Janine Beckie, Gold Medal Champion has a great ring to it. Speaking after the Canadian Women’s national team conquered Tokyo and won Gold, Beckie had a lot to say-
“It still hasn’t sunk in!” she admitted. “I have the medal – it’s in my purse! I’m carrying it around!
“We literally keep saying to each other: ‘We won! We’ve won a gold medal! Can you believe it?!’
“It doesn’t feel real – probably because we’ve been in such a small bubble. We saw people in the Olympic Village but only other athletes – we haven’t been in the real world yet!
“I think it will hit me when I get home and see my family. I’ve heard from a lot of people, which has been really nice, but I’ve tried to be present for the last three days, soaking it all in.
“I haven’t even had chance to get back to everyone but hopefully, when things start winding down, I’ll have some time!”
“It was probably the most anxiety-riddled game I’ve ever been part of!” she reflected. “I probably hit my maximum heart rate on the sideline!
“It was really severe changes of momentum. Plus, it was super hot and everyone was exhausted!
“It wasn’t in our hands and then all of a sudden, one kick is missed and it’s back in our favour!
“Our goalkeeper was the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the tournament for us – she stepped up big time.
“Then we have a super young player score the winning penalty!
“It was a rollercoaster of emotions – disappointment when they scored (in normal time), elation when we scored… then 30 more minutes and then penalties, which is a whole new level of anxiety!
“This is one of the first times I’ve actually talked about the game and I can feel the anxiety as I’m reliving it!”
“When you look at it as a whole, it feels like a massive achievement: to have played six games and not lost, to have conceded so few goals and to walk away with a gold medal.
“It’s been an honour to play in the Olympics after such a difficult time around the world. Hopefully, we – and not just football; every sport – have brought some joy to the world after such a hard year.”
What a win for the Canadians who have been waiting for a while for a breakthrough final as they had made some before but could never win the big one.
Congratulations to Beckie and her teammates!