STAFFIERI: Sonia Brodeur among new generation of Blitz stars stepping onto world stage

In just her third season with the Montreal Blitz, Sonia Brodeur has emerged as one of the nation’s premier competitors on the offensive line. Raised in Brownsburg-Chatham, her first experiences on the gridiron took place at the high school level. Playing with the boys at the Inuk de la Polyvalente Lavigne in Lachute, Quebec, it marked the beginning of a prodigious athletic journey.

The feeling of attainment and empowerment felt in those formative years is one that has now carried over to the Dalbé-Viau stadium in Lachine, home of the Blitz. Such a proud of sense of family and support that encompasses the winning culture of the Blitz is one that has made a positive impression on Brodeur.

Upon the revelation that Brodeur was named to the 2017 edition of Team Canada, the first-ever to compete on home soil, family took on a much more profound meaning. With feelings of euphoric fulfillment, a buoyant Brodeur quickly consulted with members of the organization, confirming that this dream had truly become reality.

“When I received the letter of confirmation, I could not believe my eyes and I contacted our general manager and another player of my team to be certain that I was not wrong and that I was really going be part of Team Canada.

After a few tears of joy, I called my family and a few friends who supported me throughout the selection process to announce the news. I felt a sense of pride and excitement that I would represent Canada. It was, to this day, my greatest achievement.”

Brodeur in Team Canada whites, with the number 60 adorning her jersey (Photo credit: Debra Carlson, Diz Ruptive Photography)

Certainly, the opportunity for Brodeur to share in the Team Canada experience with other members of the Blitz, simultaneously expanding her own legacy with the franchise, was an essential component to her landmark achievement. As the Blitz featured eight players making their debut with the national team in Vancouver, including Brodeur, it allowed for a significant sense of unity,

“It was very important for me to be able to experience this emotional experience with Blitz teammates. Being part of Team Canada with players I admired for their talent confirmed that all these months of effort and sacrifice were worth it.”

The aftermath of the gold medal game was one that resulted in a flood of emotion. Understandably, Brodeur was sullen upon receiving the silver. With Canada holding the first lead of the game, signifying the first time that the US had fallen behind in tournament play, there were hopes that the momentum would build, crushing the American dynasty.

In spite of the heartbreaking loss, Brodeur later absorbed the feat of a podium finish. Considering that it was a tournament that saw Finland left out of the medal round for the first time in history, along with a group of nations rising in prominence, Canada had nothing to be ashamed of. As the first-ever host nation to qualify for the gold medal game, it added a combination of sanguine consolation and satisfaction,

“If I am proud of the silver medal … it is sure that as players, we wanted gold. At the time, I was angry and sad to see that we had the silver, because the team worked very hard in a short time and that in my heart one deserved the gold.

Afterwards, I was proud because there was more than one team and we had second place, which is very good for a world championship and we had given everything.”

Brodeur (wearing number 60) in a huddle with the Team Canada offense (Credit: Game On Photography)

Adding luster to this captivating chapter in Brodeur’s gridiron ethos is the fact that the sense of devotion and enthusiasm was evident among her peers. Considering that the team had to gel rapidly, it was one where all players, regardless of age and/or experience, evolved from a gathering of athletes into a sisterhood, finding unison in the honour of wearing Canada’s colours.

With such an encouraging and cordial atmosphere, it allowed Brodeur the confidence and eagerness to make the transition into world-class competitor. Simultaneously serving as one of the hallmarks of her time in Vancouver, it affirmed the core values that make female football such a valued sport among its distinguished competitors.

“It is difficult for me to name a particular moment especially since the experience of the tournament was filled with good and beautiful moments. Among other things, I remember the family aspect that developed quickly, the many acquaintances I made, and the feeling I felt when I donned Team Canada uniform on the field.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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