Joy Drop: A free Brittney Griner is good for the soul
Friends, it's time for Joy Drop! What an absolutely splendid week. I am fully recovered from my Eid celebrations and started the week with truly incredible women doing impactful work in the sports space.
First, I laughed and cried happy tears when Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner took my heart with her words and her poise during a press conference on Thursday. In December, Russian authorities released Griner after 10 months in prison. Thursday was the first time Griner faced reporters since she has been back. Griner has been recovering and healing from her ordeal. She intends to play in the upcoming WNBA season, but her words and her emotion had me with her response to the first question.
Griner also poked fun at her close friend and teammate Diana Tarausi, calling her "a fossil." Her comment got laughs from the packed room. Having friends who love and support you is truly a blessing.
Another piece of joy was watching the results of the London Marathon. Sifan Hassan is a Dutch runner born in Ethiopia. She ran her first marathon ever (yes, ever) and won. She had fasted all the month of Ramadan and still competed at the highest echelon of sport. She fell behind in the race, missed her water station and then even stopped to stretch out some sore muscles. Her victory is astonishing but her energy and personality is equally wondrous.
Her reflections on her own journey are incredible. She speaks of her nerves, fears and self doubt. But she also talks about how the time flew by because she was happy. I am not someone who loves running, but I do love watching others love what they do. Hassan is a stunning example of loving what you love and being immersed in gratitude and joy.
On Wednesday, Project 8 announced a third team in the proposed women's professional soccer league: AFC Toronto City. "The sky's the limit," is what Project 8 CEO Diana Matheson said about Canada's newest women's soccer city. Toronto follows Vancouver and Calgary as founding teams in the league that is set to kick off in 2025 with eight teams.
There will be opportunities for playing, buying merchandise and supporting the women's game as much as we want on a local level. This is a cause for excitement and positivity. This is also a time for Canadians to support and invest in women's soccer. We boast fantastic athletes at every level from girls to women's programs and teams. Get your wallets ready!
Last but not least, I want to share a video of my friend Tanya juggling. If you follow me on Instagram sometimes I post stories from the CBC Sports department of Tanya doing all kinds of cool tricks. Her latest video of her in New York City is so fun. Tanya is a superb human and her energy brings me joy. She's unafraid to try new things and that inspires me.
I hope you get to enjoy the weekend with your loved ones, try new things and some precious moments of laughter.