Milly Striped top, Rag and Bone Skirt and Brunello Cucinelli Sneakers @ Neiman Marcus JANINE BECKIE | FORWARD | TEAM CANADA No matter the circumstance, rejection is never easy. But it’s what you do after someone tells you no that truly defines who you are. You have two options: give up or work harder. Janine Beckie, a 21-year-old from Denver, chose to work harder. And it’s paying off incredibly well for her. Beckie is the all-time leading scorer at Texas Tech and was selected with the no. 8 overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. “I was in the group for the (Canada) World Cup last year and got cut right at the last minute. I used it as motivation. I knew there were some things I needed to be better at. I had good conversations with my coaches – there were no burned bridges there,” she says. “They just kind of said, ‘We don’t think you’re ready, this is the group that we are going to go with but you’re not at all done, this is not the end,’” she recalls. Keeping a positive mindset was something Beckie says was instrumental in keeping her motivated. “My faith and family are definitely what got me through that time,” she explains. In just a year’s time, that extra motivation is paying off nicely. Beckie played for Canada in Olympic Qualifying where she scored two goals, proving she was far from done 56 L O C A L | june 16 with the sport. The recent growth of women’s soccer in North America has been unprecedented, and Beckie is using this newfound platform for good. “We have a platform we’ve never had before and it’s us taking that and running with it. And not stopping until we get the sport where we want it to be – I think we’re still far from that and we’re moving in the right direction,” she says, happy to be a part of it all. Like others, Beckie dreamt of being in the Olympics since she was a little girl, but had no idea it would be soccer that would take her there. “I played all kinds of sports growing up so I never thought that soccer would be my thing,” she laughs. As for the pressure and attention that comes with the Olympics, Beckie is eager to embrace it. “It’s definitely pressure but it’s the best kind of pressure. It’s just an incredible opportunity that we get – it’s not something everyone gets to do. We are in the spotlight naturally with our job – that is a huge blessing and opportunity,” she explains. Beckie has dual citizenship and will be heading to the Olympics with teammate Allysha Chapman to play for Canada. “We have an opportunity now that we’ve never had before to help shape young girls’ lives in terms of sports. We’re looking forward to building a culture and playing better in the next few months because it’s way closer than we all think,” she says.