The day after Indepedence Day proved a near-perfect coronation for women’s soccer in the United States. Equality has exploded like fireworks.
Storming to a 3-0 lead before coasting to a 5-2 victory over defending world champion Japan, the US capped its first world title in 16 years before 53,000 at Vancouver’s spectacular B.C. Place. The stadium appeared to be perhaps the largest (pro) US population ever off native soil.
During the two-week tournament, the weather was unseasonably spectacular, on-site crowds were impressive and a national US television audience surfed over in record numbers.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup final was the most watched soccer match in US history, including surpassing audience numbers for the male-dominated NHL Stanley Cup and NBA Finals.
Due in part to Title XI, the landmark 1972 charter mandating gender equity, and factoring already incomparable global patriotism, the United States continues to maintain a world standard for female sport. The opportunity to be seen and treated as equal – and backing up the promise through legislation – is one giant leap for all mankind.
Along with the recently passed same sex marriage law, which legalized and levelled the playing field of love across North America, America’s evolution through the first half of 2015 could have never been forecast on that first celebration of independence nearly 24 decades ago. There is still a ways to go, like the US cracking the global top-ten gender equality index.
But if anything that sunny Sunday proved, it’s that one day really can make a difference.