Matheson missing from parade to get ready to play again | Sports | CBC Sports

Matheson missing from parade to get ready to play again

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 | 05:34 PM

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Diana Matheson scored the game-winning goal for Canada in their bronze medal match against France at the London Olympics on Aug. 9.  (Stanley Chou/Getty Images) Diana Matheson scored the game-winning goal for Canada in their bronze medal match against France at the London Olympics on Aug. 9. (Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

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The reason five-foot dynamo Diana Matheson was not on the float going down Bay Street with several of her bronze-medal teammates was that she returned to Norway earlier this week to train with her club team, Lillestrom SK Kvinner, in preparation of its first game on Friday.

One glaring absentee from the Olympic Heroes Parade in Toronto on Friday was Canadian women soccer hero Diana Matheson.

The reason the five-foot dynamo was not on the float going down Bay Street with several of her bronze-medal teammates was that she returned to Norway earlier this week to train with her club team, Lillestrom SK Kvinner, in preparation of its first game on Saturday.

This will be her first real game since the 28-year-old Oakville, Ont. native knocked in Canada's game winner in added time with her right foot in the bronze-medal match against France on Aug. 9. Matheson is looking forward to playing again after a whirlwind six weeks in which she made numerous appearances and was deservingly feted along with her teammates.

"I've said this many times, but it used to be we only got recognized by eight year girls who play soccer," Matheson said via a phone interview from Norway. "But I had grown men in suits recognize me, tell me how excited they were when we won that game and ask to pose for a picture. It was totally different from what I was used to.

"When I got back from London I basically hid inside for two days, rested and spent time with my family. But then I started making some appearances and giving interviews and they kept trickling in through [Soccer Canada] and people I knew or people who knew people I know. My time quickly filled up. I was doing two or three appearances a day there for a while. It got kind of hectic and I had to scale back a little."

Heavy metal

The most bizarre incident during an appearance was prior to the Canada-Panama men's World Cup qualifier at Toronto's BMO Field on Sept. 7. Matheson and other members of the Canada women's team were being introduced prior to the match, when she suffered an injury.

"Do you know how heavy an Olympic medal is?" Matheson asked. "Well, sometimes they become a pendulum and you have to be careful around kids because you could knock them out.

"As we were being introduced one-by-one we were high-fiving each other and I really got into it and starting giving jumping high fives. The medal came up and smacked me under the nose. I managed to cut myself open. When I got into line next to Rhian Wilkinson, I said 'Rhian that really hurt. Does my face look okay?' She said, 'No, you're bleeding everywhere.' It didn't really stop, so I ran off the field before the cameras got back to me."

Thank goodness, the women's team training staff was on hand. They gave Matheson some medical attention and eventually stopped the bleeding after 10 minutes.

"It's going to scar, but I don't think it will be noticeable," she said with a chuckle.

Matheson will be with her Norway club until the season concludes in mid-November. Then it's on to a Canadian training camp in January. Matheson hopes to play another four-year cycle for Canada to compete in the 2015 World Cup, which will be hosted in Canada, and the 2016 Olympic Games.

"I feel it," she said. "I was pretty healthy until I turned 26. The last year the injuries have been racking up a bit."

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