Women's Team

Beckie: Gold medal success gives me chills!

Beckie: Gold medal success gives me chills!
Janine Beckie says she and her Canada teammates are still pinching themselves to believe they are Olympic Champions.

Bev Priestman’s side secured their first gold medal success with a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory over Sweden in Yokohama, Japan, having claimed bronze at the 2012 and 2016 Games.

Beckie (celebrating her three-year anniversary with the Club) played a key role in her side’s tournament triumph, scoring a brace in the crucial group stage victory over Chile, and although days have passed since the incredible Final, she revealed the squad are still in awe of their achievement.

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“It still hasn’t sunk in!” she admitted. “I have the medal – it’s in my purse! I’m carrying it around!

“We literally keep saying to each other: ‘We won! We’ve won a gold medal! Can you believe it?!’

“It doesn’t feel real – probably because we’ve been in such a small bubble. We saw people in the Olympic Village but only other athletes – we haven’t been in the real world yet!

“I think it will hit me when I get home and see my family. I’ve heard from a lot of people, which has been really nice, but I’ve tried to be present for the last three days, soaking it all in.

“I haven’t even had chance to get back to everyone but hopefully, when things start winding down, I’ll have some time!”


                        Beckie: Gold medal success gives me chills!

The coveted prize was clinched in the most dramatic of circumstances – the colour of the medal decided on a single kick.

Both sides were guaranteed at least a silver medal from the Final and following a tense 120 minutes of play – with the two teams deadlocked at 1-1 – a penalty shoot-out was required to determine the winner.

Although Beckie had been substituted earlier in the game and so did not have to step up to take a spot-kick, she says she experienced every single emotion in an ‘anxiety-riddled’ game – one that saw Sweden one successful strike away from securing gold.

With the Blågult leading 2-1 after four penalties apiece – Stephanie Labbe and Hedvig Lindahl both saving two – Caroline Seger spurned the chance to win the game, blazing over the crossbar, before Deanne Rose converted to send the game to sudden death.

Jonna Andersson then saw her effort thwarted by Labbe and 20-year-old Julia Grosso drilled home to win the game for Canada.

Needless to say, Beckie’s heart was pounding throughout!

“It was probably the most anxiety-riddled game I’ve ever been part of!” she reflected. “I probably hit my maximum heart rate on the sideline!

“It was really severe changes of momentum. Plus, it was super hot and everyone was exhausted!

“It wasn’t in our hands and then all of a sudden, one kick is missed and it’s back in our favour!

“Our goalkeeper was the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the tournament for us – she stepped up big time.

“Then we have a super young player score the winning penalty!

“It was a rollercoaster of emotions – disappointment when they scored (in normal time), elation when we scored… then 30 more minutes and then penalties, which is a whole new level of anxiety!

“This is one of the first times I’ve actually talked about the game and I can feel the anxiety as I’m reliving it!”

WATCH: Beckie on 2019 Conti Cup: 'A moment I'll never forget'

The magic moment of Grosso’s penalty will be one that the whole of Canada will never forget.

With so much riding on a solitary kick, how would Beckie describe the feeling of watching it hit the back of the net to win a gold medal for her country?

“I just got chills thinking about it!” she laughed. “There are no words.

“We had a quarter-final, semi-final and Final that all ended in really exciting fashion and that emotion never gets old!

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“It was a really special moment to share with everyone and the way it happened – with the veteran players coming together with the younger players – and for it to be won with the final penalty, it was such a nice way to write the end of the story.

“It feels like we’ve been here forever but at the same time, it’s gone by so fast! Looking back, each game was like its own tournament – each one had so much emotion, focus, concentration, preparation…


                        Beckie: Gold medal success gives me chills!

“When you look at it as a whole, it feels like a massive achievement: to have played six games and not lost, to have conceded so few goals and to walk away with a gold medal.

“It’s been an honour to play in the Olympics after such a difficult time around the world. Hopefully, we – and not just football; every sport – have brought some joy to the world after such a hard year.”

Hear more from Janine later in the week in our exclusive Q&A…

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