I had an incredible experience the morning after the World Cup Finals. I don’t usually share these but we are at the end of the World Cup.
The US Women’s Team were to be on the FOX Sports set in Vancouver. All 23 of them.
Apparently it was to receive their ‘3rd star’ to signify their winning of their 3rd World Cup in the history of the nation.
Perhaps some of you went …
These amazing athletes were there…for us to see and cheer.
What happened was consistent with every experience I’ve had at this World Cup. Lining the barriers were a load of young girls and boys, but mostly girls, with their parents delightfully in support. A sea of flags, national colors, soccer jerseys, and banners were visible with a lot of cheering and frequent screaming from young fans wanting selfies and autographs.
The attention of these girls totally and 100% focused on the US Women’s Team – the recipients of this adoration on this special day.
But what felt different was the mix of the crowd – a large number of girls front and center. To me this is unusual to see so many girls and women at an event. With them were a large number of parents with them standing behind sometimes or sometimes holding the girls up to see over the crowd in front.
I was touched by this new demographic stepping forward – these young girls wearing their ‘Rapinoe’ shirt, their ‘Morgan’ shirt, and so on..
Now that ‘it’s done’, now that the World Cup is over, where will these girls go to… will they carry all this energy and enthusiasm back into school…back into soccer practice…back into their teams and say ‘hey look we are so cool and it’s cool to play sports.’
Will they hang in there when they become teenagers and body-aware. Will they stick with sport and encourage other girls to get involved.
And will they be there for FRANCE 2019 when we pick up on the next version of the World Cup?
I hope so…I hope they grow and go into life and business with a new level of confidence and a ‘we can do anything’ attitude.
Because we need them..the world needs them to be fearless and disciplined and committed to standing up for themselves and being awesome.
Thank you Women’s World Cup for bringing these girls and parents and boys together to see how far we’ve come. To see how exciting the beautiful game is when played by women.
Linda (the Canadian)