Megan Rapinoe tells women ‘don’t change’ at keynote in Austin

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two-time World Cup Champion and co-captain of the U.S. Women’s National soccer team Megan Rapinoe was in Austin Thursday morning.

She took the stage at the 20th Annual Texas Conference for Women at Austin and told the room full of mostly women, “You don’t have to be anything other than who you are.”

Rapinoe described herself as wild, confident and someone not afraid to buck up against everyone else.

She’s been getting a lot of attention recently off the field for being outspoken about equal rights for women. She and her teammates filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit over equal pay for women soccer players.

Journalist, author and speaker Celeste Headlee sat down with Rapinoe on stage for a Q & A. When Headlee asked Rapinoe what she thinks about critics who say she should just be grateful for what she has, Rapinoe responded, “Knowing what you deserve and being grateful go hand-in-hand … I don’t think those two things need to be exclusive.”

Rapinoe said she will be “fighting like hell” every day to make sure everyone is afforded the same opportunities.

The star athlete, who has been on the road a lot recently, said it’s hard to stay motivated to workout. But she was up at 6 a.m. this morning hitting the swimming pool to get some training in.

She told the crowd, the workouts from her trainer help keep her balanced, and having a routine on the road is good.

One of the funniest moments came when Rapinoe was asked where she keeps her Olympic gold medal from London and World Cup trophies.

Rapinoe laughed and said they are currently at the Seattle Police Department, which is where they’ve been since her home was broken into. She hasn’t had a chance to go get them — but added that they’re obviously safer there.

As Rapinoe prepares for the summer Olympics, she said she does think about the fact that she’s one of the oldest members on the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. She will be 35-years-old when she takes the field in Tokyo, and said she often feels like a proud mom.

Lifting up, encouraging others and leading by example are all qualities she says she tries to possess.

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