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Hello again! Ready for some smiles?
There were huge dumps of snow in certain parts of the country and some great sledding to go along with it. But thank you to Toronto's Carter Trozzolo, pictured above, for being a great neighbour and normalizing exhaustion in the most wondrous of ways. We wish him less exhaustion and far more hot chocolate.
What a week for women in soccer. Let's start with our own national women's team captain, Christine Sinclair, winning Best Special FIFA Award for women's soccer. With 188 goals, she is the top-scoring international player in history — men or women.
We know Sincy does not love the spotlight but her sincerity and humility shine through. Of course, I sobbed into my hijab as I watched her accept this award. She makes Canada so proud and I consider it an honour to watch her play.
WATCH | Christine Sinclair receives FIFA award:
Rwandan woman makes soccer history
One more phenomenal story I read this week comes from another woman in the beautiful game.
Salima Mukansanga is referee from Rwanda. She is the first woman to ever officiate a match in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), a men's soccer tournament. Established in 1957, AFCON is played every two years and is one of the most glorious tournaments in soccer. Mukansanga refereed the match between Zimbabwe and Guinea in Yaounde, Cameroon. This is a win for soccer but especially for young, Black women who are aspiring referees and need to see themselves in these roles at the highest echelons.
It should come as no surprise that I am a crier. And being happy brings tears out of me like rain in Vancouver. This past week, I was travelling to Boston for work for the first time in over two years. During my trip, I witnessed an incredible moment in hockey history: the retiring of Willie O'Ree's number by the Boston Bruins.
But in addition to this momentous occasion, I had an opportunity to watch a delightful film on the plane. Truthfully, the flight was short I could only watch half of it, but I patiently waited to fly back home so I could watch the other half.
Le Club Vinland was released in 2020 and admittedly I am late to this party, but this film was moving and beautiful. It is the story of a priest in Quebec at a college for young men in the 1940s. Brother Jean considers it necessary to not only advocate for his students but to stoke their imagination. It's a tale of honesty, integrity and of believing in the power of creativity. It's a treat to watch. I was either on the edge of my seat or softly crying. If you don't speak French, it is available on Apple TV with English subtitles.
There is so much talent in this country and this film reminded me of that. Plus the scenes of the students and teachers playing ice hockey in the winters of rural Quebec are wonderful. Reminds me of Roch Carrier's incredible book The Hockey Sweater.
A birthday treat
Looking ahead to joy, my birthday is this weekend and it is one of my favourite days of the year. As an offering, here is a great song that still makes me grin, even when my kids leave me dirty dishes in the kitchen to come home to.