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I am Proud to Be a Canadian Sports Fan

Shock. Stunned. Heartbroken. Numb. There is not even the right word to describe the pins and needles feeling that takes over the entire body of a sports fan, whose team has just lost. The rush of emotions that includes sorrow, and often anger.

National pride in Canada is often showcased at its best through sports. Canadians are mostly easy-going with regards to many issues, but start talking about sports and the Canadian sports fan will show you some passion. They are not afraid to shed a tear after a loss and will cheer and chant proudly after their country’s win!

GOOOOOOOOAAAAALLL! at the Live Viewing Fan Zone in Vancouver

GOOOOOOOOAAAAALLL! at the Live Viewing Fan Zone in Vancouver


We were proud to be among over fifty thousand fans, most of them there to support their home country of Canada, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter finals in Vancouver in June. Our bodies swelled with pride, despite the loss to the National Team from England.

One of Canada's best Soccer players: Christine Sinclair's penally shot goal

One of Canada’s best Soccer players: Christine Sinclair’s penally shot goal

While the Canadians collapsed to the turf in exhaustion, in tears, and in anguish, the English celebrated to a stunned crowd and only a few hundred cheering fans. Their shouts of joy couldn’t be heard, as the ringing in the ears of the shocked crowd, stared at the turf in front of them. But there is something amazing about Canadians, and we were lucky enough to bear witness to it on that day in BC Place Stadium.

Supporting Canada in Red from the First Row of BC Place Stadium

Supporting Canada in Red from the First Row of BC Place Stadium

Raimo and I have always loved watching sports. We traveld to watch the Men”™s national soccer team play Brazil in Seattle which ended in a 6-5 win for the Brazilians. We were fortunate enough to win the lottery for the Men”™s Olympic Hockey Gold Medal Game in Vancouver, and got to watch the Canadian Men beat their USA rivals on home soil. We have gone the Las Vegas to attend the NHL Awards for hockey. We love watching sports on TV. Its something we enjoy; we love cheering when our team wins, and we are disappointed with each loss. When the FIFA Women”™s World Cup came to Canada, it was just natural as a Canadian sports fan, that we would go to a game. I chose the Semi Final in Vancouver and as I read the schedule backwards, there was a chance that we would see Canada! We were in luck. Canada would face off against England.

Unfortunately, it was not the result that the fans wanted, but instead of moping their way out of the stands (as you see after MOST home team losses in professional sports), while the 11 women on the field collapsed to the ground, the cheers started.

“Canada, Canada, CANADA”


Every Canadian sports fan in the stadium stood in their seats cheering in unison for our team, despite just witnessing the heartbreaking loss. The stands didn’t empty. The fans didn’t want to go home. Was it shock, I’m not sure. We wanted more. We didn’t want to admit defeat for those 11 ladies who played their hearts out. So we cheered.

Attendance Records for National Soccer events were constantly broken during the FIFS Women's World Cup in Canada

Attendance Records for National Soccer events were constantly broken during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada

Writing this brings tears to my eyes, pain in my head and a knot in the pit of my stomach. The anguish of defeat still fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday and the pride I felt to be among mt fellow Canadians as we brought those women to their feet!

“Canada, Canada, CANADA”


Wherever we may travel, I will always be proud to wear a maple leaf on my pack, proud to support my country in sport, and proud to be a Canadian.

carpe diem before leaving canada

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Photo Credits: Sinclair Penalty shot and Attendance Sign courtesy of… IQRemix,… Fan Zone Cheering courtesy of Jeremy Board.


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  1. Bettina says:

    I’ll have to check out a game one day in Canada to see how sports fans there compare to Aussies! And I’m with Melissa on not knowing why cricket is so popular ….hahahaha <3

  2. Kirstie says:

    Though the U.S. team was my top pick for the Women’s World Cup, I was definitely cheering for Canada as well as the host country! You guys definitely put up a good fight!

  3. I am Canadian… and yes, we are big sports fans! 🙂 Currently in Australia, I don’t understand why cricket is that popular… Haha!

  4. Laura says:

    As a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania I definitely understand your passion. I lived in Chicago for 7 years and I was lucky to have a choice of several places to watch my Pittsburgh Steelers or Penguins play each week. I’m glad you had this opportunity to witness the pride you share as a nation! What a wonderful experience.

  5. Stacey Valle says:

    How cool to experience this! I’m not a big sport fan but I have attended baseball games to see Dodgers in California so it is exciting to be a part of the audience in the stadium. The vibe is exciting! It is really interesting to see this part in Canada because I’ve always thought hockey was the biggest thing over there but it’s great to see other sports.

  6. Meg Jerrard says:

    I would love to get to travel to Canada and experience a sporting match. I’m not a huge sports fan, though I love going to a big game to experience the atmosphere in countries like Canada where sports make up such a large part of their national pride.

    Thinking Ice Hockey – any other recommendations for a tourist just wanting to soak up the craziness?

  7. I think sports events are sometimes the only reason people in otherwise more sober, non-nationalistic countries come out and wave their flag and get decked out in the national colors. When I was living in the Netherlands, football and the olympics were two of the only events that prompted Dutch folks to hang the flag outside of their houses or paint little Dutch flags on their faces, and it sounds like Canadians are about the same.

    It’s also a great reason to travel, following your team around! I know I’ll be going to at least one game at my alma mater this year and I’ll have a blast. Good luck and wear your maple leaf proud!

  8. Karilyn says:

    My first question while backing around Europe in 2000 was why so many people had the Canadian flag on their backpacks. Being American I was told it was so they weren’t confused for us! I like to believe that it’s to show their country pride and love rather than that!

    I was raised on sports but am not a big sports fan now. But I can remember the tension in our house on big game days! And the sadness when we lost!!it feels so foreign to me now!!

  9. Robyn says:

    Ah this is so brilliant! You rival even a sports mad nation like Australia in enthusiasm- it looks so infectious and I’d love to be a part of that atmosphere!

  10. Danka says:

    I so understand your pride and joy while watching your country team playing important matches! My country – Slovakia is not usually among the teams on world cups but when we get there – it something that brings the whole country together.
    We also have pretty good ice hockey team but we always got beat up by Canadian guys 🙂 You guys have really good hockey players!

  11. Natasha Amar says:

    I’m definitely not a sports fan (though I’m originally from the cricket-crazy nation of India) but I’ve always been fascinated by how in many countries sport inspires stronger emotion than religion or faith even!

  12. Lesley says:

    Even as a proud Canadian, I’m not much of a sports fan except playing basketball myself. This still seems like a fantastic moment!

  13. yvonnelaura says:

    Love this! I always love the sports spirit of Canada and the USA. In the Netherlands there are a lot of fights during national sport matches so I always stay away from them – but I went to a baseball match in the USA once and I loved it! Now I still need to go to a Canadian ice hockey match and than I can die happily:-)

  14. Karla says:

    “Every Canadian sports fan in the stadium stood in their seats cheering in unison for our team, despite just witnessing the heartbreaking loss.” Way to go, that’s the mark of true sportsmanship! Hope every single being emulates this kind of optimism and cheerful spirit!

  15. Mar Pages says:

    I used to go to Camp Nou to see Barca every other week when they would play in home turf, it was just so exhilarating to scream and yell! Winning or losing, in the end I always felt relieved 🙂

  16. I wonder if every person feels the same way about their country and sport, Australia is definitely sports mad. I really enjoy seeing a sports game in another country as a way to get a feel for it’s culture, even local games can be a lot of fun.

  17. I come from Australia a sports mad nation, so I hear you. I would love to see the hockey as I used to be a state player many moons ago.

  18. Nikita says:

    Yes! I think that travelling has made me an even prouder Canadian… I can no longer take for granted the awesomeness of our country! 😀

  19. Beth says:

    I love this! The spirit is always alive in the Canadians I know.