FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA World Cup champion, Abby Wambach spoke at Bud Walton Arena Monday (Apr. 18).
The speech was her first public appearance since being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated earlier this month; Wambach pleaded guilty on Tuesday (April 12).
“Everything that has happened over the past couple weeks, I deserve,” Wambach said. “It has been a rough couple weeks. I do not want to make light of what I did, because I feel ashamed and embarrassed.”
Wambach told a large crowd at The University of Arkansas that her mistake has greatly impacted her life.
“The internal damage that can do is mind-blowing,” Wambach said.
Lynn Hahn, a major with the Benton County Sheriff`s Office, knows how drunk driving can impact lives.
Hahn`s wife, Tammy, was injured several years ago after a drunk driver hit her car.
“There [are] people driving on the road right now that are drunk driving,” Hahn said. “They may not have intentions when they leave home that night to hurt someone. But, if they are drinking and driving, that could well be the outcome.”
Hahn applauded Wambach for using her celebrity platform to bring awareness to the dangers of drunk driving.
“Because she is so looked up upon, it is important that she shares her story with young people,” Hahn said. “And, she needs to explain why it is a bad decision.”
Wambach told the crowd she made sure to not hide behind her lawyers after her mistake.
“I think that there is real value in standing up and saying `I messed up. I am a human being, and it won`t ever happen again`,” Wambach said. “My apologies [go out] to all my friends and family. Especially to all of my fans. It will never happen again.”