Glamour magazine says the U.S, women’s team inspired a nation and thrilled soccer fans worldwide with its epic performance in the World Cup.
But the contributions of the 23 American players extended far beyond the pitch. They stood up for gender equality in their sport, and for better pay for female athletes the world over. Their message to youngsters, and especially young girls, was: It’s OK to dream and dream big — you never achieve anything if you don’t try.
The team was among the recipients of the magazine’s 2015 Women of the Year awards. (Here’s a complete list of the honorees.)
“This team leads by example,” said Billie Jean King, the tennis great and longtime equal-rights advocate. “They have shown what hard work, commitment, and dedication can do.”