Lauren Sesselmann caught everyone’s attention as she was a member of the 2012 Bronze medal soccer team for Canada. Sesselmann is training for the 2015 World Cup – and then of course working towards that next Gold Medal match in 2016.
1. How did you get your start playing soccer? Did you have an interest in any other sports?
I actually first started playing basketball at the age of five-years-old and didn’t pick up soccer until about 6th grade. My mother signed me up and I remember being so nervous because it was a co-ed team. I actually started crying and sat on the bench most of the practice. About halfway through I decided I wanted to play, so I went out threw a boy on the ground and scored a goal. My mom picked me up and I said “this is my sport,” and from there on out it became my passion. I did continue to play basketball as well and almost played both in college.
2. If you weren’t playing soccer for a living, what would you be doing?
I went to school for Marketing and Advertising, I would probably be doing something in sports marketing. I also love fashion and acting, so maybe something in either of those areas. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner… so after soccer is over that might be my path!
3. How did you feel about switching citizenship’s to represent Canada at the international level?
I grew up watching both the USA and Canada, they were my two favorite teams to watch. I loved that Canada fit my style of play, and were very competitive. My father growing up always told us stories of his years in Newfoundland and how his family would always take trips there, so I was honored that I could share this with him. I think it’s pretty awesome to be able to have two different citizenship’s and to be able to play and be a part of an incredible team. This is a dream come true for me!
4. What was the best part about being at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
I don’t think I can choose just one thing! The fact that I was even there representing was the best part! But, I would have to say meeting all the other athletes that I have looked up too growing up, and having my family there to share it all with. And standing on the podium holding a medal wasn’t too bad either
5. What was going through your mind standing on the podium, when your team received the Bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics?
So many different thoughts and emotions were running through my mind. Is this real life? I can’t believe I made it this far. Next time we will be in that Gold Medal match. Those are just some of the things I was thinking about. You’ve dreamed about something like this your whole life, never knowing if you’ll make it or not, and then your there…no words can really describe it, I’m so blessed.
6. Will we be seeing you in the next Olympics? Any plans to come back with the team to reach for the gold?
After having a taste, I definitely want more. If I stay healthy and can continue to compete at that level I will be there. I have already stepped up my training for preparation for the 2015 World Cup. I am taking it day by day, but 2015 and 2016 are definitely what I want in my future.
7. Which one of your family members had the most memorable reaction to you and the team winning the Bronze?
My parents unfortunately had to go home before our last game, so they ended up throwing a viewing party at our house. I remember them calling me and I could hear all this screaming and cheering in the background, and then they both started crying. It was a moment I will never forget. They are always proud of me, but I think this time it was a different proud, they knew how hard I worked for this moment and they felt and shared it with me. I’m incredibly lucky.
8. You tweet a lot about working out and staying in shape, what is one workout that you couldn’t live without?
This is a tough question!!! I guess I would have to say my speed/strength/core workouts that I do three or four times a week. There is always going to be a player faster and stronger than you, so I find it very important to include those things. Also it helps with injury prevention. I was very lucky in January at Olympic qualifiers I suffered a knee injury that we all thought was going to be really bad news. And when the doctor told me I was lucky and that because my quad strength was good that it actually prevented me from something worse. I was very thankful for my trainer at that point. It is important for a soccer player to not only do ball work, but to do all the other training to make you the best you can possibly be.
9. What advice would you give to any youngster wanting to get into soccer and turn it into a career?
With the journey I have had, it has not been the easiest road, so my advice to young athletes is to have no regrets and to have confidence in your own ability. I had numerous coaches tell me I wasn’t strong enough, technical enough; fast enough to play at the pro/international level, but it never stopped me. When one door closed another opportunity arose. Every coach sees something different in you, so I kept going until one saw the positives I had. The fact that I kept going and had no regrets at trying something has molded me into the person I am today.
10. Who has influenced you the most in your life?
I know it’s cliché but my parents have been the most influential. They are both strong hard working individuals and that has been instilled inside me. They are always there for me when I need help, and I can rely on them to keep pushing me in the right direction in life.
11.What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female athlete?
I think I would have to say the most challenging aspect is gaining respect for our sport and our talent. I think some people are quick to judge that women’s sports are not as entertaining or as physical as men. I think our semi-final game vs the USA in London was a game that changed a lot of people’s minds, it was one of the most watched games ever. I now have people that come up to me and say that was the best game they have ever watched, and are now huge women soccer supporters. I think the best is when someone comes up to me and says, “I will never mess with you”, or say “You’re so tough”. Women and soccer or any sport have come a long way and it’s very refreshing to be a part of that.
12. Who has been the most interesting celebrity you have met during your media rounds since winning at the Olympics?
I have had the opportunity to meet lots of amazing athletes, especially all the Canadian athletes that represented; it was incredible to be honored with them. But in the last few months I had the honor of meeting Donald Trump, Susan Sarandon, Sports Anchor Bruce Beck, Country star Jason Michael Carroll, and Actor Bill Moseley to name a few!!
13. In three words, how would you describe yourself?
Caring, intelligent, and funny.
14. If we raided your fridge right now, what would we find?
All sorts of things! I love to eat, and I make sure I fuel my body the best way I can. You would find; chocolate milk (great for recovery) veggies and hummus, lots of cheese (hey I’m from Wisconsin) fruit, spinach (great to add to smoothies) and meat (chicken and steak)…and some milk and dark chocolate bars.
15. On a typical night out, would we find you rocking heels or flats?
The thing about me is I’m either really girly or a huge tomboy. During the week I’m usually in sweats and runners, but on the weekends I love me some heels and a nice outfit.
16. What is your favorite sport, and who is your favorite athlete (excluding soccer of course!)?
Obviously soccer is my number one, and I love watching Messi and Henry play, and they are extremely talented. But, I love me some Football!! Living in Green Bay, they will kick you out of the city if you don’t like the Packers!! I will watch any team college or NFL, I just love the intensity and the strength of the players..I really wish women could play, I would so be on that!
17. 2013 is fast approaching, what are your goals for the upcoming year?
To train even harder and become the best I possibly can. Share my gifts more with others, and give back to the community even more.
18. What do you want to be remembered for?
First and foremost I want to be remembered as a good person, someone who would do anything for their family and friends. Someone who was a great role model for the upcoming generation.
19. Is there a motto or saying you live by?
A big one I live by in everyday life is “No Regrets.” In relation to soccer and other things in life the quote I live by is,
“But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, his greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.” -Vince Lombardi
I believe that if you put your heart and soul into anything you do, you will be victorious, because you gave it everything you had.
20. What’s your idea of a perfect date?
My idea of a perfect date is doing something adventurous, I love to see the fun side of people, whether it be hiking, laser tag, or going to a sporting event, it allows both of us to get to know each other in a more relaxed setting. Then go out for a nice dinner, and learn about each other in a more intimate setting.