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Karina LeBlanc on Hall of Fame induction: “I am so grateful for this journey”
Photo: Mexsport
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MIAMI, Florida – When Head of Concacaf Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc was asked to sit down to watch a video featuring former Canada teammates Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt, she figured it would involve Sinclair’s new international goal-scoring mark, or perhaps some other video about the Canadian Women’s National Team.

But then she realized that it was, in fact, a celebration of LeBlanc herself, and that the former goalkeeper was learning from her old teammates that she was being inducted into Canada Soccer’s Class of 2020 Hall of Fame.

“It was a shock at first, but then you realize how special of a moment it is. It is the dream of any player to play for their national team and represent their country, so when I heard the news, it was a special feeling,” said LeBlanc in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.

Once the news began to settle in, LeBlanc says she began to think about all the people who helped make this accomplishment possible.

“I think of the journey and the people, teammates and family who impacted me and allowed me to live and have my dream job. You think of the sacrifices made by family. I missed birthdays, births, funerals. I think of all those people and it makes me so grateful for this journey. I owe a lot of thanks to my husband, parents, friends, family, coaches, teammates and the Concacaf family for all their support,” said LeBlanc.

In particular, LeBlanc’s mind drifted to how her parents will react when they learn the news.

“Honestly I felt more about my parents and what it means to them. Because of them, I have always been one to try to inspire others to dream big and work hard,” said LeBlanc.

When she looks back on her international career, LeBlanc cherishes all the memories made with her Canada teammates, including Canada’s first ever Olympic medal when they earned a bronze in London in 2012.

“2012 was a special moment because the previous year we had finished dead last at the Women’s World Cup and then to get a medal a year later was incredible. But really from the first day to the last day, my entire experience was special,” said Sinclair.

 
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