(Photo credit: Canadian Soccer Association)
Christine Margaret Sinclair was born June 12, 1983, in Burnaby, British Columbia. Her family, already deeply connected to the international soccer world through her uncles, Bruce and Brian Gant, thought it normal that at the age of four, she laced her first pair of “boots” and began playing the game.
As a youngster, she excelled in both baseball and soccer growing up; playing in a boys' league in Burnaby, she made the local under-11 all-star team as a second baseman. It was here where she chose the number 12 as a tribute to the then-Toronto Blue Jays second baseman, Canadian- and National-Baseball Hall-of-Famer Roberto Alomar.
She was first selected to British Columbia's under-14 girls' all-star team at age 11, and went on to lead her club teams, Burnaby Girls Soccer Club, to six league titles, five provincial titles, and two top-five national finishes, as well as leading her high school team at Burnaby South Secondary School to three league championships. She played for Canada's under-18 national team before making her debut at senior level in the 2000 Algarve Cup, leading Canada in goal scoring at that event with 3 goals.
Ms. Sinclair has spent 13 years with the national team, participating in three FIFA Women's World Cups (USA 2003, China 2007, Germany 2011) and two Olympic Football Tournaments (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). She is a 10-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award and was also honoured by FIFA as a nominee for World Player of the Year six times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012).
In 2012, in addition to being captain of the Olympic Games Bronze medal team, Sinclair won both the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year and the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as Canada's female athlete of the year.
Her remarkable effort as team captain and her performance in the semifinal earned her the honour of serving as Canada's flag bearer in the closing ceremony, as well as the Diamond Jubilee Medal.
A graduate of the University of Portland, she studied physiology and kinesiology, which she uses in her training and recovery sessions. Named an Academic All-American as a Senior, she graduated with a 3.75 grade point average in life sciences from the University of Portland.
As a Freshman, she recorded 23 goals and 8 assists in her first season, leading all freshmen in NCAA Division I total scoring. She was named Freshman of the Year by Soccer America magazine, and was a consensus All-America selection.
In the 2002 college season, she led Division I in goals with 26. Her last two goals were in that season's national championship game, the second of which was a golden goal that gave the Pilots the national championship. Sinclair earned three different national Player of the Year honors, and was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious Player of the Year award in college soccer. She was also West Coast Conference Player of the Year, and was again a consensus All-American.
In the wake of her success for Canadian national teams and in U.S. college soccer, she was also named by The Globe and Mail as one of the 25 most influential people in Canadian sports in 2002.
Sinclair chose to redshirt in 2003 in order to play for Canada at the Women's World Cup. She returned to Portland in 2004, scoring 22 goals that season, and was again named WCC Player of the Year and a consensus All-American. She also won the Hermann Trophy that season.
During Sinclair's senior year at Portland, she set an all-time Division I goal-scoring record with 39. She capped off her collegiate career with two goals in the national title game, the University’s second NCAA championship.
That performance gave her a career total of 25 goals in tournament play, also an NCAA record. She was again named WCC Player of the Year, becoming only the second player in conference history to be so honored three times. Sinclair was also named Academic All-American of the Year by ESPN The Magazine. She also won the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, becoming only the fourth player and third woman to win it in back-to-back years. As a result of her record-setting season, Sinclair went on to win the Honda-Broderick Cup as the College Woman Athlete of the Year. She became the third soccer player to win the award, joining Mia Hamm and Cindy Daws.
In 2002, she scored seven goals for Canada in the Women's Gold Cup, tying her for the tournament lead with teammate Charmaine Hooper and USA's Tiffeny Milbrett, a fellow Portland alumna. She played for Canada in the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship. Sinclair's 10 goals in the tournament, still a record, helped lead Canada to a second-place finish, and earned her both the Golden Boot as leading scorer and Golden Ball as tournament MVP.
Sinclair scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 extra-time loss in the 2012 Summer Olympics semifinal match against the American squad.
Sinclair subsequently finished as the tournament's top scorer with six goals and led the Canadian women's national soccer team to a third place finish and a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics with a 1-0 win against France on August 9, 2012. She broke the record of most goals scored in the Olympics for women's soccer and won the gold boot of the competition; scoring 2 goals against South Africa, 1 against Great Britain, and 3 against USA.
At the age of 29, she is the all-time leader in goals scored for the Canadian national team and is the third overall in all-time international goals scored by a female player with 145….and counting.
Sinclair has stated in interviews that before every game she must listen to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," and put her left shoe on before her right.