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Abby Wambach on DUI arrest: "I made a mistake and I'm owning it"

The retired soccer champion spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell at the 2016 OWN IT Summit at Georgetown University about the importance of fighting inequality, including the U.S. women's national team's push for equal pay.
Abby Wambach: "Tackle real, true equality" 03:37

When soccer champion Abby Wambach retired last year, she left behind a towering legacy -- 15 years with the U.S. national women's team, a World Cup victory, two Olympic gold medals and title as the world's all-time leading goalscorer.

But even superstars make mistakes, and this one is totally "owning it."

The 35-year-old was arrested for driving under the influence in Oregon, after running a red light and failing field sobriety tests. Less than a week after her DUI arrest, Wambach spoke at the 2016 OWN IT Summit at Georgetown University Saturday, and was interviewed by "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell.

"This last week has obviously been pretty tough for me. I've been embarrassed and ashamed... Life is tricky and it's not easy," Wambach said. "I made a mistake and I'm owning it."

Wambach channeled her mistake as an important lesson that she extended to everyone in the room, emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility.

"This is actually a really good lesson for all of you, no matter what, because you guys are going to become our next leaders. You guys are going to become the next thing for this country," Wambach said. "And it's important that you understand that no matter what you do, no matter what level you get to, you still have to put your pants on the same way every day."

She also stressed that the same mistake should "never be repeated." Opening up about her family - being the youngest of seven and the aunt of 22 nieces and nephews - Wambach reminded the crowd that one individual's mistake could have a "ripple effect" on others.

Abby Wambach: "I made a mistake, I'm owning it" 03:07

"If you do something like I did last weekend, it's not just you. Your whole family has to deal with it. In all of life, it's not just you," Wambach said. "Everything that you do has an impact... Just make sure the good column is longer."

Wambach also shared a conversation she had with a crisis management professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, who commended her for being "honest, real and raw" - exactly as he would have taught his students.

On the same day of her arrest, Wambach took to Facebook to apologize:

Last night I was arrested for DUII in Portland after dinner at a friend's house. Those that know me, know that I have...

Posted by Abby Wambach on Sunday, April 3, 2016

Wambach shared her plans of meeting her nieces and uncles to impart the lessons that she learned, especially about the importance of "moving forward."

"It's never about what you do in terms of that mistake - it's about how you handle it and what you do in the moments afterwards. That's what your character is and that's who your character is. So just remember that," Wambach said.

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