In the hours after the United States Women’s National Team won the 2019 Women’s World Cup, they have been living their absolute best lives. They flew back triumphantly to New York City, where they were partying the entire way. The party for them continued in New York, where on Wednesday the city threw them a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes. It was the same site that they held their 2015 celebration, but this one was incredible.
My travel back to the United States started on Monday, with a train ride from Lyon to Paris. There, I learned that my early Tuesday morning flight back to the U.S. was canceled. I rebooked on another flight that left mid-afternoon Tuesday from Paris to Dallas to Washington, DC. Arriving in DC at 1:00am Wednesday morning, I learned that I had a ticket to the ceremony for the USWNT at City Hall in NYC. After running home to drop off my bags and take a quick power nap, it was off to the train station for a 4:30am train to NYC. I arrived in time to head over to City Hall and meet my friends for an amazing celebration.
We were sitting 3 rows from the front right in the middle, and it was an excruciatingly hot and humid day in the Big Apple. Still, the mood was festive and fans were dressed in their favorite jerseys and t-shirts to welcome home the champions. The parade was off to our left, and we could see the floats pass by from our seats even though it was a couple hundreds yards away.
Around 10:15am the parade was over and the ceremony started with a local samba drum group putting on a show for the people in attendance. Finally, the team was introduced by ABC’s Robin Roberts, all of them coming out clearly still in party mode. It was amazing. There hasn’t been a team in recent memory that has had as much fun the past few days as the USWNT has celebrating this title. And why shouldn’t they enjoy it?! They set a host of records on the way to this title, basically beating all of Europe from the 3rd group stage match on. Thailand, Chile, Sweden, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands combined to be outscored 26-3 throughout the tournament by the USWNT. That alone is cause to celebrate.
The speeches begin, and “Equal Pay” is the theme of the celebration. When U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro gets up to speak, the chants increased so much it nearly drowned him out. Then came the keys to the city, with the highlight being Allie Long mistakenly thinking her name was called when Robin Roberts announced Kelley O’Hara, and Long ran up to take her key. The party never stopped for them, and they were soaking it all up.
Finally, Megan Rapinoe’s speech was terrific. She gave an incredible speech that was one of the highlights of the day:
USWNT star Megan Rapinoe gave a speech at a ceremony in New York City where the team celebrates its fourth World Cup win. pic.twitter.com/4L4B7WTnAp— azcentral (@azcentral) July 11, 2019
After that, it was all over. Fans dispersed to travel home or back to work. But, everyone, everyone had a smile on their face. I ended up grabbing lunch with a couple friends and then jumping on a 2pm train back to DC. For the USWNT, it was off to Los Angeles, where they arrived at the ESPYs only for Alex Morgan to win Best Female Athlete and for the team to win Best Team...duh, because they are the best team.
Looking back at this trip, it was a helluva ride. From Alex Morgan’s goal against Thailand to Rose Lavelle’s golazo against the Dutch, there was so much fun in the middle. This Tour de Four was one for the history books, and it was also one that was to tell future generations. The USWNT has inspired millions of people, young or old, to go for their dreams, to be dedicated to their craft, and to celebrate like everyone’s watching when you accomplish your goals. I can’t wait to see them in the Victory Tour when it begins next month at the Rose Bowl, and all eyes are now on FIFA to await their announcement on who will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Planning for a 3-peat starts now, and I can’t wait to be there to witness that journey. For now, this is the French Baguettes signing off, but we’re signing off as 4-time World Cup champions.