Three days have gone by since our game against England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter finals and it’s still hard to believe it’s over! Our dream of playing in the finals ended after our heart-breaking 2-1 loss.
Two unlucky goals in the first 15 minutes changed the course of the game.
There’s no point in finding excuses or laying blame on anyone. We should celebrate instead how we stuck together and gave it our all right up until the last second. When we look back at our journey, we can be proud of what we accomplished. While our goal was to make the final, we had a greater mission.
The first part of that mission was to unite the country from coast to coast.
On that account, 54,027 fans gathered at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver for our game against England, a record for an international event in Canada, across all sports, male or female, and a record 3.5 million viewers tuned in on CTV and RDS. In comparison, 2.4 million viewers watched this year’s Stanley Cup final. Soccer’s popularity continues to grow in Canada, despite hockey being our national sport.
Guest post by Josée Bélanger
Sherbrooke’s Josée Bélanger wears number 9 on Canada’s Women’s National Team. She is blogging for Active for Life about the experience of representing her country in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada. Follow Josee on Twitter and Facebook.
Second was to inspire future generations. To inspire the dream of one day reaching this level, to teach values of perseverance, hard work and team spirit. We saw smiles on many faces, tears of joy for getting an autograph. We had the opportunity to be positive role models for these kids and to see sparkles in their eyes.
So I think we can say mission accomplished.
For me, it was an opportunity to live my dream. I lived it with enthusiasm and pride, and it was never lost on me how lucky I was to experience an event like this with the best players in the world. I took advantage of every moment and made many memories that will stay with me forever.
I’m now going to continue this mission by travelling to communities throughout Quebec this summer to share my journey and run a few clinics. I want to inspire kids to believe in their dreams and to go after them, regardless of where they’re from, the challenges they’ll face and whether or not they speak English.
I want to share the message that it’s possible to live your passion and that opportunities will come when you work hard, with determination and perseverance.
Thank you so much for following my journey in this FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Image, of the Canadian National Women’s Team saluting the fans in Vancouver after the game against England on June 27, 2015, courtesy of Canada Soccer