Soccer star Christine Sinclair has been named the flag bearer for Canada in the Olympics closing ceremony in London.
As captain, she led her the women's squad to a bronze, marking the first time since 1936 that Canada had won an Olympic medal in a team sport.
The 29-year-old Burnaby native scored six goals in the tournament, including a hat trick against the Americans in a 4-3 loss in the semifinals.
The game was marred by controversial penalties against Canada, which enabled the U.S. tie the match in regulation time. After the semifinal, Sinclair generated headlines by claiming that the referee had decided the game before it began.
That prompted an investigation by the world's governing soccer body, FIFA, which enraged many Canadians. Former Vancouver Whitecap Glen Johnson told the Straight last week that he thinks Sinclair will "pay a price" for speaking so bluntly.
She has found the back of the net 143 times in international competition, tying her for second in women's soccer history.
Prior to the London Games, Sinclair told Straight sports columnist Jeff Paterson that while it was a great experience to compete in the Beijing Olympics, this time the veterans were going to treat the competition more like a soccer tournament.
She credited coach John Herdman for using the latest technology for improving the team's strength and endurance.
“Stats were released showing that we were the seventh-fittest team at the last World Cup , and you can’t expect to be on the podium with that,” Sinclair said at the time.
The Canadian team's intensity, which was demonstrated in Diana Matheson's last-minute goal against France to win the bronze, reflected the coach's efforts.