These ladies took on the NHL (and slayed). The All-Star Game was meh. But these jokes NHLer videos def aren’t. Mark McMorris might be a superhero. Canada killed it on the X-Games slopes. Chloe Kim is the full package. The #AusOpen claimed two singles victors. Kawhi Leonard bought a really big house that, uh, wasn’t in Toronto. We deep dive into mental health stigma in sports. Here’s what’s up this week, and here are the sports secrets the stars are telling us.
A Star is Born
The GIST: This weekend, San Jose hosted this year’s NHL All-Star Weekend. The All-Star weekend is hosted halfway through the season and showcases the league's best players through a skills competition and game. But, this year, women stole the show. Classic.
Wait… There are Women Playing in the NHL?: Not yet. However, this year the NHL invited four of the best women in the game—Americans Kendall Coyne-Schofield and Brianna Decker as well as Canadians Renata Fast and Rebecca Johnston—to take part in the skills competition as a way to help promote the women’s game. Each woman also received $25k from the NHL to donate to a charity of their choice AND picked up promo deals with Adidas. *snaps to the NHL*
Amazing. How’d They Do?: Here’s the thing. Coyne-Schofield was the only woman to actually compete in the skills competition, whereas the other women demonstrated how to complete each event. Still, they all slayed. Coyne-Schofield (who became the first woman to compete in an NHL All-Star skills competition) posted a jaw-dropping 14.346 time in the fastest skater event, just one second shy of winner Connor McDavidand faster than Arizona Coyotes’ Clayton Keller. Like, excuse me?! Watch her absolutely fly around the ice here. Safe to say we’re obsessed.
I Get Money: Then it was Decker’s turn for the spotlight. Decker was tasked with demonstrating the Premier Passing event (a series of ridiculously hard passing drills). But remember, because she was just showing how to do the event, no official time was recorded. Still, she whipped through the demonstration with what was initially thought to be a time of 1:06. If Decker was actually competing, she would have won the event AND the $25k prize money.
It's Complicated: HOW-EV-ER, the win (and money) went to Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl who posted a time of 1:09. Of course, social media caught wind of this and went off (because demonstrating or not, Decker's time was v fast), and started a #PayDecker campaign. Eventually, CCM Hockey pulled through by paying Decker the full $25k before news surfaced that the NHL double-checked her time and said it was closer to 1:12. We feel you, this story is more confusing to follow than Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s relationship.
And Who Won the All-Star Game?: The All-Star Game was more like an All-Star tournament because of the four divisions in the league. First, the Central clobbered the Pacific division 10-4 and the Metropolitan beat the Atlantic 7-4. Then, the Metropolitan took on the Central division and won the whole thing 10-5.
This Was Fun: In all honesty, the games were kinda boring. But, we enjoyed the weekend thanks to players doing things like this and this. LOL. You’re welcome.
X Marks the Spot
The GIST: The X-Games is an annual extreme (hence the x) sports event hosted by ESPN, once in the winter and once in the summer, and this winter’s edition was extremely entertaining (see what we did there).
Bionic Man: You’re probably familiar with snowboarder Mark McMorris thanks to his 2018 PyeongChang Olympics bronze medal and because of his emotional AF comeback to snowboarding after a life-threatening crash in 2017. Well, this weekend, he grabbed a silver in Big Air (one trick on a massive jump) on Friday, and then one-upped himself on Saturday winning gold in slopestyle (a series of tricks on rails and jumps). It’s his 17th X-Games medal, just one shy of ignorant U.S. snowboarder Shaun White’s all-time record. Like, is this dude a superhero orrr?
We Are Winter: Canada’s Laurie Blouin (snowboard big air) and Cassie Sharpe (ski superpipe) both grabbed X-Games gold medals on Thursday. GET IT GIRLS! Blouin is an X-Games rookie, but won silver at the 2018 Olympics while Sharpe is the reigning Olympic champ in her event. Watch their insanely impressive winning runs here.
Speaking of Impressive: Let’s talk about Chloe Kim. Last year, we fell in love with this 18-year-old, not only because she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal—a gold in the halfpipe last year—but also because she’s so jokes and relatable it hurts. Anyway, thanks to this stunning performance that launched her from dead last to first place in the superpipe on Sunday, Kim has won seven medals at the X Games. She’s now tied with Lyn-z Pastrana for the most X-Games medals won by a teenage female.
GIST Some other Sh!t You Should Know
- After nearly three grueling weeks, the Australian Open has crowned its champions: Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-OH-VITCH) and Naomi Osaka. ‘The Joker’ proved why he was the No. 1 seed, absolutely crushing Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. This win marked his seventh Aussie Open title (a tournament record), his 15th career Grand Slam title, and his third Grand Slam win in a row. If he wins the French Open in May he’ll be the reigning champ for all four Grand Slam titles for the second time in his career. NBD.
No. 4 Osaka’s final against No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova (pronounced KI-VIT-O-VA) had a bit more dah-rama as Osaka bounced back from a second set collapse to win her back-to-back Grand Slam title 7-6, 5-7, 6-4. The win also skyrockets her all the way up to No. 1 in the world tennis rankings. Yas kween.
- On Thursday, for the third time in his career, Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard was voted as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game going down on Feb. 17. A day later, he bought this $13M mansion in Cali… which, rightfully so, is making some Raptors fans v nervous about where he’ll play next year. Anxiety level 100. You can get more deets on the All-Star Game here.
- #BellLetsTalk Day is on Wednesday. And with the plan of erasing the stigma of mental health in mind, we wrote a Deep Dive on Mental Health in sports… because as much as athletes may seem like superheroes, they’re also a lot like us. Give it a read here.
- This weekend, eighth-grader American Alysa Liu, became the youngest skater to ever win the U.S. Senior Ladies Figure Skating national championship. She also became the first woman girl to ever successfully land two triple axels (take off skating forward, spin 3.5 times and land backward) in a long program at nationals. We dunno about you, but at 13 we were only concerned about who to slow dance with at our middle school's Much Video Dance. Still, our fave moment was definitely her heartfelt reaction to her score. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
What’s Up This Week
Monday: The NHL returns tonight with two games on the docket, but the Winnipeg Jets are the only Canadian team in action as they battle the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 p.m. ET.
You’ll have to wait until Friday to catch the Ottawa Senators return to the ice after the All-Star break as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Sunday: Okay, we know it’s still six days away, but we are PUMPED for the biggest NFL game of the year. Get up to speed with our GIST Guide on what you need to know about Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams (6:30 p.m. ET).
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How Loud Can a Leo Roar?
The GIST: Mr. Virgo himself, James Harden, is still lighting it up in the NBA and now has 30+ points in 23 straight games, including on Friday night in the Houston Rockets’ 121-119 win over the Toronto Raptors, just like we predicted (sorry squad). That brings our horoscope tally to 3.5-1. *smiles maniacally*
Horoscope: After winning NHL All-Star Game MVP, Sidney Crosby is riding some kind of special high. We expect this fiery Leo to take that energy back into the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular season on Monday night and find the back of the net at least once, maybe twice...Leos are super optimistic, so we might as well be too!
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