March 7th, 2019

Happy Thursday! Have you shared The GIST with a woman in your life that inspires you? They should sign up here.

ICYMI, it’s International Women’s Day (IWD) tomorrow! To celebrate, in addition to featuring four kick @$$ female athletes in each of our newsletters (including today!) these past two weeks, all of today’s major stories are on women. Why? We have a better question: why not?
 
Scroll to the bottom of this email to see who we’re featuring today and be sure to follow us on Instagram for some behind-the-scenes footage on our stories. You won’t want to miss this takeover.

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Bronzed Goddesses  

The GIST: Canada won bronze in the Algarve Cup (here's a quick refresher on what that is) on Wednesday after a nail-biting finish with Sweden. GO CANADA GO!
 
Why So Suspenseful?: The teams played to a 0-0 (say nil, nil) draw after regular time, then went to a penalty shootout to decide a winner. Canadian goalie Stephanie Labbé was rock solid under pressure *cue Queen’s Under Pressure being stuck in your head all day*, while a decisive goal from Jessie Fleming finally sealed the deal for Canada in the seventh round of the shootout 6-5 (FYI, soccer shootouts regularly involve only five shooters, so this was a long one). Catch the highlights here.
 
That’s Amazing!: You better believe it is. BUT, there’s also some cause for concern. Canada struggled to find the scoresheet throughout the tournament. Their only goal came from Christine Sinclair against Scotland on Friday—and that was a penalty kick. The team will need to step it up on offense to be competitive moving forward.
 
So What’s Next?: The FIFA Women’s World Cup in June. And it’s really feeling like any team could take home the title.
 
Who’s The Favourite?: That would be the No. 1 ranked U.S. squad. HOW-EV-ER, the Americans just wrapped up the SheBelieves Cup—a round-robin invitational tournament held in the States—and it took them three games to win one. They played to a 2-2 draw against both England and Japan before finally defeating Brazil 1-0 and placing second in the round robin. A weakness, perhaps? *taps finger-tips together schemingly*
 

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Me and My Ladies Sip My D'USSE Cup

The GIST: While it's IWD tomorrow, we’ve been celebrating the achievements of women every day since we started The GIST. So, we’re just happy to bring you more of the good stuff in honour of the day.
 
Nice to “Met” You: On Tuesday, the NY Mets hired Jessica Mendoza as a baseball operations advisor to provide insight on player evaluation, health and performance (and a bunch of other things). Mendoza is a two-time Olympian and one of the most decorated softball players of all time, so she’s a huge get for the Mets. This hiring is also unique as Mendoza won’t leave her post as an on-air analyst with ESPN’s ‘Sunday Night Baseball’. This woman can truly do it all.
 
Stop Right Now: Thank you very much. Actually...there were no thanks given on Monday at a prestigious women’s cycling race in Belgium. The women were forced to stop when race leader, Swiss rider Nicole Hanselmann, caught up to the men’s peloton that had left just 10 minutes earlier. Race organizers paused the women’s race to “neutralize” the gap and give the men more space (WTF!?). When they restarted it, they gave Hanselmann a head start to help restore her advantage. But that break in pace threw Hanselmann off her game (duh!?), and she finished the race in 74th. So, did this happen because of poor planning or sexism? We’re thinking Option C: all of the above.
 
Mush, Mush, Mush!: Seventeen tough AF women are competing in Alaska’s Iditarod Race this year, a record 33% (!!!) of competitors. The Iditarod is a 1,500km sled dog race that sometimes lasts 15 or more days (if this sounds familiar, we’re guessing you also watched Balto as a kid). Intrigued? Check out rookie Blair Braverman on Twitterfor a glimpse into the life of a sled dog musher. Want more? Follow the standings to see if Aliy Zirkle (who’s currently in first!) can be the first female champion in 28 years. You’ve got this girl!
 
Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party: On Wednesday, Barbie released new dolls in their “Role Models” series including figure skater and five-time Olympic medallist Tessa Virtue. Yasss girl. She’s joined by 20 other inspiring AF women including tennis star Naomi Osaka, sports journalist Melodie Robinson and gymnastics champion Gabby Douglas. It’s officially time to dust off that dollhouse.
 
Is There More?: One more thing. Over in the world of esports, Chiquita Evans became the first black woman drafted into the NBA 2K League on Tuesday! Esports, like traditional sports, are known for being male dominated so this is a small (but v important) step forward for women and gaming.

GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know

- Remember Bryce Harper? The guy who just signed a record-setting 13-year contractwith the Philadelphia Phillies? Well, he just dethroned LeBron James (kind of). Harper’s new Phillies jersey leapfrogged LeBron’s Lakers jersey for highest online sales in the first 48 hours after a jersey launch. Damn, Philly. Get that bread.

- In something that will make you cry happy tears more than the Queer Eye season three trailer, you have to see these five Vancouver boys help save another kid dangling from a chairlift at a B.C. ski hill. Uhhh, remind us again why we like snow sports!?

- Over in Jurassic World, the Toronto Raptors have lost two-straight. But fear not, the #WETHENORTH boys have locked up a playoff spot. And, as Kawhi Leonard told reporters last week: “There are 82 [regular season] games and for me, these are just practices. And playoffs is when it’s time to lace them up.” This might help explain why the Raptors have taken “load management” and ~self-care~ to another level this season.

- Three college basketball recruiters (including a former Adidas exec) were sentenced to prison on Tuesday for bribing highly-touted high school players to commit to Adidas-sponsored schools. Coercing players with money is a BIG no-no in the NCAA (the governing body of U.S. college sports) but it’s technically not a crime. Instead, federal prosecutors argued the recruiters’ payments had defrauded the universities. Fraud, you see, is a crime. And a second trial is planned next month to see just how deep this pay-for-play corruption scheme goes. Ugh. This is almost more drama than Colton finally jumping the fence on the last episode of The Bachelor.

What’s Up This Week

Tonight: While The GIST’s first-ever viewing party in Ottawa is sold out (!!!), you can still watch the Ottawa Senators take on the NY Islanders right along with us (7:30 p.m. ET). And don’t worry, despite any BS rumours, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed our Sens aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Sunday: Catch the final of the Brier between Canada’s two best men’s curling rinks (curling speak for teams) facing off at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will go on to represent Canada at the World Curling Championships later this year! See who’s left in the running here.

International Women's Day - Bianca Farella

Our final IWD feature is Canadian rugby sevens superstar, Bianca Farella. Most recently, Bianca won a bronze medal for Canada at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and is leading her Canadian team on the road to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Amazing. Check out this sneak peek of our interview with Bianca and read her full interview here. Also, find her taking over our GIST Instagram story today from beautiful B.C. here.
 
Ellen at The GIST: In the same way a lot of people think that football is a “dangerous and physical game” people also think that rugby is too physical and especially think this for women. What do you say if/when people say that to you?
 
Bianca Farella: Before getting into this question I should make the distinction between rugby sevens vs. traditional 15s rugby. Rugby sevens has grown so far away from the traditional 15s game, it’s almost like a different sport (ppsstt for more of an explanation click here).
 
When people say rugby is too physical of a sport for women to be playing it’s frustrating. The way I see it is that everyone has a body, and everyone has strengths that come with that body. And the way you choose to excel athletically is your choice or not (preach, baby!).
 
What I do best is playing rugby sevens because that’s how I like to control my body, and that’s my choice. I don’t think people should put boundaries on other people. I don’t see why people should be judging other people, it’s that person’s decision to use their body the way they want.
 
For me, I recognize there’s a timeline in playing such a physical sport. There are only so many years my body can handle playing the highest level of rugby. And that’s really what makes me tick. I want to live out my most athletic, prime years playing the sport I love.
 
We had such a great time interviewing Bianca. Again, you can read her full interview here.

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