The U.S. women’s national soccer team was welcomed into the White House on Tuesday to celebrate the squad’s victory at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. President Obama addressed the women during a speech in the East Room, acknowledging their accomplishments on and off the field, according to Sports Illustrated.
He spoke about what an incredible inspiration the three-time champions are for the American people, specifically the next generation of kids.
“This team taught all America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that phrase. Playing like a girl means being the best,” Obama said. “It means drawing the largest TV audience for a soccer match — men or women’s — in American history. It means wearing our nation’s crest on your jersey, taking yourself and your country to the top of the world. That’s what American women do. That’s what American girls do. That’s why we celebrate this team.”
The President also said that the achievement was monumental for American sports. “These champions deserve all the attention that they’ve been getting. After 16 long years, too many heartbreaks, they flew north to put America back on top of the soccer world and they did it in style. It was a victory that took all 23 players,” he said.
As an added bonus, Obama even made an unofficial endorsement for a 2016 presidential candidate: Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of the World Cup Final to lead her team to victory.
“Carli’s performance was so good that by the time the game was over, someone had changed her title on Wikipedia from ‘midfielder’ to ‘President of the United States.’ Which, by the way, the job is about to open up … I guarantee you Carli knows more about being President than some of the folks who are running.”