Christine Sinclair gave the Canadian Olympic Committee an opening Friday morning. Now let’s see if they take it.
Choosing a flag bearer for the closing ceremonies is always an issue rife with politics, performance, gender, race, language, regionalism – in short, all the stuff that makes us Canadian. It is for the most part a healthy debate, because it is mostly a celebration of excellence.
Based on the reaction in Canada to the bronze medal win of the women’s soccer team, team captain Sinclair should be a slam dunk. Much was made of the whole "Team Canada" concept at these games and since the women’s soccer team gave the country its first Summer Olympics medal in a traditional team sport since 1936, they’re pretty much form-fitted for the role.
Sinclair set a women’s tournament record with six goals, but beyond that she has been for the better part of a decade what her coach John Herdman calls "a servant" for Canada; she is tied with Abby Wambach of the U.S. team as leading scorer among all active players with 143 goals.
At a news conference, Sinclair called being named flag bearer "the hugest honour" she could imagine, but was quick to add: "I’d want my teammates with me."
Black, white, French-Canadian, Manitoban, Ontarian, British Columbian: Sounds like a pretty representative group to me. Sinclair should bear the flag on Sunday night, surrounded by a team that stole a country’s hearts, in a sport played by more children than any other.