Women's World Cup ticker-tape parade is first in New York for a women's sports team
All 23 U.S. team members attended the event Friday
Boy, am I glad one of my soccer-playing daughters decided to miss a day at her beloved camp Friday so she could witness history.
After all, how often in her life will she see a ticker tape parade in New York for female athletes, most of whom are not from the New York area?
Not. Very. Often.
My daughter and I joined thousands of other fans of all ages – many families with young girls – chanting “USA, USA” as the U.S. Women’s World Cup champions passed by on floats en route to City Hall, where they would each be presented with a key to the city.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week that the champs, who defeated Japan 5-2 on Sunday before a record U.S. television audience, would be honored Friday with a ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan.
Yep, it’s the same honor afforded the New York Giants after their Super Bowl victories and the New York Yankees after their many World Series titles.
The mayor’s office says it was the first ticker tape parade for a women’s sports team in New York City’s history.
The New York Times reports that Howard Wolfson, an aide to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, offered the idea in a phone call to de Blasio at the start of the women’s final in Vancouver.
On Monday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer got New Yorkers involved when she circulated a letter that she sent to the mayor, calling for a special parade for the U.S. women’s team, which did something no other women’s soccer team in the world has done: win three World Cups.
“New York City has a strong history of honoring sports achievements in the Canyon of Heroes, but has never held a parade to honor a women’s team,” she wrote. “Our newest soccer champions represent an opportunity for New York to recognize that heroes and role models come in all genders.”
One day later, New York first lady Chirlane McCray tweeted, “The people have spoken and they want a ticker tape parade to celebrate … “
The cost is reportedly $2 million, with $450,000 coming from private donations and the rest paid for by the city.
Whether or not you attended, watched it online or followed along on social media, here are a few fun facts about Friday’s celebration:
1. They’re not the first non-New York athletes to be honored.
In 1984, after the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, U.S. medal winners – male and female – were celebrated with a ticker tape parade. The group included gold medalists Mary Lou Retton (gymnastics) and Cheryl Miller (basketball).