USA! USA! USA! It's hard to look anywhere right now without seeing the news of the US women's team kicking butt in the World Cup. They've been a team to be reckoned with on an international level since their formation, and, over the past few weeks, they've proven that is still the case.
Powerhouses like Morgan and Rapinoe provide leadership to the team that is unparalleled, and they're supported by a team that seemingly knows no bounds. Fast, powerful, and ingenious, this team doesn't stop until that final whistle is blown. Then, even after that, they're looking ahead.
They came into these games with a target on their backs. As the previous winners, everyone was determined to take down the best of the best. Right off the bat, the double standard these athletes are held to was seen. With a record-breaking win, the women didn't have long to celebrate before critics hailed them as bad sports.
Pushing that behind them, the women continued the paths to victory, but the critics continued to hound. From a queen overlooking her victories to sipping tea, these women were criticized for simply doing what they were expected.
In the end, the women surged beyond their haters to yet another stupendous win. They're being welcomed home as heroes by almost everyone (except maybe the occasional angry trump), and they're living it up.
Talks have once again reignited about the pay gap between male and female athletes, now maybe more than ever. The women's team brings home awards leaps and bounds beyond the men, yet their pay is consistently lower. Some say this is simply a result of demand. Not as many people are watching the games, so there isn't as much money to be had and thus given to the players. Others argue that, every person watching is a result of the success of these women, thus they should be paid as such.
Only time will tell if this fight for equality will pan out in their favour, but, in the mean time, the women will continue to do what they do best: kick butt and take names.