Congratulations are in order to our Canada Women’s Olympic Soccer Team for their gritty, hard fought, last minute 1-0 win today over France for the Olympic Bronze Medal.
Defenders: Candace Chapman, Carmelina Moscato, Emily Zurrer, Robyn Gayle, Lauren Sesselmann, Chelsea Stewart, Rhian Wilkinson. Canada's Tara Whitten competes in the women's omnium flying lap event, during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. Canada’s Emilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel celebrate their bronze medals for the women’s synchronized three-metre springboard at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Carol Huynh won Canada's first gold medal of the Beijing Olympics when she defeated Chiharu Icho of Japan in the women's 48 kg freestyle wrestling match. He craved gold, he settled for silver, but he was so gracious in his disappointment that he deserves gold for sportsmanship. 11 Olympic medals (three gold, five silver, three bronze).The women’s eight have been enhancing the brand, too. With no medals in Athens or Beijing, Canada’s Brent Hayden capped off his career with a bronze in the 100-metre freestyle.
Canada's Rosannagh Maclennan performs during the women's trampoline qualification at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, in London. Gold, trampoline She burst from relative obscurity to capture Canada’s first and only gold medal. Canada's Christine Girard competes on the women's 63Kg weightlifting competition at the ExCel venue at the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012. If Diana Matheson is the Paul Henderson of Canada’s bronze-medal winning women’s soccer team, then Christine Sinclair is Phil Esposito.Seen through the prism of our national sport, Matheson’s cool rolling in of Canada’s winning goal against France is Henderson scoring on Vladislav Tretiak in 1972. Canada women's national soccer team pose for a group photo before their women's Group F football match against South Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the City of Coventry Stadium July 28, 2012. Canada forward Sidney Crosby scores a goal on Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist during the second period of the men's gold medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. Norway's Chris Andre Jespersen skis sleeveless during the men's 15K classical-style cross-country race at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb.

Goalkeeper Charline Labonte of Canada bats the the puck away during the 2014 Winter Olympics women's ice hockey game against the United States at Shayba Arena, Wednesday, Feb.
Diana Matheson with literally next to no time left in extra-time gave Canada the win after being dominated for the majority of the second half. Their performance was he most significant accomplishment for the country ever in the sport, taking the dominant Americans to extra time in the semis. From top row L-R: Melissa Tancredi, Carmelina Moscato, Robyn Gayle , goalkeeper Karina Leblanc, Sophie Schmidt, Lauren Sesselmann. Canada showed some serious character when they came back from a 2-0 deficit to draw even with New Castle and advance to this Quarter Final Game.
Antoine Valois-Fortier won bronze in in judo and Christine Girard earned third place weightlifting. He was a sprinter.After failing to qualify for the Canadian team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, de Jonge, who is from Halifax, had pretty much decided to hang up his paddle. He had won gold in Athens in the 500-metre version of the same event, since banished from Olympic competition, and trained like a madman to take a second gold in London. Some players had long been familiar to Canadians, first coming to the country’s attention when they were just juniors. Matheson, a 28-year-old product of Oakville’s minor soccer program, started the play in midfield and finishes it, giving the most popular sport in our country – in terms of participation – a signature moment. When the game plan came up a little short, he smiled then congratulated his worthy golden rival, Eirik Veras Larsen of Norway.“He’s a classy guy and I respect him so much and trust him implicitly,” van Koeverden said, his silver medal dangling from his neck. Sinclair was Esposito: the emotional core, the person who spoke up when it needed to be done, except instead of pleading for support from Canadian fans she called out an out-classed Norwegian referee. She had qualified in second place.“It’s going to haunt me for a long, long time,” said the Montreal native with a ready smile. It was all about individualism, me, me, me, having little empathy for the loser and resenting the winner.
Where Sinclair stepped over the line is suggesting the referee had determined the result ahead of time.

Thankfully, that era is either dying or dead, as shown by the Canadian paddlers at London 2012.
If he had been one-tenth of a second faster, he would have taken silver, but pronounced himself delighted with the result.Bronze was all the more special because he broke his index finger in a weight-training accident in mid-April. Some sports, especially, the smaller ones, are tight-knit global fraternities, where rivals can be great friends. But in a sport rife with gambling scandals, such matters are not to be taken lightly.There is a backstory to this medal, of course.
He missed a few races, but kept going, training in pain, bent on making the London Games.“I am so happy to get on the podium,” he said. The core of the team captured the country’s attention in Edmonton in 2002 at the FIFA U-19 Word Cup, rekindled its interest with a solid showing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then crashed out of the 2011 World Cup.
Just back slapping, sincere expressions of congratulations, a few tears and a lot of smiles. There is reason to be worried: as Canadian head coach John Herdman said, we have fallen behind in developing 12 to 17-year-old soccer players.
If that’s the beginning of a trend, the women’s program will fall into the same netherworld as the men’s program, where Canada is Plan B for players of dual citizenship.At a news conference on the day after their bronze-medal win, Herdman sat on a platform with Sinclair, Matheson, Marie-Eve Nault and Rhian Wilkinson. Later, in an aside, he essentially predicted that one of the four will eventually take his job.“My job is to do myself out of a job, in that way,” Herdman said, chuckling. Women’s professional soccer has never taken off in North America, and not all of these players finds jobs in Europe.
Matheson – who went to Princeton – was pretty much telling the truth when she told reporters in the mixed zone that “soccer is pretty much all I’ve got on my resume.” Sinclair has been linked with a move to Frankfurt’s women’s team, and based on how she wowed the soccer cynics in this country, she could probably waltz in and play for any women’s team.

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