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‘This will take some time to sink in’: Canada’s Bev Priestman after winning Olympic gold


As soon as Julia Grosso’s penalty shot soared into the net, Canadian national team coach Bev Priestman sprinted from the sideline to join the group of players who were already celebrating their Olympic championship.

With Priestman at the helm of Canada, the team rose to the occasion in Tokyo, beating No. 7 Brazil and the top-ranked United States to advance to the gold medal game and finally beat out fifth-ranked Sweden.

The 35-year-old from Consett, England, was hired less than nine months before the first Olympic match and is the only female coach to lead a team to the semi-final stage in Japan.

Over the course of the tournament run, Priestman’s defensive tactics were brilliant, and her team selections were spot on, combining Canadian veterans with a roster full of promising young players.

On Friday night, Priestman took to social media and Tweeted: “We did it — Canada we did this for you & we did it having the time of our lives.”

“Dream Big because this special group did,” she continued. “Thank you for your support back home, this will take some time to sink in. We also wouldn’t be here today without those who came before us #nextchapter”

Previously, the Englishwoman served as an assistant coach under John Herdman, who was in charge of the women’s team from 2011 to 2018 and helped Canada win back-to-back bronze medals.

Priestman returned to England after the stint to serve as Phil Neville’s assistant as England reached the semi-finals of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

Now, two years later, Priestman returns to Canada with an Olympic gold, a feat no Canadian head coach has ever accomplished.