Time just named climate change activist Greta Thunberg 2019 Person of the Year, and she’s the youngest individual ever to be granted that title by the publication. She’s pretty amazing, and you can read Time‘s cover story about her and this honor here. Other women who’ve unabashedly fought for change? The members of the US Women’s National Soccer Team. They challenged inequities preventing them from earning the same amount of compensation as their male counterparts, and they also thwarted the unjust accusations that they are, at the same time, too proud and too “showy” when it comes to celebrating their accomplishments. For their successes and leadership, Time named them 2019 Athlete of the Year.
This past March, the women filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation. Led by Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd, they proceeded to win their fourth total World Cup victory in July and set the record for the most-scored goals in a USWNT game, period, and the most scored goals in a Women’s World Cup game, among a long list of other records. And, did we mention that the US Men’s National Soccer Team has never won a FIFA World Cup?
Not only does the women’s team have a handful of seasoned athletes on its roster, but it also has amazing up-and-coming superstars like Rose Lavelle, Crystal Dunn, and Lindsey Horan. The USWNT is on its own Wheaties box (though we would expect nothing less), knows how to celebrate wins without shame, and isn’t afraid of power poses and pink hair (Megan loves both). The team is made up of leaders who showcase that, eventually, if you fight hard enough in the face of adversity, your voice will be heard.
“People always wonder, How the hell do these women act the way they do?” Megan said to Time, specifically pointing to her and the USWNT’s refusal to go to the White House post-World Cup upon invitation (remember those series of pointed tweets from Trump about Megan?). “That’s the world we live in . . . There’s joy in realizing your power.”
Read Time‘s full feature on the USWNT and its Athlete of the Year honor here.