included in the book. Perschert adds, “The photos bring [the players'] stories to life. Seeing the sweat, the heartbreak and the glory in living color draws the reader into the personal nature of the women’s stories. We can all identify with the emotions and we feel connected when we identify. These women are our sisters!”
“From the outset of this project, our goal was to create a book that would be an inspiration to young girls,” says Publisher and Photographer Paul Phillips, “we are truly honored to be nominated for the 2009 Billie Award.”
In her foreword, Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Julie Foudy explains the importance of the book: “When people see the women’s national team, they often only see the final product—the team standing on a podium accepting a medal. The beauty of this team is also in the quiet moments when no one is watching. The beauty of this team is in the long conversations in hotel hallways, when no one else can hear them. The beauty of this team is on the bus where dreams are shared. The beauty of this team is in the journey that few get to glimpse inside.”
Prior Billie Award Honorees include: Kathrine Switzer for her book Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports; Christine Brennan, USA Today; HBO; ESPN and Bud Greenspan.
Portrait of Passion was created in cooperation with the Women’s National Players Association.
Portrait of Passion is available online (http://portraitofpassion.com) and through amazon.com.
It is also sold as a fundraising tool for girl’s soccer teams. Details are available at website at portraitofpassion.com.