The newly expanded Olympic motto, Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together personified the Tokyo Games. Raw emotions were regularly on the brink of overflowing, and not only from athletes, but from volunteers, supporters, and media alike. Understandable, as this pandemic and the 1 year delay of the Olympics tested everyone.
Final Practice Before Gold - CAN W Soccer Team - Tokyo2020
However, this ideal of ‘Together’ was a sentiment athletes embodied. It was common at these Games to see opponents offer congratulations and condolences alike. They may have battled on the sporting stage, far from families and loved ones, but their humanity shone through.
And Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team fit right in.
(I covered their journey for CBC at the Games.)
Before their Gold Medal Match against Sweden, I asked Canada’s coach Bev Priestman who’s voice was loudest in the locker room. She replied, “It’s the teams’ voice.”
Although Christine Sinclair wears the captains armband, she herself told me, “The team is filled with leaders and we hold everyone accountable.”
That accountability, and genuine friendship, meant that this team, who aimed for higher than Bronze, landed in Gold.
Here are some images form my time with them (and their opponents) at the Tokyo Olympic Games.