As Beyoncé so aptly informed us, it’s girls who run the world. More specifically, the US Women’s National Soccer Team, winners of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Nearly 5,000 soccer fans signed a petition requesting New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio arrange for a celebratory ticker-tape parade in the team’s honor. And, days later, the city made last minute plans for a $1.5 million celebration.
On Friday, the winning team – including stars Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd – hopped a float down the city's legendary Canyon of Heroes. They rode alongside a Ritz-sponsored spinning globe declaring, "We are the champions of the world."
The event marks the first time a female team has received a ticker-tape parade and the first appearance of women athletes since the 1984 Olympics.
A crowd full of women bore witness to the loud festivities as hundreds gathered to cheer on their champions.
It became clear no one was there to fight over team rivalries, talk salary statistics or engage in the persistent negative behavior that plagues many professional sports franchises, even though the team has endured more than its fair share of sexist treatment.
Instead, there was team spirit. It was a feeling I’d liken more to the Olympics than to the Super Bowl.
Following a tradition that dates back to 1886, offices dumped shredded paper from their windows and let it rain down on the crowd. When one man ran out of paper, he reached for the nearest sofa cushion and – no kidding – began dumping pounds of furniture stuffing on the champions.
The team’s most enthusiastic fans didn’t seem to be adults, either: Children and teenagers, undoubtedly happy to be out in the sunshine, cheered on the soccer stars by name. There’s something incredible about both boys and girls staring up into the faces of female heroines.
Below are a few of our favorite moments.