Megan Rapinoe Wiki, Biography
Megan Rapinoe (born July 5, 1985) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a winger for OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), as well as the United States national team. Winner of the Ballon d’Or Féminin and named The Best FIFA Women’s Player in 2019, Rapinoe won gold with the national team at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and she played for the team at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the U.S. finished in second place. Rapinoe co-captained the national team alongside Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan from 2018 to 2020. She previously played for the Chicago Red Stars, Philadelphia Independence, and MagicJack in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS), as well as Olympique Lyon in France’s Division 1 Féminine.
Rapinoe is internationally known for her crafty style of play on the field and her activism off it. Her precise cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil resulted in an equalizer and eventual win for the Americans after a penalty shootout. The last-minute goal received ESPN’s 2011 ESPY Award for Best Play of the Year. During the 2012 London Olympics, she scored three goals and tallied a team-high four assists to lead the United States to a gold medal. She is the first player, male or female, to score a goal directly from a corner at the Olympic Games, having done so twice. She won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Rapinoe is an advocate for numerous LGBTQIA+ organizations, including the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally. In 2013, she received the Board of Directors Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. She is sponsored by Nike, Procter & Gamble, BodyArmor, Hulu, LUNA Bar, Samsung, and DJO Global, and has appeared in promotional pieces for Nike and clothing company Wildfang.
Rapinoe was included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. In July 2022, Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden.
Rapinoe grew up in Redding, California, with her parents, Jim and Denise, and five siblings, including her fraternal twin Rachael Rapinoe. Denise and Jim raised seven children together, not all their own. Denise has a son and daughter, Michael and Jenny, from a previous marriage; then came older brother Brian and then the twins five years later. Jim and her grandfather Jack both served in the Army. She has Italian (from her paternal grandfather) and Irish ancestry.
She idolized her older brother Brian and started playing soccer at age three after watching him play the sport, but he started using drugs when the girls were in second grade. When she was ten and he was fifteen, he was put in juvenile detention, and was thereafter in and out of various prisons including Pelican Bay State Prison. Brian has since made a determined effort to avoid drugs after seeing his younger sister’s success in international soccer. For Rachael and Megan, soccer was a means to get away from the drug abuse that is widespread in rural California.
Rapinoe has stated that she knew that she was a lesbian by her first year in college. She publicly came out in the July 2012 edition of Out magazine, stating that she had been in a relationship with Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh since 2009. After approximately five years together, Rapinoe and Walsh ended their relationship in 2013. Rapinoe later dated Sub Pop recording artist Sera Cahoone. Rapinoe and Cahoone announced their engagement in August 2015. In January 2017, Rapinoe stated that their wedding plans were on hold. On July 20, 2017, Rapinoe and basketball player Sue Bird of Seattle Storm confirmed that they had been dating since late 2016. In 2018, Bird and Rapinoe became the first same-sex couple on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue. The couple announced their engagement on October 30, 2020.
Speaking in an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, Rapinoe discussed how her older brother, who was the first to inspire her to play soccer, had suffered with drug abuse. He has also spent periods of time in jail, including solitary confinement. Rapinoe explained that during his incarceration, her brother became involved with white supremacist groups within prison.
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