Canada’s greatest female soccer player has been recognized with Canada’s greatest civilian honour.
Christine Sinclair will receive the Order of Canada, recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
“I think what’s special for me is that this goes beyond soccer,” Sinclair said. “I am a very, very proud Canadian, I am proud of where I am from, and to be recognized in this nature is surreal. It’s not something you can dream about happening to you… I can dream of winning a World Cup or an Olympic gold medal, and that’s my job, but to have your country recognize you – I don’t even know what to say.”
Captain of Canada’s Women’s National Soccer Team, Sinclair has been the team’s leader for most of her 17 years on the team. The Burnaby product has scored 168 goals in 259 appearances for the National Team. She’s appeared in more games and scored more goals (more than double the next closest player) than any other Canadian, and been named Canada Soccer’s Player of the Year 13 times.
Sinclair has made her mark on a global scale in a global sport. The 34-year-old could soon become the all-time leading goal scorer in the world, as she trails only the retired Abby Wambach by just 16 goals.
Sinclair has appeared in three Olympic Games for Canada, winning two bronze medals. Her performance in the semi-final at London 2012 is arguably the greatest team sport accomplishment ever by a Canadian athlete, when she scored a hat trick against the highly favoured Americans.
“Everything she does is about playing for her country,” said head coach John Herdman. “Every single day the decisions she makes about her football career and around her personal life, are about pulling on that red jersey. When someone gets that opportunity they either treat it as their sport, or as a calling, and I think Christine over the last eight years, and certainly over the time I’ve known her, has recognized that this is her calling to be part of something special – a team, a game – that transcends a soccer field.”