In an America with a White House raised up on a pedestal of empty promises, the women’s team reminded us what it means to talk the talk and walk the walk; 23 athletes wore the American flag on their hearts and fought hard to defend it. And they did it with honesty, humor and wit.

Arms stretched wide, chest puffed out, pink-haired head held high, Rapinoe earned her stars following the president’s tweet, when she put home the winning goal in the final half of the World Cup, earning her team a back-to-back championship and clinching the Golden Boot, for highest scorer, and Golden Ball, for best player in the tournament.

Though most people only became aware of the team once the tournament began, the team members’ commitment to winning the tournament stretches back four years — four years of intense, painful work out of the spotlight, making far less than their male counterparts, all for a chance to represent their country again.