On the field she is fierce and determined, but crossing the stage in her cap and gown, Christine Sinclair was giddy.
The Burnaby native was the guest of honour at Simon Fraser University’s convocation ceremony on Oct. 11. Canada’s national women’s soccer captain couldn’t keep the smile from her face as university chancellor Carole Taylor officially bestowed upon her an honorary doctorate of laws.
“I will never hear the end of that from my family,” Sinclair laughed as she took the podium at SFU on Friday.
Sinclair, whose name now bears the prefix “doctor” thanks to her honorary degree, did her best to impart words of wisdom to the hundreds of students graduating on the crisp October afternoon. While she joked she’d rather dribble a soccer ball than make a speech, Sinclair spoke with pride as she recounted the journey that led her to the podium.
“I’m very honoured and humbled to be with you today as your lives move forward into the world or into the classroom, where so many good things happen,” she told students, faculty and families.
While this isn’t the first degree Sinclair has earned – the Olympian and bronze medalist earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Portland – it’s just as special, she said.
“This is a huge honour,” she told the Burnaby NOWbefore the ceremony. “I’m excited to be able to share it with my family. … That’s definitely the highlight.”
Sinclair will be back on the pitch for training soon. She and her Canadian women’s soccer teammates will stay in Burnaby to train at Fortius Sport and Health – the city’s newest athletic facility.
“After the Olympics we brought in a lot of young players and John (Herdman, our coach) understands that’s the future of this team,” she said. “We’re still building.”
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