CENTENNIAL, Colo. — One of the best women's soccer players in the Tokyo Olympics spent her entire life in Colorado, but isn't playing for Team USA.
Janine Beckie played high school soccer in Colorado and still trains at a gym in Centennial. In Tokyo, she's playing with Team Canada, and is hoping to upgrade the bronze medal they won at the last games.
"My life is just a confusing life,” Beckie said. “It’s a long story on where I come from and why I play for who I do.”
That long story starts with her parents, who are Canadian, and her siblings, who are also Canadian. Janie, however, was born in the U.S., giving her dual citizenship.
"All three of my older siblings were born in Saskatchewan, along with both my parents,” Beckie said. “But, we moved to Colorado just before I was born, I lived in Colorado until I was 17, so yes, I have dual citizenship.”
And that dual citizenship has been good news for Canada.
In Rio after the U.S. women’s team was eliminated, Beckie scored three goals to help Team Canada earn a historic second Olympic bronze medal.
"We made history with the Canadian National Team,” Beckie said. “The team in 2012 won bronze as well, so back-to-back podiums was history-making.”
Now she’s back at the Olympics, in the red Canadian jersey and looking to improve on that bronze, while family and friends back in Colorado root for their hometown favorite.
Beckie said she's got a lot of friends playing with Team USA, but felt like Team Canada was a better fit.
She said she feels a strong pull for Team Canada because her father died from melanoma cancer, and having his last name on the back of her Canadian jersey seems like the perfect way to honor him.
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