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Superstar Scott is soccer’s spice girl
Down-to-earth girl always pushing to do her best: mom
She’ll tell you what she wants, what she really, really wants.
Desiree Scott — who recently returned to Winnipeg from the London Olympics with a bronze medal in women’s soccer to a hero’s welcome — wants Team Canada’s performance to inspire the next generation of local players to pursue their goals and dreams.
The West Kildonan resident — who has become a key member of the national team by making the defensive midfield anchor position her own — was surprised and humbled by the reaction of her young fans at the airport after returning from her groundbreaking Olympic experience.
"I’m still on Cloud 9. I haven’t stopping smiling yet," she said. "I had girls coming up to me saying, ‘We want to be just like you.’ It was unbelievable. I’m still shocked I can call myself an Olympian."
It was Scott’s turn to be a fan during the closing ceremonies of the games, when the world’s top athletes were in prime position to watch some of Britain’s musical royalty perform.
"It was an unbelievable show. We got to see the Olympic flame go out and I got to see the Spice Girls, who I loved when I was growing up. Scary Spice was my idol," she said.
Scott’s local-girl-done-good story is put into perspective by her mom — and biggest supporter — Charlene Gusberti.
"Growing up, she was a normal kid who liked basketball and volleyball. She was a down-to-earth girl who was always pushing to be her best and motivating her teammates," Gusberti said, noting Desiree was inspired to play soccer after watching her older brother, Nick.
"She has done West Kildonan proud. We have a house full of flowers and I’ve had people coming up and congratulating me at the store. It’s great that she’s being recognized for what she’s done."
Seeing her daughter around the house is a bit different from watching her on the international stage, Gusberti said, glowing with pride.
"It’s still like a dream when I see her on TV, a bit surreal. She’s such a good speaker," she said. "She’s bought home a medal. It doesn’t have to be gold — the whole team was amazing."
Gusberti’s maternal mettle was tested when Scott slid into a crunching tackle against an opponent during Canada’s hotly-contested and controversial clash with the U.S.
"I thought her leg was broken. At first, I didn’t think she’d get back up. But she’s built Ford tough."
After working as the assistant coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team last season, Scott wants to take a few weeks to consider her future as she gets back to Winnipeg life.
"I do still want to be involved with the Bisons in some way," she said.
And will Winnipeg’s soccer sweetheart be aiming for a place on the national team when the FIFA Women’s World Cup comes to her hometown in 2015?
"I’ll be pushing for that," she said.
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(1 of 10 articles for this week)05/21/2013 10:44 AM 0
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