This past week, I was privileged enough to be in Vancouver, British Columbia during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Vancouver is one of many host cities for the event in host country, Canada. On June 21, a fan zone was open to the public in downtown for all fans to watch the games going on that day. Also on that day, the home team was playing Switzerland in a do-or-die match at the next door BC Place. Numerous fans were decked out in their red to show support for their country. The turn out was absolutely incredible! Many people came to watch the game on the two big screens and even some were lucky enough to actually go to the game.
Before the game started, I was able to walk around and enjoy all the free, interactive activities going on. The line for the face painting station stretched out pretty long, but it was well worth the wait to get your favorite country’s flag painted on your face (I chose a maple leaf!). Inside FIFA’s own booth, there were some displays describing FIFA’s efforts to reach out and encourage other countries to let women play soccer. The motto for this event is “Live Your Goals” and it is certainly a positive message for young girls. This year, FIFA has expanded the tournament to 24 countries. Women’s soccer is slowly but surely coming to the attention of the world.
I noticed some positive attributes to the host country while I was at the fan zone. The place was crowded with people decked out in patriotic wear all in support for their women. Surprisingly so, not many of the countries participating allow women’s soccer to be viewed on television. Even if their own country is playing, they won’t support them like they support their men. Canada is not like that. Canada is a very accepting country and took on its duties as host with great enthusiasm.
My view of the game
As the game started, the entire place was silent because everyone there were focused on the important game. There were some close goals and some great saves which prompted appropriate reactions. The crowd was anxious after the halftime score was 0-0. Soon after halftime ended, Canada answered with a goal from Josee Belanger. The entire place erupted as everyone jumped up and started celebrating. As soon as that goal was scored, the entire place was fully alive and believed that they could win. That goal was all Canada needed and they held on for the entire game. Final score, 1-0.
National pride certainly increased that day. The entire country celebrated with their women making them proud to be Canadian. Canada has allowed women to feel welcome to play sports and other countries should take note of this. Canada deserved every right to be the host nation for this tournament. Hopefully, other nations will change their minds about women in sports in the near future. As of now, Canada is shaping the bright future for women’s sports.