Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate who captivated the nation at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, recited an original poem Sunday for Super Bowl 55, honoring frontline workers and three honorary game captains chosen by the NFL.
The honorary captains included Marine Corps veteran James Martin, COVID ICU nurse manager Suzie Dorner and educator Trimaine Davis.
Highlights from her poem, “Chorus of the Captains”: “Today we honor our three captains for their actions and impact in a time of uncertainty and need. They’ve taken the need, exceeding all expectations and limitations, uplifting their communities and neighbors, healers and educators.
“James has felt the wounds of warfare but this warrior still shares his home with at-risk kids. During COVID, he has even lent a hand, live-streaming football for fans and family.
“Tremaine is an educator who works non-stop, providing his community with hotspots, laptops and tent workshops so his students have all the tools they need to succeed in life and in schools.
“Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa hospital. Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible. She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic and fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone, defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own.”
Gorman made Super Bowl history as the first poet to perform for a game.
Since reciting her original poem, “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Gorman, 22, has become a star. She 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.
Long before Gorman took the stage in January, she 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.”
After the NFL announced that Gorman would perform during pregame festivities, 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.”
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