The former Spruce Grove Panther spoke with The One on training, adjusting to a new normal during the first wave of the pandemic and taking part in the NWSL’s Challenge Cup.
2020 has been a roller coaster of a year, but that statement is especially true if you are an athlete.
Former Spruce Grove Composite Panther and Olympic bronze medalist Stephanie Labbé was on a roll having qualified with her Canadian teammates for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In addition, the netminder was also training for the upcoming 2020 season in the NWSL where she and her North Carolina Courage teammates were set to defend their championship title.
But that all came to a halt when COVID-19 hit. Tournaments were either postponed or cancelled including a match against the Australian National team in April. It seemed as if there were too many questions and not enough answers on what would happen next.
However, she along with her Courage teammates received the news they were waiting for. The league would be the first professional sports league to return to a “bubble” tournament taking place in the Salt Lake City area. Labbe would start in the first and would play one more where her team made it all the way to the quarter-finals.
We caught up with Labbé and found out what it was like to take part in the first-ever North American tournament during the pandemic as well as her goals for 2021. Following the holidays, she will join FC Rosengard in the Damallsvensken Swedish League.