This is the second in a series of articles profiling known out and proud Olympic athletes who are openly LGBT. The New Civil Rights Movement will publish one article each day as we move into the London 2012 Olympics.
The announcement was met with approval by anti-homophobia advocates and sports fans alike, though with less fanfare than might be expected in a sport that has been looking for its next out pro player since English footballer Justin Fashanu famously came out in 1990. With the recent coming-out announcements of several male players (like Sweden’s Anton Hysén and Montreal’s David Testo), the conversation has shifted to just how “pro” a player has to be to make a difference in representing LGBT participation in soccer. Megan Rapinoe may be the answer.
Rapinoe has a long history with the beautiful game. Both she and her twin sister Rachael played competitively until an injury took Rachael out of the game. Megan continued on and became well-known in the women’s game, admired for her crafty skill and renowned for her playful personality–both of which were on display at the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Rapinoe made herself memorable early in the tournament by grabbing a microphone and singing “Born in the USA” after a win against Colombia, and kept herself in the spotlight with her reliable ability to deliver. She was brought on as a substitute in the quarterfinal match against Brazil, and justified coach Pia Sundhage‘s choice when–in overtime–she lofted a precise pass to team mate Wambach who scored with a game-tying header. The U.S. won in penalties and went on to beat France, ultimately losing to Japan in the final game. Rapinoe played in all six games of the Cup, earning three assists and one goal (with another goal disallowed by the referee).
So how does a 27 year-old follow up that kind of career stoke? By going to the Olympic games, obviously. Sounds pretty pro to me.
Show Rapinoe some love at her Facebook page.
Follow our series: “2012 Olympics: Who Are The LGBT Athletes?” as we profile all the out LGBT athletes playing in the London 2012 Olympic games.
Image, top, via Facebook
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