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Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe has penned a moving letter to her younger self on Bleacher Report's Media Lab section, putting into perspective the immense honor of playing with Team USA once more at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Rapinoe had previously won gold at the 2012 London Olympics, a victory that's been bookened by copious shining moments in her career on the field. A powerhouse of a midfielder, the athlete writes to her 13-year-old self that "maybe you would have realized that you were gay. And funny. And outgoing. And one of the best soccer players around."
An outspoken gay rights activist, Rapinoe went on to detail the times when she was less loud and proud of her identity and athleticism. Back in middle school, she'd tail her twin sister so closely there were times she bumped into her. She didn't feel like she felt in. And, like any teenager, she was undergoing incredible changes to become the woman she is today.
"It's OK to feel different right now. You are supposed to be feeling weird a lot of the time. You have a lot going on. And you are supposed to feel uncomfortable and awkward because it's a good thing, and it helps you grow," Rapinoe writes.
Perhaps one of the most powerful points that Rapinoe touches upon is her connections with her teammates and why women should foster strong female friendships no matter their age:
"The best relationships can strike up between people who are very different. It's really a crazy, intimate thing that you share with someone you play sports with. You travel together and win championships together and lose championships together... The truth is, sometimes you don't want to share all of that with everyone, and you don't want people to see it. But your teammates, they do. They are a part of it. Whether you want them in your life or not, they are there. This is how we grow up and who we become as women and how we do things as a collective group."
H/T Bleacher Report