Canadian soccer player prepares for OlympicsBy Tim Huber Mennonite World Review
At least one Mennonite will be among the Olympians taking part in opening ceremonies July 27 in London.
Sophie Schmidt from Abbotsford, B.C., a midfielder on the Canadian women’s soccer team, is a member of King Road Mennonite Brethren Church in Abbotsford.
The 24-year-old is no stranger to the Olympics, having participated in the 2008 Beijing games when Canada reached the quarterfinals. She was also on the Canadian team for the 2007 and 2011 World Cup tournaments.
Born in Winnipeg, Man., Schmidt was 3 years old when she and her family moved to Filadelfia, Paraguay — the birthplace of her parents.
“My younger years playing soccer in Paraguay paved the way for where I am at now,” she said in an email interview. “There is nothing more enjoyable than following your brother around and being able to play pickup soccer with him and his friends. It instilled a love for the game which has never left.”
Writing on a website of her alma mater, Portland (Ore.) University, while in Berlin, Germany, for the World Cup last year, she noted how unique the experience was.
“Girls did not play soccer, so in a sense I am lucky to have had an amazing brother that I wanted to emulate,” she wrote. The family moved to Abbotsford when she was 7.
“Once we moved to Canada, it took my parents two years to warm up to the idea to let me play soccer even though my brother started playing immediately after the move. I think that the dreams of my mother, for me, had to change over time. I wanted to play soccer more than anything.”
In Abbotsford she was active in soccer, other sports, piano and, of course, church activities at King Road — something she continues whenever possible.
“Whenever I am at home and happen to be there on a Sunday, I make sure to attend the services that I can,” she said.
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