It goes without saying that one of the absolute highlights of this summer has categorically been the US women's team storming to victory in the Women's World Cup.
Among a host of stand-out performers, it has to be said that Megan Rapinoe and her co-star Rose Lavelle, who scored the goal against the Netherlands that secured the championship, are two absolute heroes.
In a touching gesture, Lavelle's primary school, St. Ferrer School in Cincinnati, Ohio, honoured their home-grown talent with a post featuring an eight-year-old Lavelle dressed up as female soccer legend Mia Hamm back in 2003.
In a post, the principal of the school, Mikki Dunkley, wrote:
Once upon a time, this little girl dressed up as her hero, Mia Hamm, for a book sharing project.
Today, this amazing woman won her own gold medal, wearing the number 16, as part of the United States National Women’s Team that won their 4th World Cup Championship AND she won the Bronze Ball as the third best player in the tournament!
Now, little girls everywhere look up to her, and will be working hard to become like Rose.
Here’s to you, Rose Lavelle, and the entire Lavelle Family. The St. Vincent Ferrer School and Church Community are so proud of you!
Journalist Vanessa Richardson screen-shotted the post, and shared it to Twitter, alongside the caption:
Rose Lavelle’s elementary school posted this on Facebook.
So cool to see her empower the next generation of women
Speaking to the Washington Post, Lavelle's third grade teacher, Lisa Neubauer, added:
She was very popular with the boys and girls, but the boys would come in and gripe after recess that she was beating them at soccer all the time.
Even from such a young age, everyone knew that she was the best, she was the fastest.
A lot of the guys in our class tried to race her to see if they could beat her.
We all tried to get her to show off her soccer skills.
She could do kind of a front-flip cartwheel throw-in that we all thought was the most incredible thing we ever saw.
Caitlin Dunkley, who ran a non-profit organisation in Cincinnati, dedicated to empowering young girls before becoming a full-time photographer, watched Sunday's final at an Irish pub with her boyfriend, and was thrilled that Lavelle's hard work had paid off.
Speaking to the Washington Post, she said:
Rose was always everyone’s cheerleader, so it’s just been really cool to see everyone cheering for her.
She truly deserves this, because she’s one of the most humble individuals that I know. Everyone growing up knew how good she was at soccer, but she was just Rose.
Congratulations, Rose! The moral of the tale is that hard work, dedication, and resilience pay off.