Colour Commentary: Christine Sinclair is Canada’s most underappreciated athlete

When you think of great Canadian athletes, nowadays the first names that come to mind are usually Sidney Crosby, Conor McDavid, Bianca Andreescu and Denis Shapovalov.

The last three haven’t been in the conversation for long. However there’s one name missing from that list—Christine Sinclair.

Sinclair burst on to the international soccer scene back in 2000. Since then, she has had an incredible list of accolades, including the 2012 Lou Marsh Award, a 14-time Canadian Player of the Year winner, and has been nominated seven times for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

Most recently, she scored yet another record breaking goal; undoubtedly her biggest achievement—which is saying a lot considering her resume.

On Jan. 29, playing against Saint Kitts and Nevis in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, Sinclair netted two goals, vaulting her ahead of Abby Wambach for the most international soccer goals scored by a man or woman.

The most goals. Of all time. A Canadian. In soccer.

Let that sink in.

Think of all the incredible players in the world—Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Pelé, Abby Wambach… I could go on forever. At the top of the list for international goals, sits the Canadian from Burnaby, British Columbia.

So the question remains: why hasn’t this been made as big a deal as it should be, especially in Canadian media?

Perhaps the timing of Sinclair’s achievement has been overshadowed by the death of Kobe Bryant, the Super Bowl and Canadian prodigy Alphonso Davies playing some of his best football at Bayern Munich, but I don’t think that it’s an excuse for the lack of coverage of this absolutely remarkable feat.

Soccer’s popularity is growing steadily in Canada due in part to the injection of highly touted male, youth players such as Davies, Balou Tabla and Liam Millar. However, the fact still remains that Canada’s male side is ranked 73rd in the world according to FIFA rankings, meanwhile the women’s team is ranked 8th in the world. Christine Sinclair has been must-see-TV for a long time. Let’s hope either TSN or Sportsnet realize this before she retires.

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