As fans’ excitement filled the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, in the final minutes of the World Cup on Sunday, a similar sentiment could be heard thousands of miles away in Carnegie, Oklahoma, where the Kiowa tribe was hosting its very own watch party for USA striker Chris Wondolowski.
In an article for Aljazeera America, members of the Kiowa tribe erupted in applause when ESPN flashed a photo of Wondolowski on the TV screen and the announcer said that he was “half Native American” and a member of the Kiowa tribe and that “He is on for the USA, a born goal scorer.”
Dorothy Whitehorse-Delaune, 82, wore a T-shirt with Wondolowski’s official World Cup photo on the front and his name in jersey-style lettering written on the back. She was showing support for her grandson, who made his debut in Sunday’s game against Portugal.
Whitehorse-Delaune and Bill Elliot, Chris Wondolowski's grandparents, cheer for him at a watch party in the Kiowa Elders Center during the Portugal vs. USA game on June 23, 2014.
“I’m a fluent Kiowa speaker. I’ve been all over the world. But I don’t understand soccer,” Whitehorse-Delaune toldAljazeera America. “But for somebody that didn’t speak English until they were 6 and then having someone playing on an international team, and he’s from your family? It’s just overwhelming. Look how far we’ve come.” Whitehorse-Delaune was interviewed for the article by Tristian Ahtone.
Wondolowski replaced Clint Dempsey in the 87th minute with US ahead 2-1. They beat Ghana in their first game 2-1. But, a goal scored in the 90th minute of Sunday’s game by Portugal’s Silvestre Varela left Team USA heartbroken, they tied 2-2.
But despite the loss, Whitehorse-Delaune will continue to cheer for her grandson -- the first tribally enrolled Native American to participate in the World Cup – on Thursday when Team USA plays against Germany.
You can read the full story here.