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Canada and the Games

Canadian women's soccer players Ashley Lawrence, left, Adriana Leon and Kadeisha Buchanan, right, show off their gold medals from the Tokyo Olympics at BMO Field in Toronto on Aug. 10, 2021.Cole Burston/The Canadian Press

Canadian women’s soccer team calls for professional league after gold medal

Members of Canada’s women’s soccer team believe their gold medal will inspire future generations of young girls to play the game, perhaps even with the prospect of playing professionally at home. Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence and Adriana Leon were at Toronto’s BMO Field yesterday to show off the gold medals they won at the Tokyo Olympics after the team defeated Sweden in the women’s soccer final.

Buchanan echoed teammates Christine Sinclair and Stephanie Labbé when it comes to translating that success into a professional team at home. She said she hopes “something big” will come soon for women’s soccer in Canada, given the growing number of people watching women on the field. Canada does not have a professional women’s soccer league, or a team in the U.S.-based National Women’s Soccer League.

Watch: Canada’s Olympic soccer champions want to play on home soil

Sinclair on penalty kicks: ‘The worst things ever, unless you win’

And speaking of the captain, being on the sidelines while a massive game is being decided by penalty kicks is not something Christine Sinclair has experienced often during her storied international career. But that’s the situation she was in as her team traded penalty kicks with Sweden for the gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

While Sinclair was ecstatic about the end result, she was less enamoured with the process. “The PKs throughout the entire tournament are like the worst things ever,” Sinclair said in a video conference. “Unless you win.”

She was substituted in the second half of the match, meaning she had to watch kick after nerve-rattling kick from the bench.

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Best of the Olympics

Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

Damian Warner sets Olympic record while taking gold in the decathlon

After 10 gruelling events in the Tokyo heat, Canada’s Damian Warner posted one of the highest scores in the history of the discipline on his way to Olympic gold. He is only the fourth man to surpass 9,000 points (with 9,018) and the first to do it in an Olympic Games. “After this decathlon, I’m not going to eat any healthy food. It’s just going be ice cream and cakes and pastries for the next 48 hours,” the 31-year old said following the final event, the 1,500-metre race. He would later carry the flag for Canada in the closing ceremony, and called it the honour of his life.

Read more: Damian Warner’s coaches filled with pride over Olympic gold win

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