I grew up in Dominica. Not the Dominican Republic. Dominica – between Martinique and Guadeloupe. That’s why I have a French last name.
We had a country house on 10 acres of land. Every weekend we had go there and I’d just run around. My sister was the girlie girl. She’d say. ‘I want a mango.’ So I’d climb the tree. I think that is how the athletic side started for me.
The key to climbing a mango tree is wanting the mango at the top.
I started playing soccer when I was older than most kids, when I moved to Vancouver when I was eight in 1988. I had the speed, so I’d take a huge touch and score goals but the skill set was not there. Someone said: ‘Hey, you are athletic, why do not you play in goal?’
The hardest thing about moving is I had a thick accent and they put me into ESL. Just for a couple of days. When my mother found out I was in ESL, she was really irate because I’d actually studied English at a very high level in Dominica.
My parents moved to Canada for better opportunities. My parents gave up a lot. They had very prestigious jobs and they gave that up so we could come here. I thank my parents every day.
The most powerful moment for me at the last Olympics was trying to get up to the stands to see my parents, and I could not with all the security. And they could not get down to me.
It was emotional to hear our national anthem in my home city during Olympic qualifying. You dream of that.
Wind is unpredictable. You have to be ready for anything.
On penalties, I’m trying to get in the shooter’s head. And then I’ll read them and react.
If we win a medal in London, it would be great for soccer in this country. Last Olympics was a great experience. But this time, we want to show people we are a medal-contending team. This is a business trip.
I met Usain Bolt last time at the Olympics and I want to meet him again. He’s Jamaican and my mom’s Jamaican, so that is cool. Whenever I speak to a Jamaican, my Jamaican accent comes out – that same one that put me in ESL.
For me to beat Usain Bolt in the 100 metres, I’d need a 99-metre head start.
My weakness is I always like to have fun. People who do not know me think I’m always goofy.
My guilty pleasure is chocolate.
I admit that I watch The Bachelorette. I host team dinners to watch the show. Everyone is, ‘oh-gawd,’ but they all show up and are fully into it.
I’m superstitious. I have to have pink on when I play – for breast cancer awareness. Under my uniform, I have pink underwear, pink bra, pink socks. Every game.
If I was not an athlete, I’d be running a huge company or I’d have a speak show. I like to talk.
Of note: Stopped two penalty shots in 2011 Pan Am Games final to secure gold medal.
Club team: Kristianstads DFF (Sweden)
Of note: Holds national record for matches in a season (24), set in 2011.
Of note: Played every minute of Canada’s semifinal and final of 2011 Pan Am Games, winning gold.
Club team: Western New York Flash
Of note: Canada’s all-time leading caps and goal-scorer and five-time World Player of the Year nominee.
Of note: The Colorado native will make her Olympic debut.
Club team: SG EssenSchonebeck (Germany)
Of note: Joined the national team at 16 and has competed in three World Cups.
Club team: Dalsjofors GOiF (Sweden)
Of note: MVP of the 2004 Women’s U20 Championships, she started every game at the 2008 Olympics.
• ABOUT SOCCER (July 25-Aug. 9):
• Soccer, or football as it is more traditionally known, made its Olympic debut at the 1900 Games in Paris. It was withheld from the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
• Known as the world’s game, both the men’s and women’s soccer competitions are sure to be two of the largest draws for spectators at the London 2012 Olympics.
• There are six venues for the soccer competition – City of Coventry Stadium in Coventry; Hampden Park in Glasgow; Millennium Stadium in Cardiff; Old Trafford in Manchester; St. James’ Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne; and Wembley Stadium.
• According to www.london2012.com, there will be 2,400 soccer balls used during these Olympics.
• Hungary has won more gold medals in soccer, three, than any other nation in Olympic history.
• There are 504 athletes – 288 men and 216 women – competing in the soccer competitions. There are 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams.
• The soccer power nation of Brazil took home two medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, including one silver and one bronze. Argentina captured gold in the men’s competition and the U.S. women’s soccer team won gold.
• Canada, despite its recent struggles in international soccer, specifically on the men’s side, has won a medal in Olympic soccer.
• The Galt Football Club out of Cambridge, Ont., won the gold medal at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.
• The Canadian women’s team has the potential to medal in London, after placing second at the CONCACAF women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver in January.
• Placed seventh in FIFA women’s world rankings, Canada lost the CONCACAF women’s Olympic qualifying tournament final 4-0 to the No. 1-ranked U.S.
• The Canadian women’s national team lost its quarter-final showdown with the U.S. by a score of 2-1 at the Beijing Olympics.
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