Canadian women's Olympic gold medal excites local soccer lovers
'I think it inspired a lot of girls,' says 15-year-old Tecumseh, Ont., player
After seeing the Canadian women's team win Olympic gold for the first time, against Sweden on Friday, one local soccer player is itching to get back on the field.
Ruby Grundner, 15, a player with the Tecumseh Soccer Club. said she was inspired by the morning game on Friday morning at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"Seeing girls I grew up watching, it's exciting and inspiring to watch them."
Ruby, a centre forward, has been in soccer for 10 years. Her biggest role model is Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women's team.
"She's one of my favourite players. She inspires me with her shots and how many goals she's scored. I like to score. She inspires me in so many different ways."
Sinclair, 38, has played for Canada since 2000, and has the most goals in international play at 187.
On Friday, Canada won 3-2 in a penalty-kick battle, and Ruby believes the the game will spur other Canadian female players to take up the sport.
Interest in women's soccer has been growing in the region for nearly a decade, according to Ryan Mendonca, sporting director of the Tecumseh Soccer Club. He said female soccer players have become especially strong, which he attributes to Canada's first Olympic win, a bronze medal, in 2012.
"The women set out to change the colour of their medal [this year]. They had two bronze, they got gold and it's well deserved," Mendonca said.
Mendonca said he watched the game with his three-month-old daughter.
"I'm just thinking about the way it's going to affect girls soccer in this country in such a positive way."
He would like to see more females on the pitch.
"Whether they want to play for Canada one day or they want to play with their friends, we need to get them out on the field."
With files by Darrin Di Carlo