Historic scenes played out in the early hours of Monday morning for North American fans, with disbelief on both sides of the border. The US Women’s National Team was unable to find an equalizer to Jessie Fleming’s 75th minute penalty goal, and the Canadian team stunned the world as they overcame their American rivals for the first time since 2001.
Canada has now booked their first-ever spot in an Olympic gold medal game, which they will play against Sweden, who defeated Australia in this morning’s other semifinal.
Between the two countries, nine out athletes are currently guaranteed a medal in women’s soccer. The USWNT still have a chance to make the podium when they play for bronze against Australia on Thursday, but the disappointment was palpable as they suffered their second loss of these Olympics after Sweden previously ended their 44-match winning streak almost two weeks ago.
“I don’t think I’ve ever lost to Canada,” Megan Rapinoe told NBC’s Marisa Pilla after the match. “Still a lot to compete for. That’s what I told the girls. It’s not the color we want but there’s still a medal on the line. It sucks.”
The Canadian squad has five out players including Kadeisha Buchanan, Kailen Sheridan, Quinn, Stephanie Labbé and reserve keeper Erin McLeod. Their head coach, Bev Priestman, is also out and married to former New Zealand national team player Emma Humphries. Priestman is the last remaining woman HC in the Olympic women’s soccer tournament.
NWSL fans will already know Quinn and McLeod from OL Reign and the Orland Pride, respectively. We’re huge fans of Quinn, last year’s Outsports Non-Binary Athlete of the Year, and today marks a historic day for trans representation as Quinn is now guaranteed an Olympic medal while New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard competed in the women’s +87kg weightlifting competition.
Meanwhile in cycling, Stephanie Labbé’s girlfriend Georgia Simmerling will also compete for Canada tomorrow at 2:30am ET, seeding eighth in the women’s team pursuit heats.
“She’s inspired me to tell others what I’m capable of and give me a voice,” Labbé said of Simmerling. “I just want to live my life genuinely and authentically. I don’t want to hide who I am and want to be accepted fully for all that I am.”
With COVID restrictions preventing friends and family from accompanying athletes to Tokyo, the pair are lucky to have each other’s support at the Games.
You can watch the USWNT play for bronze Aug. 5 at 4:00am ET, and later that day Canada gets to compete for gold for the first time in Olympic women’s soccer history at 10:00pm ET.