Canadian women’s national team captain Christine Sinclair has been appointed to the Order of Canada. The announcement was made this morning that the Burnaby, BC native will be one of the 99 new recipients of the honour.
The Order of Canada, created in 1967, “recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation”. It is among the most prestigious awards a Canadian can receive.
At 34 years of age, Sinclair has already cemented herself as one of the best athletes Canada has ever produced. She has scored 168 goals for Canada in international play, second only behind the now retired Abby Wambach of the United States (184).
“I think what’s special for me is that this goes beyond soccer,” Christine Sinclair said in a press release from Canada Soccer. “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.”
The honour is just the latest Sinclair has picked up during her decorated career. With the women’s national team she has won a pair of bronze medals at the Summer Olympic Games. She has been a champion at the Pan Am Games and the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup.
Sinclair also captained Canada at the first-ever senior level World Cup tournament the country has hosted. She led the team in scoring, but they ultimately bowed out in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
“Everything she does is about playing for her country,” said national team coach John Herdman in a press release. “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 recognised that this is her calling to be part of something special – a team, a game – that transcends a soccer field.”