If you didn't already follow the United States women's soccer team prior to June 7, you have undoubtedly heard about them by now thanks to their explosive game play, grit, and determination as they continue to dominate during game after game of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. Co-captain and star forward Megan Rapinoe has been at the forefront of the U.S. team's charge to take the World Cup. She's as outspoken as they come, and unashamedly so, which is exactly why these Megan Rapinoe quotes are ones our kids need to hear.
Despite recent injury, Rapinoe continues to support her team on and off the field, a quality that I'm sure parents of mini athletes can appreciate. Regardless of her political views and the criticism she has received from some, Rapinoe stands firmly behind the statements that she makes. Her tenacity and ability to communicate exactly how she feels and what she stands for is an attribute to be admired.
Rapinoe and her teammates' fight for pay that is equal to their male counterparts by filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on International Women's Day was groundbreaking, and sent an important message about what is and is not acceptable in terms of equal pay for equal (or, in this case, better) performance. In terms of LGBTQ advocacy, Rapinoe is all the way there and is someone whom kids and fellow athletes needing support can look to.
The list of reasons why she's pretty bad*ss is long, but her bold moves on and off the field make these 10 Megan Rapinoe quotes that our kids need to hear that much more important.
1. "It's OK to feel different right now. You are supposed to be feeling weird a lot of the time. You have a lot going on. And you are supposed to feel uncomfortable and awkward because it's a good thing, and it helps you grow."
In a 2016 letter published by Bleacher Report, Rapinoe writes to her 13-year-old self, and the letter is worth reading in its entirety, but this quote truly stands out as one that kids need to hear. It is as if she is speaking directly to that awkward teen who hasn't quite found herself yet, and is that not how it truly felt to be 13?
2. "Hang on to your friends, and be prepared to make new ones."
In the same letter, Rapinoe addresses the changes that her teenage self is about to encounter and cautions her about how friendships evolve. This sage advice truly stands the test of time.
3. "And life will throw you some curveballs. Failure will happen, and how you handle it will help shape you into the person you are going to become."
As if the letter she wrote did not have enough important information to take away already, this quote on failure by Rapinoe sticks out as wisdom that kids can carry with them throughout life.
4. "Over the years, I have really figured out what works for me. It's not about what anyone else is doing. I can't worry about whether I am doing everything that another player is doing, which can be hard sometimes. I have to trust my training and know my body and figure out what will get the best out of me."
This one is for those little athletes, but really it's for anybody who is struggling with doing what is best for their own bodies — whether that has to do with training, nutrition, or self-acceptance, Rapinoe understands what it means to know what her body needs, according to this quote reported by Brainy Quote.
5. "I was made exactly the way I was meant to be made in who I am, and my personality, and the way I was born."
In a 2012 article, Vice credits this quote to Rapinoe, as she explains how comfortable she is in her own skin. Rapinoe seems to be all about embracing the unique qualities that make her who she is, which is definitely a lesson to be learned by just about everyone throughout life.
6. "I need to feel like I have that freedom to make mistakes and to just try things."
Rapinoe expressing what she needs is not a new concept, but the fact that she does so publicly in this quote, as reported by Brainy Quote, provides space for kids to learn that it is OK to not only ask for what you need, but also to know that it is OK to make mistakes.
7. "When we, as a nation, put our minds to something, when we truly choose to care about something, change always happens."
The power of uniting our country is a force that kids can learn from Rapinoe. As she wrote in a 2016 essay titled "Why I Am Kneeling," Rapinoe understands the importance of the concept of working together to achieve a common goal.
8. "We're gracious and we're humble, and we play the game a certain way, whether we win or lose."
This Rapinoe quote, as reported by Women.com, can teach kids a huge lesson about not only how to be "gracious" and "humble" as winners or losers in sports, but in life in general.
9. "I feel like it's actually everybody's responsibility to use whatever platform they have to do good in the world, basically, and to try to make our society better, whether you're an accountant or an activist or an athlete or whatever it is. I think it's everybody's responsibility."
Sharing responsibilities is something the soccer star talks about frequently, but in this particular quote reported by Brainy Quote, Rapinoe explains how everyone has a platform that they can use for good regardless of whether they are on a world stage like she is or not. This is a mighty lesson that even young children can carry with them as they grow.
10. "Sometimes it's worth risking it all for a dream only you can see."
Bam. This is the crème de la crème of Rapinoe quotes kids need to hear, as reported by Women.com. As someone who fought adversity and is totally winning, she strives to reach her dreams and encourages others to do the same.