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(36,660 posts)
Mon Dec 9, 2019, 11:12 AM Dec 2019

Sports Illustrated 2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe [View all]

Before the final whistle, before the chants of “Equal pay!” ricocheted around Stade de Lyon, before Megan Rapinoe’s arms were filled with all the trophies a soccer player could possibly earn in one year, first came the tears.

On July 7, in the 61st minute of the 2019 World Cup final against the Netherlands, Rapinoe scored to put the U.S. up 1–0. To her, though, this was more than the goal that would win the Americans a record fourth title. It was the equivalent of flashing double-barrel middle fingers. She’d have loved to have done that just once. But, she says, “there are lines.”

The goal itself, on a penalty kick drawn by teammate Alex Morgan, was, like Rapinoe, more about brains than brawn. She reminded herself, Your opponent is more nervous than you are, then she went low and a bit right, breaking her tendency of high and left. Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal flinched toward Rapinoe’s usual side, the net rippled, teammates swarmed and the whole scene ended with the pink-haired lesbian winger posing near the corner flag in defiance and triumph and joy: arms outstretched, chin up, head tipped just back.

The Pose, the signature sporting image of 2019, was more than a celebration, just as Rapinoe’s goal was more than a tournament-winner. No one knew this better than Rapinoe’s mom, Denise, and fraternal twin, Rachael, who together had traversed France for a month with the U.S. team and on the day of the final were sitting just down the sideline. They were there because Megan had laid it on thick that this might be her last World Cup (she’ll reassess after the 2020 Olympics) but also because they know she can be as sensitive as she is tough, and even those who appear superhuman need support. Especially if they’ve been publicly questioned by the leader of the free world.


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That's Awesome Cuthbert Allgood Dec 2019 #1
K&R fleur-de-lisa Dec 2019 #2
Excellent choice! Pacifist Patriot Dec 2019 #3
She is bad ass! smirkymonkey Dec 2019 #4
Hell yeah! redqueen Dec 2019 #5
Well deserved mcar Dec 2019 #6
Pardon my French, but .... VWolf Dec 2019 #7
that's because... Javaman Dec 2019 #8
Love it, love it! DinahMoeHum Dec 2019 #9
+1000 I was so proud of her that day! Unforgettable photo chia Dec 2019 #11
wow, the butthurt is strong in that twitter thread 0rganism Dec 2019 #10
Tee hee! Their tears are so-o-o-o-o delicious. DinahMoeHum Dec 2019 #12
"Our own purple hair, lesbian goddess" 3Hotdogs Dec 2019 #13
She was in the crowd central scrutinizer Dec 2019 #14
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