Fri, September 20, 2013

Christine Sinclair named flag bearer

By BOB MACKIN, Special to QMI Agency


Christine Sinclair, the captain of Canada's women's soccer team, poses with her bronze medal during a press conference at the London 2012 Olympic games on Aug. 10, 2012. (AL CHAREST/QMI AGENCY)


LONDON - Was there any other choice?

While Canadians such as gold medallist Rosie McLennan and diver Emile Heymans, who has won medals in four consecutive Games would have been good picks, Christine Sinclair will carry Canada's flag at the Sunday Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics.

The Canadian Olympic Committee announced that the captain of the first Canadian Summer Olympics team to win a medal since 1936, would lead the team into the Olympic Stadium.

"I'd like to give a special thanks to my soccer teammates because without them none of this would have been possible," said Sinclair, whose competitive spirit after a controversial 4-3 loss against the U.S. in the semifinals captured the attention and admiration of Canadians. -That's the motto for this Olympics, inspire a generation and that's what I hope this Canadian team has been able to do back home."

Sinclair's six goals were the most in the Olympic women's soccer tournament, in which Canada beat France for bronze. Sinclair's 143 career international goals are tied for second all-time. The 29-year-old from Burnaby, B.C. is a 12-year veteran of the national women's team and has played in three Women's World Cups.

"This is the most amazing team that I've ever been a part of," Sinclair said. "Our goal heading into this Olympics was to try to change the sport of soccer and change women's soccer, I hope that's what we've been able to do.

Following the announcement, Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal surprised a shocked Sinclair during a TV interview by presenting her with The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

Canada hosts the next Women's World Cup in 2015.