Dear Canadian Women’s Soccer Team,
Today we watched with an ache in our hearts as we were defeated by Germany. It felt like 4 years ago at the London Olympics, when we came so very close, only to have the glory STOLEN from us. That was a devastating loss when the win SHOULD have been ours. It was a hard pill to swallow then, and remains a bitter memory even 4 years later. Still, you came back from that loss, and you were victorious for the most well-deserved Bronze ever.
We were hoping we could take back what we lost then, but that was not to be this time. And no, we are not disappointed. We are proud. Because, like then, today, you fought. You fought with your hearts, and you fought with your dignity intact. And you were brave. Oh so brave.
Captain Sinclair, as the captain of our team, you have always upheld the integrity of your players and the integrity of your country as a whole. You have battled on with courage, with determination and with compassion, even when battling with all those three was a superhuman feat. You have been the rock that your team leaned on when their sinew fell apart. You have been the boat that buoyed them to the shore. You have remained a model captain. A true star. The stuff of champions.
Coach John Herdman, you held our women together and galvanized them to come back for a Bronze that was their consolation prize 4 years ago. You brought them back this year for another fight on the world stage. We know they are in good hands with you.
Players on the team, we watched today as a nation, as your tears fell after you fought so hard. We cried with you, our tears mixing in with yours. But, we remain unwavering in our belief that you are a GREAT team. Not only in your talent and perseverance, but in your heart, where the real star lies.
And today, as the minutes collapsed into seconds and we as a nation watched hopes for that Gold Medal slip out of our hands, we remembered one thing, we remembered that, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free!”. So, with your ENTIRE country backing you, with the weight of our collective hopes pinned onto your very capable shoulders, we bid you the best as you take on the game for the Bronze Medal. And whether you come out with a back-to-back podium finish, or not, know this much, WE ARE PROUD OF YOU, because no matter how many times you get beaten down, you ALWAYS find a way to rise up and fight again. And in the words of Shane Koyczan, we know you have “what it takes”.
All the best, ladies. Your country stands behind you.
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