February 28th, 2019

Canada ready to kick @$$ at the Algarve Cup. This 13-year-old’s soccer skills will blow your mind. TFC is ice cold. Mark Stone found a new home. The Canes are still jerks (but we love it). Toni Harris is our woman crush everyday. Hometown glory for the Raps. MLB players are getting paid. Here’s what to watch this week. And don’t miss our latest IWD feature.

Sports banner: green, white, and black sport divider

Bend It Like Sinclair or Wambach or Moultrie  

The GIST: The soccer season is back in full swing and we are as happy as Ariana Grande finding out she’s the most followed woman on Instagram.
Let’s Start with Canada: The Canadian women’s team is in Portugal competing in the Algarve Cup, a tournament considered by many as a “mini” FIFA Women’s World Cup. On Wednesday, despite dominating the game, they opened with a tough 0-0 draw against Iceland.
How Are They Expected to Do?: Canada is the top-ranked team, so expectations are high. They’ve made the final in two of the last three years, including winning in 2016. We’re especially cheering for veteran striker Christine Sinclair. Over her career, she’s scored 178 goals putting her just behind retired American phenom Abby Wambach (184 goals) for the international women’s scoring title. #GOAT(s).
Meanwhile in the U.S.: Outside of Michael Cohen dishing dirt on Donald Trump, you gotta know about 13-year-old Olivia Moultrie. Why? See for yourself. She’s a BFD because on top of signing a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike (yup, she’s even in the legendary ‘Dream Crazier’ ad) she’s already turned pro. We repeat, she’s only 13 years old! Moultrie will now take her talents to the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Remember what you were doing in grade eight? Probably not this.
Left Out in the Cold: In other soccer news, The Toronto FC were unsurprisinglyunfortunately knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday (ppssttt get a quick CONCACAF refresher here) after tying Panama's Club Athletico Independiente de la Chorrera 1-1 in, um, -16C weather in Toronto. We said brrr, it’s cold in here.
So What’s Next?: This was just a tournament, and the Reds still have plenty more soccer to play. TFC’s Major League Soccer (MLS) season kicks off on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. Toronto has plenty of room to improve from last season when they finished with a v dismal 10-6-18 (wins, draws, losses) record.


Viva Las Vegas

 Sing it! TBH, Monday’s NHL trade deadline was pretty boring. The biggest story of the day? The Vegas Golden Knights landing number one trade prospect; Ottawa Senators’ Mark Stone.
Rock Stone Solid: Rumour has it as many as eight teams were interested in Stone right up until the 3 p.m. ET deadline (someone’s popular). To get Stone, Vegas sent two prospects and a 2020 second-round pick to Ottawa. The Sens are officially in a rebuild. Anyway, almost immediately after the trade, Vegas signed Stone to an eight-year contract worth $9.4M USD annually—which makes him one of the top 20 highest paid players in the NHL. He was welcomed to his new city in true Vegas fashion. As they say, what happens in Vegas...
Jerkin’ Around: Elsewhere in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes, aka the ‘Bunch of Jerks’ we mentioned last week, were back in epic fashion on Tuesday night. After they handily beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-1, they celebrated the win like, well, jerks. You’ve got to see it. Snaps to the ‘Canes marketing team. Meanwhile, they've been riding the ‘Storm Surge’ to a 10-3 record in the month of February and are now third place in the Metropolitan Division.

GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know

- Toni Harris has got our attention. On Tuesday, she became the first female football player in a skill position (not a kicker) to sign a college football scholarship. She signed with Central Methodist University, one of six (!!!) schools to make her an offer. And she’s not stopping there—she has dreams of playing safety (one of the toughest defensive positions on the field) in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. And having literally beaten ovarian cancer at age 18, Harris is as tough as they come. Get it, girl!
 - Then there’s University of Manitoba’s Reina Iizuka. She’s believed to be the first woman to appear on a U Sports (Canadian University Sports) football roster. While Iizuka only practises with the team right now, her coach isn’t ruling out her first official game.
- After handily defeating the Boston Celtics 118-95 on Tuesday, the Toronto Raptors are now 30-0 against division opponents at home. #WETHENORTH has never rung more true. If there’s one Raptor to keep an eye on, it’s ‘Spice Bae’ Pascal Siakam. His meteoric rise has been faster than Jordyn Woods’ fall from grace. Siakam is quietly sittin’ in second on the Raps’ roster in PPG (average points per game), behind only superstar Kawhi Leonard.
- The MLB keeps making it rain. Just a week after Manny Machado inked a 10-year deal worth an average annual value (AAV) of $30M USD with the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies re-signed star third baseman Nolan Arenado to an eight-year deal with an AAV of $32.4M USD. Every penny million counts, right? Slugger Bryce Harper is now the only big-time free agent left on the market.
Here’s Johnny! Well, actually not really. Quarterback Johnny Manziel is running out of places to play football. The former party boy and Cleveland Brown (NFL) was most recently a member of the Montreal Alouettes (CFL) but was released on Wednesday and banned from the league because he was “unable to abide by the terms of his agreement.” The details on what he did remain hazy and we are very intrigued as Manziel is certainly no stranger to drama.
- The Ottawa Senators will have to wait a little longer for a new downtown arena. The team had planned to land a new home rink as part of the LeBreton Flats development, but the entire project is now dead in the water. The decision comes after months of legal battles and lawsuits between Sens owner Eugene Melnyk and the group tasked with the development as they sued each other for millions of dollars in damages. Ugh. Back to the drawing board?

What’s Up This Week

Right Now: Get your tickets! The GIST is hosting our FIRST EVER viewing party in Ottawa on March 7th (the day before International Women’s Day—truly perfect timing we know). Join us to watch the Ottawa Senators take on the New York Islanders. Your ticket includes dinner, a drink, pre-game commentary from our very own Ellen, meeting the Sens CMO Aimee Deziel, a swag bag AND watching the game in The GIST’s suite. Talk about bang for your buck! Get your ticket here. We can't wait to have you!

This Weekend: Last newsletter, we shared our interview with three-sport Olympian Georgia Simmerling as part of our lead up to IWD. Want more Georgia? Us too! You can watch Simmerling compete at the track cycling world championships this weekend in Poland, her first cycling competition since breaking both her legs last year. Get all the deets here.

Are You Ready to Master Your Mind?: We bet you are. And we’ve got a company that can help. Mastermind Bio-Wellness is a new wellness brand that is all about helping active people be their best selves through a holistic approach to both mental and physical health. A part of that is helping people better understand cannabis while creating great products. Listen to their podcast (our very own Ellen was their most recent guest!), and check out their website here. Our favourite product is the vegan hemp protein. Delicious and healthy.

P.S. This company is one of The GIST’s partners.

International Women's Day - Meet Liz Rose

Today’s IWD feature is Liz Rose. In 2017, at the age of 26, Liz became the youngest Canadian to ever climb the infamous seven summits. Liz has summited Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Vinson, Elbrus and Kosciuszko. We feel tired just typing those! Here’s a sneak peek of our interview with Liz. You can read the full thing here and follow her on our IG stories here.
Ellen at The GIST: Climbing for days and facing the elements is obviously a very grueling physical task, but we also imagine it could be fairly mentally grueling as well. How do you keep your mental game strong throughout the hikes?
Liz Rose: The mental factor is a huge part of climbing. Some of the expeditions are really long - for example, Everest takes two months. So remaining mentally tough for two months is incredibly hard. To continue to stay motivated, my family and friends wrote me letters and I brought the bag of letters with me. The letters would say things like “open when you’re crying” or “open when you need a pick me up”, things like that (Editor’s Note: we’re not crying you’re crying). When I was feeling defeated I would open a letter. I’m lucky to have a really strong support system.
Before some trips, I would go to a sports psychologist to get some strategies on how to stay mentally tough. Really it all comes down to believing in yourself and staying as positive as possible. You really have to focus on staying present, staying in the moment and not getting frustrated by things like the weather.
Read Liz’s full interview here.


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