Since reciting her original poem, "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Amanda Gorman has taken the world by storm.
Gorman, 22, has appeared on late-night and daytime TV, signed with IMG Models, landed on the cover of Time magazine and has seen her three books become top sellers.
Her next stage will be at the biggest event in sports: Super Bowl Sunday.
Long before Gorman captivated the nation in January, the National Youth Poet Laureate had been in talks with Super Bowl officials.
"We first met with Amanda’s team in early November, and then with her at the end of that month, so we’ve been familiar with her talent and power for awhile now," Matt Shapiro, the NFL’s vice president of events strategy, said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports.
"We at the league have been big fans of her work for some time and knew she’d be the perfect person to bring power and unity to this unique moment in an unprecedented year."
Amanda Gorman will perform before Super Bowl 55. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY)
After the NFL announced that Gorman would perform during Sunday's pregame festivities at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, she shared the news on Twitter, telling fans she had known about the Super Bowl role weeks before the inauguration.
"I also wanted to be the first to say that while it might seem like this opportunity must’ve came from my inauguration fame, I’ve actually been talking with the Super Bowl for weeks now, far prior to my invite to the inauguration. Had to keep my blessing secret till now."
Biden's presidential inauguration — one of the most-watched in history — had 33.8 millionviewers. If Sunday's viewership is comparable to last year's Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, Gorman could be performing for over 99 million viewers.
When she recites her original poem honoring three everyday heroes who are honorary captains chosen by the NFL, she will be making history as the first poet to perform at the pregame Super Bowl ceremony and on-field coin toss.
"We knew that in order to honor them properly – and all of those across the country that they represent – we needed the right words that would match the power of that moment, and there’s no one more perfectly suited to bring those words to the world than Amanda Gorman," said Shapiro.
I also wanted to be the first to say that while it might seem like this opportunity must’ve came from my inauguration fame, I’ve actually been talking with the Super Bowl for weeks now, far prior to my invite to the inauguration. Had to keep my blessing secret till now🙏🏿
Sunday's honorary captains include Marine Corps veteran James Martin, COVID ICU nurse manager Suzie Dorner and educator Trimaine Davis.
"Just the thought of the list of former honorary captains and the gravity behind this is amazing," Martin said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," along with his co-captains. Martin said he hopes Super Bowl viewers will watch the ceremony and know that anyone can step up and help their community. "You just have to decide you're going to do it," he said.
Contact Analis Bailey at [email protected] or on Twitter @analisbailey.
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