Player's Own Voice

POV podcast: Stephanie Labbe plays the long game

On this week's episode of the Player's Own Voice podcast, Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe shares her two-year plan: Canada wins the 2019 World Cup, then beats Japan — in Japan no less — for Olympic gold in 2020.

For national keeper, pushing boundaries is just part of doing business

Canadian national goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe wasn't shy about sharing her plan on CBC Sports' POV podcast. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Stephanie Labbe approaches soccer like Bobby Fischer approached  chess. She's thinking many, many moves ahead.

So — when the  goal is unprecedented, like getting Canada atop the World Cup podium, Labbe takes an unprecedented approach. She joined a men's team in the Premiere Development league so she could face an exceptional proving ground between the pipes. No one questioned her skill: she stoned the best they could throw at her. But the league played the gender card: men only. Labbe was ready for that. Plan B? Learn. Adjust. Move on.

In the latest podcast, Steph and her old bud Anastasia Bucsis talk about Labbe's next step, piling on the international experience by joining the top pro league in Sweden. 

Beneath Labbe's calculated game plan though, there's no hiding the killer instinct. Asked how she'd like to approach the next Olympics, Labbe says it would be cool to beat Japan, in Japan, for the gold medal. Cruel, you say? Labbe points out that it's a proven plan. Team Canada won bronze that way in 2016, beating Brazil in Brazil for the podium. Japan at least could keep the silver, says Labbe. That'd be pretty good.

The keeper is the latest elite athlete to share her story on the POV podcast, which takes an unconventional approach to sports conversations. Like CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.

To listen to Stephanie Labbe and the growing list of athletes, Player's Own Voice is available free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.

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