From a gold-medal win at the Tokyo Summer Olympics to a breakout performance in UEFA Women's Champions League soccer, Chilliwack's Jordyn Huitema enjoyed a productive 2021. (UEFA photo)

TOP STORIES 2021: Memorable 2021 for Chilliwack soccer star Jordyn Huitema

An Olympic gold medal and UEFA Women’s Champions League all in one year

A memorable year for Chilliwack soccer star Jordyn Huitema included a gold-medal win at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

A couple months after turning 20, the Chilliwack FC alum joined the Canadian national women’s team for the 12-team tournament. She travelled to Asia as a reserve and didn’t see action in the first two group-stage games, but on July 27 she got the nod from coach Bev Priestman.

Huitema came on in the 46th minute of a match against Great Britain that ended in a 1-1 draw.

From that point on she made an appearance in every game. On July 30 she checked in as a late substitution in a quarter-final against Brazil, coming in for the final six minutes of a 4-3 penalty-kicks win. Huitema played the last few minutes of a 1-0 semi-final win over the United States two days later, subbing in for legendary striker Christine Sinclair.

In the gold-medal game against Sweden, Huitema again filled in for Sinclair, coming on in the 86th minute. Her team won that game 3-2 in penalty kicks, giving Canada it’s first-ever Olympic women’s soccer gold.

“It was super intense, and the PKs (penalty kicks) was a crazy way to end it all,” she told The Progress a few days later after flying home to Chilliwack. “I’m still kind of speechless about the topic. It’s been hard to get it to kick in that we actually won the Olympics. We kept saying after the game, ‘We just won. We just did that.’”

On Aug.12, Huitema was in the spotlight at the Red, White and Gold Celebration at Exhibition Stadium, with hundreds of hometown fans filling the stands to cheer on the soccer star.

“I want to say thank you to the thousands of people across Chilliwack who gave up sleep to witness our historic performance first-hand,” she told the crowd. “Thank you for everyone standing here today and everyone who supported us through this crazy ride. You are all truly the 23rd player on our roster.”

As 2021 comes to a close, Huitema is doing great things for her European professional team, Paris St-Germain, in UEFA Women’s Champions League play. With two goals against Icelandic side Breidablik on Dec. 16, Huitema has six goals in six matches.

Her team has advanced to the quarter-final round in March.


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