The captain of the USA Women Soccer Team, Megan Rapinoe, is a symbol of world sport, but she is also a leader in issues of equality, diversity, and the fight for women’s rights.
More than 200 matches with her team, world champion, gold medalist, Ballon d’Or and Best Player in 2019 by FIFA, there are no adjectives to describe the sports career of the American striker. Just turned 38, Megan Rapione is playing her last competition with the ‘Star and Banners’ team and hopes to end her sports career by revalidating the world title she won in France 4 years ago.
It is that for women’s soccer Megan Rapinoe is the representation of the progress and evolution that the category had in recent years, for the sports firm Nike. ‘Pinoe’ is one of its main brand ambassadors and is considered a symbol of what the woman of the 21st century means: diverse, empowered and capable of fulfilling her dreams as a result of discipline and hard work.
A benchmark since its inception
From the first years in her native Redding, she stood out, not only as an extraordinary soccer player, but also excelled in disciplines such as athletics and basketball. In addition to what she exhibited on the playing fields, she was always recognized as an excellent student, appearing on the honor roll during high school.
Thanks to her remarkable athletic and academic performance, she was awarded a scholarship by the University of Portland, with the Pilots she achieved high individual performances and won the College Cup against UCLA. Her soccer rise was interrupted by two serious ligament injuries, despite the physical setbacks, her spirit was strengthened and at the end of her university stage, she opted for professionalism.
The star of her clubs and National Team
Her time as a professional was marked by various milestones that catapulted women’s soccer in her country, along with other stars from the US team, they were part of the women’s Seattle Sounders roster. During this stage, managing to fill the stadium with a capacity of 45,000 people in nine of the ten games they played at home.
After her soccer consolidation in her country, she made the leap to the old continent, during her time in Europe she formed the roster of Olympique de Lyon (considered one of the most dominant women’s teams in history), with the French team she played the final of the Champions League in the first season. Returning to the United States, she helped consolidate women’s soccer and won the most important titles with her National Team, the gold medal at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019, among others.
A symbol beyond the courts
The North American captain is a symbol for her country, in her hometown September 10 was called Megan Rapinoe’s Day, and she is considered one of the most relevant athletes of her generation. On July 7, 2022, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award in the United States, from President Joe Biden for her contribution to equality in the world.
Rapinoe’s fight for equality and equity is admirable. Openly declared gay since 2012, her work beyond sports focuses on favor of minorities. The athlete is an ambassador for Athlete Ally, an organization focused on eradicating homophobia and transphobia in sport. Rapione is also remembered for her determination to achieve equal pay with respect to the men’s teams, something she achieved in 2019 and which spread to other teams around the world.
Women’s soccer will be alone with its future departure. However, her work beyond the playing fields will continue to be present. Thank you ‘Pinoe’.