by: Kaja Antic, sports writer
It was a cold December evening in Metro Vancouver, and crowds gathered on the platforms of the SkyTrain, dedicated to the city's biggest sporting event that night. Oh, and Canucks captain Quinn Hughes Lost For both his younger brothers, but this one was next door.
December 5, 2023: Night the nation said Good-bye To the Canadian legend.
I was one of tens of thousands, dressed in red and white, descending through the heart of downtown and advancing into the renamed district. Christine Sinclair's place. The queues at the stadium gates seemed to last forever, as there was a crowd ready to pay tribute to the greatest international player scorer all times.
Even in the lobby, you could hear the roar of the crowds, as the vast halls were filled with eager spectators, sipping their drinks and snacks in anticipation of the bittersweet farewell. Upon entering the stadium, the roar rang out, and there was still not much celebration.
Team Canada, along with Team Australia MatildasDuring the warm-up on the field, a video tribute to the Mu’tazila legend was broadcast on the stadium’s central jumbotron screen. Messages of thanks poured in fHe destroys IconsLike the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfieldthe actor Ryan Reynolds, Hockey players Sarah is a nurse And Marie Philip Boleyna pioneer of American tennis and women's sports Billie Jean King. many of Displayed videos Sinclair Huge effect On everyday Canadians from coast to coast, on and off the field.
This effect was also clearly visible on the large grass field. With thousands Of spectators waiting in anticipation for the retirement ceremony before kick-off. In front of the participating teams, the media, and the legend of the hour herself, 190 youth football players She emerged from the tunnel wearing Sinclair's red jerseys – representing the 190 international goals she scored while playing for Canada. The players stood on the spacious pitch throughout the entire ceremony, a visual representation not only of Sinclair's record but also of her lasting impact on football, both nationally and internationally.
Sinclair's international career was coming to an end after 23 years of inspiring performances and advocacy for equality in sport. She was one of my role models growing up, playing soccer every weekend in often rainy weather. While I was no I was a goalscorer to say the least and left the sport in my teenage years, and like many I still look up to Christine Sinclair and acknowledge her as a stand-alone legend in football history.
The retirement ceremony began with honoring the goalkeeper Erin McLeodWho announced her international retirement in JanuaryAnd Sophie Schmidtan old teammate and friend of Sinclair's, who also appears in it The last international Game. Schmidt had initially planned to retire from international football previously In the year, but Sinclair and the coach of the Canadian team were convinced of this Bev Priestman To continue until this grand finale.
When Christine Sinclair entered the court, the crowd responded to the retired players with cheers and applause, recognizing both legends in their own right. Surrounded by Team Canada – past and present – Sinclair took to the field wearing a maple leaf-adorned ensemble for the final time, and tens of thousands in attendance cheered for their hero.
Tears filled the eyes of many around the stadium – including Sinclair herself – in honor of “goat“She has appeared on screen since her first appearance when she was 16 years old in 2000, and until now many, a lotRed and white targets. It was a succinct summary of Sinclair's international career, despite condensing a remarkable 23-year career into one short career. five minutes Video Mission Impossible.
The match itself was a low-key event compared to the Canada match 5-0 Victory four days ago on Vancouver Island. twelvethy minutes The match witnessed the fans standing and song Sinclair, representing the number 12, which she wore throughout her career.
Sinclair was a good fit replacing Outside Canadian Stadium 12 minutes In the second half, he removed the captain's armband and placed it on the arm of retired teammate Schmidt. It took almost all of two minutes to move off the field, as the Canadian and Australian players approached Sinclair to congratulate them on a job well done and a legacy well established. Sinclair applauded the thousands in the stadium renamed after her, and looked around as she took her final steps off the field as a member of the Canadian national team.
It has 331street During her appearance with Team Canada, Sinclair played her part 27,601streetAnd the last minutes.
The crowd that filled Christine Sinclair Place that night was… Biggest crowd ever In the “Canada Women's International Friendly Match”, 48,112 spectators packed the stadium for the icon's final dance.
The commotion continued long after the final whistle blew, with the Canadian team circling the field and throwing the ball Shirts In the crowd and Celebration With loyal fans. The lobby was lively, decorated with #ThankYouSinc signs and stickers, Included A large wall decorated with letters from Fans thank you Legend for her contributions to the game, the sport and the nation as a whole.
The upper ring of Christine Sinclair Place was illuminated in the pattern of the Canadian flag with the number 12. The visual display honoring Sinclair was seen inside and outside the stadium along the Vancouver skyline.
despite of The crowds returned to their homes Sky train Empty, and the playground It has been renamed BC Place Once again, echoes of this hometown legend will live on for generations to come. When asked who CBC How she would like people to remember her as “a proud Canadian who did everything she could,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair gave Everything To this country, millions from coast to coast are forever grateful to this legendRe No. 12