The milestones keep coming for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema.
Days after making her Olympic soccer debut for the Canadian Women’s National team in a 1-0 round-robin win over Great Britain, she had the best seat in the house for a historic victory.
Huitema was on the sideline Aug. 2 at Japan’s Ibaraki Kashima Stadium when teammate Jessie Fleming converted a penalty kick in the 75th minute of a semi-final against the United States.
The 20-year-old forward checked into the game 12 minutes later and played the final four minutes, helping her team to a 1-0 win.
With that, Huitema will have a chance to do something that very few people get to do when Canada faces Sweden in the gold medal match of the Toyko Summer Olympics tournament.
Sweden beat Australia 1-0 in the other semi-final.
It’ll be a first for Huitema, and a first for Canada, which settled for bronze at the previous two Olympics. By getting this far, Canada is only the third country to medal at three straight Olympics. The United States did it five straight times between 1996 and 2012 and Germany medaled in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
“Our goal heading here was to change the colour of the medal after back-to-back bronze medals,” said 38-year-old veteran Christine Sinclair, to whom Huitema is often viewed as the heir apparent. “What a performance, what a fight, I’m just so proud of our team, and one more to go.
“This is a very unique and special group, one I’m very proud to be part of, we fight for everything. Job one is done for us, changing the colour of the medal, but now that we’re in the final, we go for it.”
With a total of 55 minutes logged in three Olympic appearances, Huitema is not yet playing a lead role for Canada. But the experiences she’s gaining now will be invaluable when she does step into the spotlight.
The final will be played at 7 p.m. PST Thursday (Aug. 5).