By Darren Lum
We all need to cheer for something after close to two years of living during a pandemic that left us in the dark, wondering when … when would we see the light of a normal life.
So, when Samuel Adekugbe jumped into the snow bank, as his Canadian men’s soccer teammates behind him rushed to the sideline to celebrate with goal scorer Cyle Larin millions of Canadians leapt and screamed with joy.
Some called it a Canadian moment that will be remembered like the 1990s Heritage Minutes ads celebrating Canadian achievements.
The goal gave the Canadians a commanding 2-nil lead against the Mexican side during an important World Cup qualifying match at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton last week. They went on to win 2-1, bringing the 44,000 fans to their feet, who had endured the negative 8 Celsius temperature at the open roof stadium. The win improved their odds to complete what they hope is a successful three-year odyssey to make the World Cup in 2022. The last time Canada sent a team was in 1986.
I know lots of people here consider soccer like they would watching paint dry, but this story of an under-dog team of up and coming players from a country not known for soccer is bigger than its potential for athletic achievement.
We all need something to remind us of how a concerted effort and a belief in what is possible can overcome the odds, like what Haliburton has faced with the pandemic.
There are examples of our community’s generosity and collaboration to help those in need, whether it’s the Places for People’s Sleeping in Cars event to raise awareness and money to help people with affordable housing, the upcoming Highlands Christmas Shindig, which raises money for Fuel for Warmth, or free events that just help to make people smile with the return of the Haliburton Village Santa Claus Parade organized by the Haliburton and District Lions Club with support by the BIA, and the second Rotary Community Santa Claus “Drive-Thru Edition.”
We can hope all we want, but, like Haliburton, the men’s soccer team has shown that putting in the work, standing together with purpose can yield progress to the light.