New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team will be feted with a ticker-tape parade on Friday, making it the first time female athletes will receive the honor in more than 50 years. The 23 players will be celebrated along the Canyon of Heroes, which spans the stretch of Broadway between Battery Park and City Hall. Since the first procession, celebrating the Statue of Liberty’s dedication in 1886, New York City has hosted 205 parades along this iconic route. Several women, including the pilot Amelia Earhart, have received the honor, but never a women’s sports team, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York. The last female athlete to be honored was 1960 Olympic figure-skating gold medalist Carol Heiss Jenkins, who, incidentally, couldn’t be more excited for the U.S. soccer team. “No one’s won the title three times,” said Jenkins, now 75 years old, referring to the women’s team’s trifecta of World Cup victories. “I think when you have somebody who’s done something that nobody’s done before in the sport, they deserve it.” She looks back fondly on her own parade, an unusual feat, as it was typically reserved for visiting dignitaries and military veterans. “You look up at the buildings, and people are just hanging out of the offices of these high buildings and cheering,” she said. “For me to get it as an athlete — really I just felt how unusual and how wonderful for New York City to do this for me.” There’s no doubt that our soccer heroes will receive at least an equally warm welcome.
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