“We The North” was chanted in Canada all through the summer after the Toronto Raptors brought home Canada’s first ever NBA championship by ending the Golden State Warriors dynasty. But the chant has now changed to “She The North” after Bianca Andreescu became the first Canadian to win a singles Grand Slam title when she conquered tennis legend Serena Williams in the final of the US Open earlier this month.
Canada gave Andreescu a hero’s welcome upon her return from New York after claiming her maiden Grand Slam title and rising from 200 in the world rankings at the start of the year to a career best world no. 5. Her triumph at flushing Meadows was her second consecutive title after claiming the Rogers Cup in Toronto two weeks prior.
The 19-year-old’s hometown of Mississauga organized a massive rally for their newest hero, which was attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Mayor of Mississauga, who presented Andreescu with a key to the city, while they also named a street after the latest tennis sensation. The US Open champion was overwhelmed with the show of love and support and admitted the journey was not an easy one.
“I am truly blessed,” Andreescu told hundreds gathered to celebrate her achievement, as quoted on Scroll. “I did not get here overnight. There has been a lot of hard work and sweat that went into it, a lot of downs, a lot of ups. I never thought I’d have my own (rally) before, let alone a key to the city and a street named after me. I love you.”
Andreescu thanked every Canadian sportsperson who paved the way for her to follow her dreams and hopes she can inspire future athletes from the North American nation. She also told every person in the crowd that if she can achieve greatness, “so can you” in what was a rousing speech to the gathered crowd.
“I’ve said this many, many times before. I’m going to say it again: It’s been a goal of mine to inspire many people, especially Canadian athletes,” the Canadian said, as quoted on Reuters. “I think that this win will hopefully do that, not only this win but just what I’ve accomplished this past year because so many Canadian athletes have paved the way for me when I was young.”
“I’m really glad I never gave up because I wouldn’t be standing here with everyone,” Andreescu added. “If I can do it, if Serena can do it, if Roger [Federer] can do it, if the Raptors can do it, so can you.”