Anyone wishing to watch Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Abbotsford’s Sophie Schmidt play in the gold medal women’s soccer match at the Tokyo Olympics will have to stay up really late or get up early.
Game time has been switched to 5 a.m. PST Friday (Aug. 6) after originally being scheduled for 7 p.m. PST Thursday (Aug. 5).
The game is being shifted out of concern for the athletes, who would have been playing in scorching hot mid-day temperatures in Japan. The weather forecast for Friday in Tokyo calls for a high of 33C, but with the game now starting at 9 p.m. local time the temperature will be more tolerable in the mid 20s.
“It’s a gold-medal match. They would have played morning, night. They were ready,” said Canadian head coach Bev Priestman during a press conference. “But I think the change makes absolute sense for the spectacle of what the game could be.”
Swedish head coach Peter Gerhardsson said the move to a nighttime game is a “a very, very, very, very, very good decision.”
Huitema, Schmidt and company will take on Sweden at Yokohama Stadium.
The game was originally supposed to be played at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, but track and field is taking place that night.
Canada is playing in the gold medal match for the first time ever after blanking the United States 1-0 in a dramatic semi-final.
Canada has won bronze in the last two Olympics.
“We have come this far, so we want to come back home with a gold medal,” Priestman said. “The team won’t go into that final just happy to be there and go home with silver. We have a group of 22 players who are ready for that final, who are ready to do something special for our country.”