(Editorial Observer): NEW YORK — It was a hero’s welcome for the U.S. women’s soccer team in New York, where the country’s largest city threw a ticker-tape parade that drew thousands of people to celebrate the World Cup win.

As the team rode north up the stretch of Broadway known as the Canyon of Heroes atop a parade float, Megan Rapinoe, the team’s irrepressible pink-haired co-captain, led the revelry. Gripping a bottle of Champagne in one hand and a World Cup trophy in the other, she beamed. “I deserve this!” she said.

New York City, led by its mayor, Bill de Blasio, who is running for president, went all out for the event. Homemade ticker tape filled the air.

When the team arrived at City Hall, they found a sea of cheering, ebullient paradegoers. Many wore the white jersey of their favorite player.

“This is one of the best days of my life,” one young girl told midfielder Sam Mewis, inside City Hall’s marbled rotunda. Another girl asked for a hug.

As the players took the stage outside City Hall, the crowd broke out into chants of “Equal Pay!” — a nod to efforts underway to close the pay gap between the U.S. women’s and men’s soccer teams.

After de Blasio handed the players each a key to the city, Rapinoe thanked the fans for their support. “It is our responsibility to make this world a better place,” she said.

Then she opened her arms wide and grinned.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.