The U.S. Women’s National Team celebrated their second consecutive World Cup Soccer championship with a ticker tape parade in the famed “Canyon of Heroes” in New York City on Wednesday morning. Throngs of fans packed the streets of lower Manhattan to greet the squad led by Megan Rapinoe, who scored the winning goals in the final match against the team from the Netherlands.
Edited by: David Ben Hooren
People blew air horns, and waved American flags, and chanted “USA!” and “Equal Pay!” High above their heads, in accordance with ticker-tape-parade tradition, people threw confetti and shredded paper out of their windows.
“This group is so resilient, is so tough, has such a sense of humor — is just so bad-ass,” Rapinoe said as she praised her teammates.
NPR reported that the parade started at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning when Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and their teammates embarked from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan. From there, the parade moved north up Broadway to City Hall, where a banner declared, “One nation. One team.”
By the time they slowed to a stop at the corner of Broadway and Barclay St. near City Hall, the mood was one of joyful uproar — pandemonium under sunny skies, according to the NPR report.
“USA! USA! USA!” the crowd shouted, whenever the cheers let up. And referring to the players’ push to be paid on equal terms as the men, they also chanted a rhyming phrase: “Equal pay!”
At 10:30 a.m., many of the fans moved to chairs and bleachers outside of City Hall, where Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted a ceremony to mark the team’s second consecutive world championship and fourth overall. All of the athletes received a key to the city, according to the NPR report.
“This is America’s team, and we could not be more proud of our team, ” de Blasio said, noting the inspirational roles the women have played for young girls in the U.S.
NPR reported that the loudest cheers were for Rapinoe — who briefly handed the golden World Cup trophy to the young woman escorting her before dancing down the aisle.
“This is crazy. This is absolutely insane. Such at a loss for words,” Rapinoe said. She quickly added, “I mean, I’ll find them, don’t worry.”
Referring to the group’s diversity, Rapinoe said, “We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos, dreadlocks. We’ve got white girls and black girls, and everything in between.”
“Straight girls and gay girls,” Rapinoe said. As the audience cheered loudly, she added, “Hey!”
“I couldn’t be more proud to be a co-captain” of the team, she said. “It’s my absolute honor to lead this team out on the field. There’s no other place that I would rather be — even in the presidential race,” she said to laughter and applause.