SHOWS: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
U.S. WOMEN'S SOCCER STAR MEGAN RAPINOE BEING INTRODUCED ONTO RED CARPET 2.
RAPINOE POSING FOR MEDIA 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SOCCER PLAYER MEGAN RAPINOE, ON THE FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUALITY IN SPORTS, SAYING: "It's amazing to be honest, I mean we don't feel any different to anybody else, so obviously the team has been really successful and we're lucky to be able to do what we love while representing America which is a thing that grows the platform.
So to be able to sort of inspire other people and be inspired by other athletes and women who are fighting the same thing is pretty incredible." 4.
RAPINOE SPEAKING WITH MEDIA 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SOCCER PLAYER MEGAN RAPINOE, ON HER AMBITIONS FOR TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS, SAYING: "I love Japanese culture and Japanese food, so I'm looking forward to that, kind of diving in, hopefully we'll be there for a long time, and then hopefully looking to do something that we haven't done before, to go back to back World Cup and Olympics, trying to get that gold medal." 6.
RAPINOE SHAKING HANDS WITH U.S. TENNIS GREAT AND FOUNDER OF WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION, BILLIE JEAN KING 7.
KING AND RAPINOE POSING FOR MEDIA 8.
MORE OF KING AND RAPINOE TOGETHER 9.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TENNIS GREAT AND FOUNDER OF WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION, BILLIE JEAN KING, SAYING: "Soccer's been around since probably 1,000 BC, so we're so far behind, we are in our infancy, we're like one month old.
You know, if you're a one month old baby, and I don't think people stop to think about history but I'm very big on studying history, and if you just read history, if you look at all the years of soccer, of baseball, all these different sports - and they didn't encourage us to go into baseball, they told us to go into softball - I mean there's all this, if you look at this cultural things, they wouldn't let us run the marathon in the Olympics until 1984 - Joan Benoit won it - I mean it just goes on and on and on.
All we are is a microcosm of society." 10.
FEMALE ATHLETES ON RED CARPET 11.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DOUBLE OLYMPIC CHAMPION (2012/2016) MIDDLEWEIGHT BOXER CLARESSA SHIELDS, ON U.S. PREVENTING PROFESSIONAL BOXERS FROM TAKING PART IN OLYMPICS, SAYING: "For me it's a little unfair, I know that in all the other sports they have their professionals going competing in the Olympics but boxing is different, it's a little bit more dangerous, and you really have a lot of times when you go to those tournaments, there's a lot of younger guys and younger girls there, and even with that women still fight with headgear in the amateurs, so for me to be a world champion, yeah I would love to be a three-time Olympics gold medalist, why not, but it would kind of put them at a disadvantage because I fight without headgear, 10 rounds, 2 minutes, and they only have three 3 minute rounds but they've never been hit without headgear, so I'm a little bit more..
You know, a little bit tougher." 12.
CLOSE OF SHIELDS 13.
MORE OF ATHLETES ON RED CARPET STORY: Sports stars including the likes of U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe arrived at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards in the city of New York on Wednesday (October 16).
The ceremony, staged by the Women's Sports Foundation - founded by tennis legend Billie Jean King - offers the 'Sportswoman of the Year Award' for individual sports athletes and team sports athletes as well as the 'Wilma Rudolph Courage Award', the 'Champion for Equality Award' and 'Billie Jean King Leadership Award'.
Gymnast Simone Biles, a 2014 winner of the sportswoman of the year award for individual athletes, is seeking a second win in the category.
U.S. women's soccer player Megan Rapinoe is one of the nominees for the team-based sportswoman of the year award.
Rapinoe looked ahead to the Olympics in 2020 and said she was delighted to see more people speaking up to push for further equality for women athletes in sports.