Obama lauds U.S. women's soccer team for getting girls to 'dream bigger'

Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:28pm EDT
 
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By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday lauded the World Cup champion U.S. women's soccer team for inspiring "millions of girls to dream bigger" and suggested that goal-scoring phenom Carli Lloyd might want to consider becoming his White House successor.

Obama, a big sports fan with two teenage daughters, honored the team during a White House East Room ceremony for its World Cup victory in Canada in July, defeating Japan 5-2 in the tournament final behind midfielder Lloyd's three goals.

"They've inspired millions of girls to dream bigger, and by the way, inspired millions of boys to look at girls differently, which is just as important," said Obama, who was joined by Vice President Joe Biden at the ceremony.

"This team taught all America's children that 'playing like a girl' means you're a badass," Obama said with a laugh, before adding, "Perhaps I shouldn't have used that phrase."

Obama said Lloyd's performance in the tournament final was so good that by the time the game was over someone had changed her title on her Wikipedia page from "midfielder" to "President of the United States."

"By the way, the job is about to open up," said Obama, who leaves office in January 2017 after next year's election. "What's another candidate in the mix? I guarantee you Carli knows more about being president than some of the folks who are running."

Obama praised Lloyd for her big-game heroics. She scored game-winners in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medal contests before tallying three goals in the first 16 minutes of this summer's World Cup finals.

"I had gotten my popcorn. I was all settling in. I'm thinking I've got a couple hours of tension and excitement. And poof, it was gone," Obama said. "It was over."   Continued...

 
Oct 27, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; President Barack Obama (M) holds an honorary team jersey while posing with members of the 2015 Women's World Cup champion U.S. Women's National Soccer Team at a ceremony honoring their world championship in the East Room at The White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports