I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know who Megan Rapinoe was or how important she was to the United States women’s national soccer team when I first met her last year. What I did know right away is that she’s a very kind human being.
We were both in the lobby of a deserted and unpretentious L.A. hotel. Megan was hanging out with another teammate who wasn’t that outwardly friendly, and my wife and I were chasing our then-1.5-year-old son around while waiting for the valet to bring our car around.
Baby Jack was wearing a shirt that said “Free Hugs,” and when he ran by her, she said something like, “That better not be false advertising,” and then, “Bring it on,” as she knelt down to cash in. He didn’t disappoint (Jack gives the best hugs!) and fortunately, I was smart enough to ask for a picture of them. We talked travel for a while, and when I got home I looked up the team and started following Megan on Twitter (she kindly followed me back). That little interaction instantly made me a fan for life…not only of Megan Rapinoe but of women’s soccer.
Jack is showing promise as a solid soccer player and I’m sure he will cherish this photo in the years to come. It’s not often that you get to meet a living legend and a role model who’s changing the world.
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Super-cool! She’s a national treasure!