The GIST’s Quote of the Week
“Just stepped out of a med school course to the news.”
—Forever the overachiever, Hayley Wickenheiser reacts on Twitter to being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Legend.
The GIST: By now, you likely know that Canada was eliminated from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the round of 16, after a heartbreaking 1–0 loss to Sweden on Monday.
How did they lose?: It was a hard-fought match, but it all came down to a missed opportunity for Canada in the 69th minute.
With Sweden already up by one, Canada was awarded a potentially game-tying penalty kick. To the surprise of many, it was 24-year-old Janine Beckie who took the shot rather than captain Christine Sinclair, the second-leading goal scorer in international soccer history.
Beckie’s shot was well placed, but Sweden’s goaltender Hedvig Lindahl made an impressive diving save to keep things notched at 1–0.
Wait…why didn’t Sinclair take it?:Turns out, Sinclairmade the call on the fieldand asked Beckie if she wanted to take the kick. Why? Well, it may have been because that same Swedish goalie saved Sinclair’s penalty shot at the Algarve Cup in March.
There’s a huge debate over whether the decision was due to great leadership or bad judgment. But however you feel, the fact remains that through more than 90 minutes of play, the penalty shot was Canada’s best (and arguably only) opportunity to score, which just isn’t acceptable.
Anything else?:An even harder pill to swallow is that this might have been Sinclair’slast World Cup(although she willlikelyplay in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics —ifwhen Canada qualifies). She’s 36, and the next World Cup won’t happen again until 2023.
So who’s left?:Onlyeight teams remain: the powerhouse defending-champion U.S. and a record seven European countries. The quarterfinals kick off today with Norway vs. England at 3 p.m. ET.
But the biggest game of the quarters will be between two World Cup favourites, France and the U.S., on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. Bold prediction: whoever wins this game, wins the tournament. Get ready.
The Americans narrowly avoided elimination in the round of 16, winning 2–1 over No. 13–ranked Spain thanks to two converted penalty kicks from Megan Rapinoe (show-off). Speaking of...
Rapinoe, an out athlete, has also drawn attention off the pitch for saying that if her team wins and is invited to the White House, she “wouldn’t f---ing go.” TBH, all the power to her (and the teammates who support her) with Donald Trump in office.
Pomp and circumstance
The GIST: Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, starts July 1st and runs through July 14th, just outside of London, England.
Why is it such a bloody big deal?: Wimbledon is the third of the four major Grand Slam tournaments and, at 142 years old, it’s also the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Always respect your elders.
And just like your elders, the tournament is very strict and enforces an all-white dress code that has been in place since the 1880s. Thankfully it’s before Labour Day.
So, who’s playing?: Most of the big names in tennis, like No. 11 seed Serena Williams, No. 1 seed and young up-and-comer Ashleigh Barty (fresh off her French Open win) and No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber (the defending champ) on the women’s side.
On the men’s side, keep your eye on No. 3 Rafael Nadal (the King of Clay who might be playing with a chip on his shoulder because of his controversial low seeding), No. 2 Roger Federer (eight-time Wimbledon winner) and defending Wimbledon champ, No. 1 Novak Djokovic (pronounced JOKE-O-VITCH).
Unfortunately, we won’t get to see rising Canadian superstar Bianca Andreescu hit the court as she’s withdrawn due to a nagging shoulder injury. That leaves Genie Bouchard (unseeded) as our sole Canadian female entry joined by Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Felix Auger-Aliassime for the men. All three of our boys are seeded in the top 32! Ooo kill ’em.
Want to know more about Wimbledon? Of course, you do. Get #thegist in our full guide.
Time goes by, so slowly
The GIST: Although the NBA season is over, it’s still dominating the news thanks to the nonstop speculation frenzy around Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard’s huge decision to either stay with the Toronto Raptors or sign with another team.
Next to Toronto, the LA Clippers remain the suitor with the best shot to sign Kawhi. The team has a scheduled meeting with the superstar on July 2nd.
Free agency begins on June 30th at 6 p.m. ET, but players can’t actually sign contracts until July 6th at noon. Let #KawhiWatch commence.
How are things looking for the Raps?: Kawhi certainly hasn’t avoided the spotlight in Toronto, showing up everywhere from a Toronto Blue Jays game to a local Home Depot, adding fuel to the fire that he’s making a home in Canada.
Quick reminder that Toronto can offer him a max contract, $15M more than any other team over a five-year deal, because the NBA gives preferential treatment to teams hoping to re-sign.
Meanwhile, stressed Raps fans got a little boost on Wednesday when it was confirmed Marc Gasol would be returning to the lineup for at least one more season. Let’s get that bread.
What about the Clippers?: LA certainly isn’t backing down, and it’s no secret that Kawhi wants to play ball in his hometown.
The Clippers also have their eye on current Golden State Warrior and Splash Brother Klay Thompson — though, he’ll be out for the majority of next season recovering from his torn ACL — which could entice Kawhi to head to California.
Some spicy recognition: On Monday, Pascal “Spicy P” Siakam won Most Improved Player (MIP) at the NBA Awards. It was a heartfelt, must-see moment.
Siakam’s story is a rare one. A Cameroonian kid who didn’t start playing organized basketball until he was nearly 18 (that’s just eight years ago), he began his NBA journey playing for the Raptors’ G League.
The GIST: On Tuesday, Canadian hockey legend, Hayley Wickenheiser became just the seventh woman (of 280 players) named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Captain Canada of the hockey world: Wickenheiser retired in 2017 as probably the greatest women’s hockey player to ever hit the ice.
She won five Olympic medals (four golds and a silver) and seven world championships with Team Canada and is the team’s all-time leader in goals and assists. She truly put women’s hockey on the map.
Many players spend years waiting for a call from the Hall, but this was Wick’s first year of eligibility, a true tribute to her importance to the sport.
P.S. if you have two minutes to spare, watch co-founder Ellen give #thegist on this iconic moment and what it means for women in sport on CTV News.
Italy will host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in both Milan (the base city) and ski resort Cortina d'Ampezzo, together known as Milan-Cortina. Cortina also hosted the Games in 1956. Are you craving pizza now or is it just us?
Yesterday, legendary NHL goalie Roberto Luongo announced his retirement. Bobby Lu, as he’s affectionately known, is hanging up the pads after 19 seasons (including seven with the Vancouver Canucks) and two Olympic gold medals with Canada. He’s also beloved for his hilarious Twitter banter, which we can only assume — and hope — will continue.
What's Up This Week
Friday: It’s France vs. U.S. in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET with only one team moving on. High stakes, high reward.
Monday: It’s the Canada Day long weekend, so you better believe we’re going to be celebrating this great country! That means there will be no newsletter on Monday. We’ll see you next Thursday. In the meantime:
And, you should know that NHL free agency begins Monday at 12 p.m. ET, meaning unrestricted free agents can negotiate and sign contracts with any NHL team. Top available talent includes Artemi Panarin, former Senator Matt Duchene and skilled goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. Check out the top 12 list here.
Calling The Next Gen of Female Leaders: TSN's Kate Beirness' HER MARK summit is happening on Saturday, July 20th, and nominations are now open! This event is for female high school students across Canada who have demonstrated outstanding leadership (in sports or in any other field) in their schools and communities. Know a gal? Of course, you do! Nominate her through this v. quick form.