Canada's women's soccer team arrives in Ottawa to kick-off the Celebration Tour
OTTAWA -- Canada's Olympic champion women's soccer team has arrived in Ottawa to kickoff their Celebration Tour at TD Place.
Members of the Canadian women’s soccer team cheered as captain Christine Sinclair raised their flag at Ottawa City Hall to celebrate the Olympic champions.
For Ottawa's Vanessa Gilles, winning gold does not feel 'real' yet, but looking up at the flag, flying high in the city where she was raised, is a dream moment.
"I’ve never played in Canada with anyone at a professional level or at the national team level so just in that aspect it’s going to be amazing," says Gilles, who only a few years ago, was a fan in the stands when Team Canada played in Ottawa. "I came to watch these same girls that I’m playing with now play against Brazil at TD Place and being able to play there now in their shoes is full circle for me."
Team Canada won gold at the Tokyo Olympics in August, defeating Sweden in a penalty shootout in the championship game. It's the first time the women's team has won an Olympic or World championship.
The Ottawa sign in the ByWard Market will shine gold all week to mark their victory.
"It’s really amazing to be back sharing this with our country and with the people that have really supported us along the way," says goaltender Stephanie Labbé. "We’re starting to feel that excitement and the little moments like being here today are starting to help us realize not only the impact that we’ve had on this country but the magnitude of what we were able to accomplish."
On Saturday at TD Place, fans will have the first chance to offer a standing ovation for the champions, as Canada kicks off their first leg of a Celebration Tour.
"I was born in Montreal so technically I get to celebrate in both my cities which is also just amazing," says Gilles. "And we get to celebrate with the people who matter most."
The cheers will likely be loud as fans can now fill every seat in the stadium.
Kick-off is at 3 p.m. Saturday when Canada will play in a friendly match against New Zealand. Ticket prices begin at $32.50 and are available online through the TD Place website.