Megan Rapinoe is the face of women's soccer, having won two World Cups and one Olympic gold medal. She's the face of equality, advocating for equal pay for female athletes, and has now been named one of the ambassadors in Victoria Secret's all-inclusive rebrand.
And she soon hopes to be one of the faces of the U.S. Women's National Team that returns to the top podium and brings Olympic gold back to America in 2021.
Rapinoe made a strong first impression at her World Cup debut in 2011
Rapinoe was born for the big moment.
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After scoring her first World Cup goal in 2011, Rapinoe celebrated by picking up a broadcast microphone at the corner of the field and singing the chorus from Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."
She owned the moment like a boss, making it the first of Rapinoe's many highlights in international play. 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 became a dramatic win for Team USA.
Team USA won Olympic gold in 2012 thanks to Rapinoe’s two goals over Canada
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The United States was runner-up in the 2011 World Cup, but made up for it the following year by winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
Rapinoe scored the tying goal twice in the semifinals (14 minutes apart) to lift the U.S. to a 4-3 win over Canada. She then assisted on a goal during a 2-1 win over Japan in the final to help the USWNT capture gold.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are engaged couple looking to capture more gold for Team USA
Bird and Rapinoe got engaged in October 2020, but wedding planning probably has taken a backseat to Olympic training. Both athletes are headed to Tokyo looking to capture more gold medals for Team USA.
Rapinoe was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2019
Rapinoe joined an exclusive list in 2019 when she was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year in the then-66-year history of the award.
She joined Chris Evert, Mary Decker and Serena Williams as the only other female athletes to receive the honor.
Rapinoe netted what proved to be the winning goal in the final of the 2019 World Cup, becoming the oldest woman to score in a World Cup final at age 34. She scored on a penalty kick to break a scoreless tie and celebrated by spreading her arms as teammate Alex Morgan jumped on her back -- an iconic photo that graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.
A vocal advocate for equality, Rapinoe met with President Biden in March
Rapinoe has long been outspoken on racial and gender discrimination, taking her battle for equal pay as far as the White House. Speaking in front of President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden in March, Rapinoe highlighted the disparity in pay between the U.S. Women’s National Team and their male counterparts, despite overwhelming success on the field in recent years.
"I've been devalued, I've been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman. I've been told that I don't deserve any more than less because I am a woman," Rapinoe said. "Despite all of the wins, I am still paid less than men who do the same job that I do. For each trophy -- of which there are many -- for each win, each tie and for each time that we play, it’s less.”
Rapinoe and Victoria’s Secret want to celebrate women for their collective beauty and power
Rapinoe was the headliner in the recent rebrand for Victoria’s Secret, which ditched its maligned supermodel “Angels” campaign to highlight and celebrate women for their accomplishments, diversity and varying body types.
“I am excited and ready to partner with @VictoriasSecret as part of #TheVSCollective - women who I admire and are icons of our time. I'm looking forward to working with them to show ALL women their individual and collective beauty and power,” she wrote on Twitter.