One of two of Canada’s Women’s Soccer Team who were from Durham Region landed in Toronto Tuesday, even if it was for a brief moment.
“I have few minutes before I have my connecting flight,” said Ajax, Ontario’s Nichelle Prince. “I’m catching the flight and going straight to school.
The 21-year-old is starting her third year at The Ohio State University, majoring in Sports Industry with a double minor in Business and Communications.
Prince’s journey to Rio marked her first taste of the Olympic games. “It was a surreal moment. It was something I always dreamed about so to finally be on the field and to be able to call myself and Olympian was a great moment for me,” she said.
The 5’4″ forward was not the only Durham Region resident on the team, Allysha Chapman, who hails from Courtice, Ontario was also on the roster.
“There were a lot of Canadians in the stands watching our games. We also had Brazil fans for quite a few of the games cheering us on too,” said Prince. “It was great to have the support in the stands and from the Canadians back at home.”
The women’s team defeated Brazil 2-1 in the bronze medal game of the women’s soccer tournament at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. It is a significant win for many reasons including that the bronze medal win marks the second time Canada has won back-to-back medals in a team summer sport since 1908.
“To get to the podium showed us that all of the hard work we all had put in paid off. To be able to share the moment with my teammates and my family was unreal,” Prince said with a smile. “ I am going to show my medal off for a bit but then I am going to make sure it doesn’t get broken or stolen so I am going to keep it really safe with me!”
She was just 17 years old when she made her debut for Canada. Just three years later she won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championships. Her accomplishments don’t end there, and they won’t be ending with a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic games.
‘I am definitely going to make sure I work hard to get back to the next Olympics. I am going to take it day by day, each year at a time just making sure I am improving so that I get there.”
When asked when she might be in Ajax to celebrate getting a bronze medal and her first Olympics she said “Christmas time.”