All About Megan Rapinoe, Olympic Football Star and USWNT Leader – NBC Chicago
Megan Rapinoe is the face of women’s football, having won two World Cups and an Olympic gold medal. She is the face of equality, championing equal pay for female athletes, and has now been named one of the ambassadors for Victoria’s Secret all-inclusive branding.
And she soon hopes to be one of the faces of the United States Women’s National Team that returns to the top podium and brings Olympic gold back to America in 2021.
Rapinoe made a strong impression on his World Cup debut in 2011
Rapinoé was born for the big time.
After scoring his first World Cup goal in 2011, Rapinoe celebrated by taking a broadcast mic from the corner of the pitch and singing the chorus to “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen.
She lived the moment like a patron, making it the first of Rapinoe’s many highlights in the international game. The next came that year in the quarterfinals when, two minutes into extra time, she sent a 50-yard cross to the far post where Abby Wambach headed in the equalizer in what is became a spectacular victory for the American team.
Team USA won Olympic gold in 2012 thanks to Rapinoe’s two goals against Canada
The United States finished second at the 2011 World Cup, but caught up the following year by winning gold at the London Olympics in 2012.
Rapinoe scored the tying goal twice in the semi-finals (14 minutes apart) to take the United States to a 4-3 victory over Canada. She then contributed a goal in a 2-1 victory over Japan in the final to help the USWNT win gold.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are an engaged couple looking to win more gold for Team USA
Rapinoe is engaged to basketball legend Sue Bird, four-time gold medalist and WNBA Seattle Storm star. The powerful couple first met, and rightly so, at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bird and Rapinoe got engaged in October 2020, but wedding planning likely took precedence over Olympic training. The two athletes are heading to Tokyo with the goal of winning more gold medals for the US team.
Rapinoe was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2019
Rapinoe joined an exclusive roster in 2019 when she was named Sportswoman of the Year by Sports Illustrated in the award’s 66-year history.
She joined Chris Evert, Mary Decker and Serena Williams as the only other female athletes to receive this honor.
Rapinoe scored what turned out to be the winning goal of the 2019 World Cup final, becoming the oldest woman to score in a World Cup final at 34. She scored from a penalty to break a scoreless tie and celebrated by spreading her arms as teammate Alex Morgan jumped on her back – an iconic photo that made the cover of Sports Illustrated.
A strong advocate for equality, Rapinoe met President Biden in March
Rapinoe has long spoken openly about racial and gender discrimination, taking his battle for equal pay to the White House. Speaking to President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in March, Rapinoe highlighted the pay gap between the United States Women’s National Team and its male counterparts, despite resounding success on the pitch in recent years.
“I have been devalued, disrespected and fired for being a woman. I have been told that I deserve nothing more than less because I am a woman,” Rapinoe said. “Despite all the victories, I am still paid less than the men who do the same job as me. For every trophy – of which there are a lot – for every win, every draw and for every time we play, it is is less.”
Rapinoe and Victoria’s Secret want to celebrate women for their collective beauty and power
Rapinoe was the headliner of the recent rebranding to Victoria’s Secret, which ditched its maligned “Angels” model campaign to showcase and celebrate women for their accomplishments, diversity and different body types.
“I am thrilled and ready to partner with @VictoriasSecret as part of #TheVSCollective – women I admire and who are icons of our time. I look forward to working with them to show ALL women their individual and collective beauty and power, ”she wrote on Twitter.