After her epic year as a World Cup champion, United States women's national soccer team's Megan Rapinoe is adding another title to her resume: 2019 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. The 34-year-old has had a year for the ages and is capping it off appropriately with one more accolade.
She is just the fourth ever woman to win the award solo, dating back to the first award of its kind 66 years ago. Chris Evert, Mary Decker and Serena Williams are the others.
When asked to describe what it means to be Sportsperson of the Year, Rapinoe lead with, "I mean, it's kind of crazy."
The USWNT co-captain helped lead her team to a title with her exceptional play as well as leadership skills. Despite dealing, Rapinoe was aggressive and dominant in the World Cup, just as she is off the field as well.
Her skill and drive helped her finish the World Cup tournament with five of the team's eight elimination round goals, and put her final total at six. She secured the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament and took home more hardware when she won the Golden Ball as the World Cup MVP.
During the World Cup final, Rapinoe scored the first goal of the game and put her team up 1-0 with a . The team eventually went on to win, 2-0.
The USWNT team never trailed while in France and scored a record 26 goals and Rapinoe was a big part of all that.
She quickly became a face, and a voice, for the team. Her pink hair is as hard to miss as her talent, and she became a household name during the course of the tournament.
Every top athlete has a signature move, and Rapinoe is no exception. Her celebratory arms stretched out, chin up with her head tilted is now a pose kids playing the sport and fans everywhere are doing. She even had kids dying their hair like hers for Halloween.
The team's joy continued during their celebration tour and parade, where Rapinoe gave ancalling out those in positions of power in the to assist their team in the fight for equal pay.
Rapinoe admitted that while thankful for the opportunities she has been given and the platform she has to fight for what she believes in, it is not always easy.
"Even those who appear superhuman need support," is how SI put it.
Rapinoe kept up her superhuman year as she also took home the second-everaward, where she again used the opportunity to speak close to her.
During controversy, lawsuits, the biggest stages in the sport and a climate where not everyone felt she would succeed, Rapinoe's voice never quivered, and neither did her play.
Next up for the star is the Olympics and afterwards she has said she will evaluate whether another World Cup is in her sights or not.