Celebration of Champions: The Meaning Behind the USWNT Ticker Tape Parade

The most praised people in all of America right now are the fierce champions of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. Their bold performance was watched by about 23 million viewers making that game the most watched American soccer game for both the men’s and women’s teams. They dominated in the final game and their performance throughout the entire World Cup deserves a celebration to appreciate all they did.

The celebration today, The Ticker Tape Parade, is the perfect celebration for what the team has brought to the nation. The Ticker Tape parade is a celebration with an extensive history ranging from welcoming people into the nation to celebrating those who have served our nation in many ways. The very first “Ticker Tape Parade” was a celebration during the dedication of the Statue of Liberty back in 1886. ticker_tapeIt’s been associated with New York ever since and the ticker tape was paper thrown in the air by everyone, much like confetti which is now used since ticker tape is so 20th century.

Some of the names who have been celebrated with ticker tape parades: Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Albert Eistein, the Apollo 11 astronauts, Winston Churchill, the Yankees and the Mets, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, and the list goes on and on. So these women really are being celebrated for everything that they have done for this nation on and off the field, especially since this group of champions is the first women’s team celebrated by a ticker tape parade.

Winning the 2015 World Cup was more than just a trophy to go into the cabinet. The team was the first national women’s soccer organization to win a third world cup and gain a third star on their jerseys. And their performance impacted more than just those within the organization. The support that they gained through their World Cup journey just added to the growth of soccer in America. As a part of the soccer community in America, I love seeing people who know absolutely nothing about the sport support the team.  Soccer is the world’s game, but in America it still has so much more room to grow.

american fans

America’s soccer league, Major League Soccer, has been criticized by many because of the prestigious leagues of England, Spain, Italy, and so many other countries. The talent of the league is not as strong, clearly, but the league only started in 1995, with 1996 being the first season with 10 teams. The league has expanded greatly with not only a few more teams but also the talent with American national team players coming back to play in the league, and big name European players starting to follow the so called “David Beckham path” in trying to get the league recognized.

So what does the women’s performance have to do with the men’s league? Well it’s not so much the league but more so recognition of the American soccer system. With college athletics, it is hard for the soccer to be the same as it is in Europe. In the American society, going to college is the accepted route just in life. This differs from Europe in which kids go into academies. But the World Cup win will not only bring money into the soccer organization, but it will gain support to go into the whole soccer atmosphere starting with just getting more kids playing and starting at a young age.

INSPIRATION. That’s the real thing that the third star for the USWNT brings to the nation. The women’s national team always stands for being recognized as a team and not as individuals. And this started back in 1999 when they were on their campaign for their second star. Mia Hamm, who was probably the most recognized name from that team, always advocated for being part of a team, not a solo player:

I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team. I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.

This team aspect is used to recognize everybody and inspire younger players to want to be part of that team. This third World Cup win has brought high hopes to American soccer when it comes to young players. And with the new FIFA rankings coming out with the American team shining brightly at the number one spot, the organization is looking to keep the talent high and move forward with new generations of American soccer players.

So if you’re anything like me right now, you’re probably sitting on your couch sadly thinking about what you would have done to go to the parade to see the team. I’d do some weird things because AMERICA!

Carli Lloyd

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