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Rapinoe wins Sports Illustrated's top prize to cap stellar year

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on December 10, 2019 - Duration: 01:08s

Rapinoe wins Sports Illustrated's top prize to cap stellar year

U.S. soccer team star Megan Rapinoe wins Sports Illustrated's "Sportsperson of the year" and urges everyone to "just be better".

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Rapinoe wins Sports Illustrated's top prize to cap stellar year

SHOWS: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

STILL OF MEGAN RAPINOE STANDING IN FRONT OF POSTER READING: "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED - SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR" NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 9, 2019) (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED VNR - MUST CREDIT 'SPORTS ILLUSTRATED') 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S TEAM SOCCER STAR MEGAN RAPINOE, ON HER ACTIVISM, SAYING: "I think honestly it's everybody's responsibility, so yeah of course it's my responsibility and I have this incredible platform, I'm on a very successful team that was only possible because of other women who did this.

But I don't think I'm any different than you or you or any of these people here, or anybody on the street.

I feel like, do what you can in the most impactful way that you can, and it just so happens that I have all of these microphones and cameras and all of this stuff going on, so I think the louder I can speak, the more impactful I can be, and ultimately the better things are gonna get." 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. WOMEN'S TEAM SOCCER STAR MEGAN RAPINOE, SAYING: "Thank you to Sports Illustrated for giving this award to me, but particularly choosing someone like me, and for giving me this opportunity to speak in front of everyone, it truly is an honor... Let's just be better, thank you." NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4.

STILL OF RAPINOE STANDING IN FRONT OF POSTER STORY: Megan Rapinoe collected another accolade in a stellar year by claiming Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year honor on Monday for her performance on the U.S. women's World Cup-winning soccer team and for her campaigning off the field.

Rapinoe rocketed to household fame this year, taking home the Golden Boot and Golden Ball from the World Cup as top scorer and best player, as the U.S. retained the trophy and on the way became advocates for gender pay equity in sport.

The midfielder also picked up the prestigious Ballon d'Or award for the world's best female player.

The 34-year-old Californian and her team mates sued the U.S. soccer governing body in March for gender discrimination, arguing they had been paid less than the men's squad and were provided inferior working conditions.

Mediation between the two parties fell apart in August, leaving a cloud over the team's Olympic preparations with a trial date in looming in May.

They face qualifying matches for the 2020 Tokyo Games beginning next month, in a fight for redemption after a disappointing showing at the Rio Games.

Sports Illustrated previously gave the Sportsperson of the Year prize to the 1999 U.S. women's national team, who won the World Cup, but Rapinoe is the first individual soccer player to receive the honor since the award was first given out in 1954.

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