Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Scott has big plans for 25th birthday
Win Oly gold, meet world's fastest man
WINNIPEGGER Desiree Scott has quite the wish for her 25th birthday.
"I'd love to meet Usain Bolt and win an Olympic gold medal of course," she said smiling at a recent interview at Garden City Soccer Complex.
But for anyone who knows the 24-year-old West Kildonan soccer phenom and former University of Manitoba Bison, the answer isn't that shocking.
That's because Scott's July 31 birthday is the day Canada meets Sweden in a women's Olympic soccer match, a game she hopes to be a part of.
In the coming weeks Soccer Canada is expected to announce its 2012 Olympic roster and Scott is on the verge of cracking the 18-player club.
"The Olympics is the biggest event that any athlete can really go to," said Scott who's back home from Vancouver for a few days to visit family and friends. "... To be able to call yourself an Olympian is an experience that's few and far between."
Right now the team consists of 22 players, leaving four in the way of the gritty midfielder's chance to don the Maple Leaf on one of soccer's biggest stages.
But if all goes right, Scott will be the lone Manitoban to represent Canada, something she's both very proud of and quick to defend when joking with her teammates.
"They always make fun of me for being from Winnipeg. They ask me 'where do you come from again?' " she joked. "But I'm 100 per cent behind Winnipeg, 100 per cent behind Manitoba."
She even uses a few lines that would make anyone back home proud.
"I just throw out our stats, like we're the Slurpee capital of the world, we have our Jets back and all the big artists are coming to the MTS Centre."
But for now, Vancouver is where Scott calls home.
She's currently in the residency program for Team Canada, rigorously training and practising with the team for the upcoming Games.
Scott says a typical day includes multiple training sessions -- two hours in the morning and afternoon -- followed by recovery exercises and ice baths.
"You have to be 100 per cent prepared," she said. "A event this big can really take a toll on you mentally. It's exciting but it can also be very nerve-racking."
And Scott fully expects those nerves to be present come their first game July 25 against Japan, the reigning 2011 FIFA World Cup Champions.
"I think for me, a little bit of nerves is good. You can't be too complacent on the field," said Scott. "I usually get pretty nervous before big games but I'll be excited because to play the Japanese, the world champs."
Also in Group F with Canada and Japan is the 2011 World Cup bronze medallist Sweden and South Africa.
But despite a tough group, Scott says the team's goals are clear.
"We want to get on the podium. That is my goal and a team goal for us. We're going to go to London and do some great things."
But even if those things don't include top prize or a chance to meet the world's fastest man, there's still one thing waiting for Scott on her special day.
"Our team has a tradition where you get pie'd in the face on your birthday. I've dodged it a few times but I don't think I will this time."
Let's just hope the taste of victory makes it that much sweeter.
played for U of M from 2005-2009
first team CIS All-Canadian 2009
twice earned Canada West All-star Honours
Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2005
started 4 games for Canada at the 2012 Women's CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament
appeared in two games for Canada at the 2011 FIFA World Cup
five appearances and two starts in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
she made her senior debut at Cyprus for the 2010 Cyprus Women's cup
21 appearances for the Canadian national youth team
she participated in the 2006 FIFA Women's World Championship in Russia
finished second at the 2006 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship where she started and appeared in 5 games
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 4, 2012 C4
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