BY STEPHEN DALE
This article was originally published in the Summer 2015 print edition of Ottawa Magazine. We’ve added some new data, below, courtesy of Lowest Rates Inc. who’ve also been crunching some of the numbers.
Right now, the world’s best female soccer players are facing off in the last stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
When Canada hosted the inaugural FIFA under-19 women’s world championships in 2002, there was a hint of greatness in the air. “That was where some of our Canadian superstars — players like Christine Sinclair, Erin McLeod, Carmelina Moscato — first stepped onto the world stage,” recalls Valerie Hughes, who got to travel with the team across the country as part of its organizing committee and is general manager for the Ottawa games this year.
When the Canadian women’s team won Olympic bronze in 2012, losing to the United States in the final match, the world took notice.
And despite some struggles — women’s team members continue to make less than their male counterparts, though they are currently ranked eighth in the world while the men sit at 114th — Hughes believes FIFA will be inspirational to girls starting out in the sport.
Below, a look at some of the data coming out of this event:
Who to Watch For
#25 Alexandra Popp, striker with the powerful German team — Germany plays France on Friday, June 25.
#9 Eugenie Le Sommer, mid-fielder for the French team — France plays Germany on Friday, June 25
#1 Karen Bardsley, goalkeeper for the English team — they square off against Canada on Saturday, June 26
#9 Josee Belanger, striker for Canada — the team faces England on Saturday, June 26
1971: Women’s teams in England allowed to play on the same pitches as men
1991: First FIFA Women’s World Cup held in China
1996: Women’s soccer becomes an Olympic event
407 million: Television audience for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Canada expects to surpass that, partly because there are 24 teams in this competition, up from 16 in 2011
Women versus Men
6: Approximate number of times women fake an injury during a game
11: Approximate number of times men fake an injury during a game
10 seconds: Extra time it takes men to get off the field for substitutions, compared with women
30 seconds: Extra time that men take to celebrate a goal — or writhe on the ground with a suspected injury — versus women
1,176: Number of Ottawa volunteer applications
300: Volunteers selected for the Ottawa games
100: Volunteers who fluently speak a language other than English or French
84: Age of oldest volunteer
16: Age of youngest volunteer
20: Number of paid staff in the Ottawa office
$16 million: Estimated economic spinoff for Ottawa
Following information is courtesy of Lowest Rates Inc.