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Christine Sinclair makes history for Canadian soccer

Olympics Day 13 - Women's Football Final - Match 26 - USA v Japan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Christine Sinclair of Canada celebrates after receiving the bronze medal after the Women’s Football gold medal match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Among the best performances I watched in 2012 – and as someone lucky enough to be a full-time, professional soccer writer, I see a whole bunch of them – the fiercely purposeful show Canadian striker Christine Sinclair put on against the United States in the Summer Olympic semifinal ranks right up there.

You had better believe the monument to determination built that day in Manchester had plenty to do with Sinclair making history Monday, when the 29-year-old striker claimed the 2012 Lou Marsh Award. It’s an honor presented to Canada’s top athlete each year by a select media panel.

She’s the first soccer player (male or female) to earn the 76-year-old trophy, joining Steve Nash, Wayne Gretzky, Donovan Bailey, Jacques Villeneuve and others.

This piece from Canada’s National Post says Sinclair’s achievement is certainly about the gaudy numbers assembled in 2012, about that memorable hat trick that nearly single-handedly took down the United States and about that Golden Boot earned at the Olympics. It’s about all that, Cam Cole says, but also about what she did to elevate the profile of women’s soccer in Canada.