Three Winnipeg athletes who competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games will greet their local fans on Monday.
Olympian bronze medal soccer player Desiree Scott, silver medal rower Janine Hanson, and rower Kevin Kowalyk, will be at Polo Park Shopping Centre signing autographs from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba (CSCM) is hosting the event, being held in the mall’s centre court.
Scott was a pivotal part of Team Canada’s victory over France to win the bronze medal. She recently announced her return to the Manitoba Bison women’s soccer team as an assistant coach.
Hanson won the silver medal as part of Canada’s women’s eight rowing team. She also has two World Championship silver medals in women’s eight rowing to her credit, and placed 8th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in quad sculls rowing.
Kowalyk finished 6th in men’s double sculls at the 2012 London Olympics.
Former University of Manitoba Bisons soccer player Desiree Scott is returning to her team after a whirlwind experience at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The midfielder won bronze as part of Team Canada earlier this summer and has been making the publicity rounds ever since.
Now that the hype has settled down somewhat, the 25-year-old is looking forward to returning as an assistant coach as the Bison women begin their 2012 season.
Scott will be assisting the team as a whole, but says her specialty remains at the midfielder position, where she’ll use her knowledge gained over the past year or so to benefit the players in that position.
Scott credits being part of the CIS to landing on Team Canada’s radar in the first place and helping to propel her Olympic career, saying that a rigorous training schedule was also the key in making it to the Olympics.
“It definitely helps your development. You have to appreciate the CIS and the five years that you get and hopefully I’ll be able to help them (the team) with that,” Scott said.
With the introduction of a University of Winnipeg soccer program across town last week, Scott also said a friendly rivalry during her Bison-playing days would have been good for the sport.
“That would have been awesome, actually. That rivalry is going to be an important thing for the game and for the CIS.”
As for the future, Scott plans on making a full-time career out of coaching with the Bisons when her professional playing days eventually come to an end. But that will have to wait until after she and Team Canada attempt to grasp a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.
The Bisons open their 2012 regular season Friday at 6 p.m. at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex.
Olympic bronze medallist Desiree Scott returned home to Winnipeg Monday night to a roar of fans, family and friends.
The 25-year-old former Manitoba Bisons soccer player was an instrumental part of Team Canada at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Scott’s women’s soccer team won bronze in a 1-0 victory over France on August 9.
The newly-crowned Olympian made her way down the escalator at James Richardson International Airport to cheers and congratulatory greetings from the hundreds who came out to welcome her. Chants of “Desiree! Desiree!” rang out moments before her anticipated arrival.
“I’m a very emotional person and to come home and hear my name being screamed the first thing I see — I’m holding back tears right now. It’s absolutely unreal. I love the support. It’s amazing,” Scott said after being welcomed by an onslaught of media.
Asked of her favourite moment from the Games, Scott said it was when teammate Diana Matheson scored the sole goal in extra time to seal Canada’s fate in securing a medal.
“Just to hear that whistle blow — that had to be the moment for me knowing I had hit the podium.”
Scott was modest when asked how she feels about narrowly blocking a shot from France with her knee in front of the net, saying it was a complete team effort.
“I just happened to throw my body and get that ball out of the back of the net. I did everything I could and I happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Scott has also been an ambassador and role model to younger female soccer players who one day aspire to reach her level of success. That much was evident from the fanfare of young, pre-teen girls dressed in Scott’s jersey with the number 11 on the back.
“Just keep working hard and enjoy it,” were Scott’s words of advice. “You have to have fun doing what you’re doing, and I absolutely love my job.”
After being quickly whisked away from taking questions from the media, Scott took time to sign autographs and soccer balls for her adoring fans. The Olympian even shed a few tears at one point after becoming overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from her hometown city.
“My heart’s still beating very fast,” Scott added, while being drowned out by the crowd singing O Canada in the background. “This is unbelievable. I did not expect this at all. The turnout is phenomenal.”
Winnipeg’s other Olympic medallist, Janine Hanson of the women’s eight rowing team, isn’t expected back in the city with her silver medal until mid-September.
Winnipegger Desiree Scott is an Olympic bronze medallist after Team Canada claimed victory over France at the London 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday.
Scott’s team won 1-0 in extra time with a single goal from Diana Matheson. Scott was in the starting lineup for Canada’s national team and played the entire time in her six Olympic appearances at the Games.
Scott saved a France goal with her knee on the Canadian goal line at the 70-minute mark to preserve a scoreless game at the time. She has now made 53 appearances with Team Canada over her career.
The 25-year-old is a former University of Manitoba Bison athlete and plans to return as an assistant women’s soccer coach following the Olympics — a role she maintained during the 2011 season.
Winnipeg-born midfielder Sophie Schmidt, and midfielder/fullback Chelsea Stewart, who calls The Pas home, are also on the Canadian women’s team.