🏅 Say it ain’t so
The GIST: Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Dick Pound (seriously, that’s his name) gave us a scare earlier this week when he suggested that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, set to start in late July, may be cancelled if the coronavirus becomes a true global pandemic.
- The IOC and Tokyo organizers have kiboshed the rumors though, saying, “Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” and that they’ll take every precaution to ensure the Games are safe. Phew!
But…: It’s not all good news. Dozens of sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, and others have banned fans in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading. Over in Italy, five Serie A (that’s the Italian premier soccer league) matches will be played in empty stadiums this weekend, while the PWHPA is postponing a three-game showcase that was set to take place in Japan next week.
🏅 Next thing you know, I’m big in Japan
The GIST: This weekend, Team Canada qualified for not one, but two huge spots at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, and TBH, we can’t say we’re surprised.
Explain, please!: You got it. First, our women’s national soccer team clinched an Olympic spot by winning their semifinal match in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament (reminder: the top two teams in the tournament qualify for Tokyo 2020). They beat Costa Rica 1–0, with our fave 18-year-old Jordyn Huitema (pronounced HEIGHT-AH-MA) scoring the game’s lone goal. It wasn’t much, but it was enough!
- That set the stage for the CONCACAF final yesterday, where we were treated to our favourite thing ever: a Canada-USA final. Although the Americans took it 3–0 and get to keep the bragging rights for now, we’ll hopefully see them for a rematch in Tokyo.
And the other Olympic spot?: Over in Belgium, our Canadian women’s basketball team was playing in a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament. All they had to do was win two of their three games to qualify, but like the absolute queens they are, they swept the tournament, dominating their games against Belgium, Sweden and Japan.
- Canada’s currently ranked No. 4 in the world, and after this strong showing, we’re thinking this crew could bring home some serious Olympic hardware.
🏅 Tokyo 2020 get at us
The GIST: We’re less than six months away from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. And you know what that means? It’s Olympic qualifier season, baby!
Sweet! Who’s up first?: That would be our women’s national soccer team, currently competing in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament. They absolutely dominated in the group stage, winning all three matches and outscoring their opponents 22–0. Having swept their group, Canada will now face Costa Rica in tomorrow night’s semifinal at 7 p.m. ET.
- This is a must-win match, because the winners of the semis book their ticket to Tokyo. Not, not anxiety-inducing.
You’re telling me. Do we have a good chance to win?: Well, Costa Rica won two of their three group stage matches, but Canada is still expected to take this one. *knocks on wood furiously*
- In the other semifinal, Mexico is taking on the United States, who, as reigning FIFA World Cup champions, are also expected to win, setting us up for an always-fun Canada-USA final. Can’t. Wait.
Got it. Anyone else qualifying?: Yep — our women’s national basketball team.They’re competing in one of the four FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournaments taking place this weekend. Canada is in a group with Sweden, Belgium (where the tournament is being played) and Japan (who already qualified for the Olympics as the host nation).
- The tournament consists of three games for each team, with two Olympic spots up for grabs. So, all Team Canada needs to do is finish the tournament with a better record than Sweden or Belgium. And, as the fourth-ranked team in the world and rocking those sweet new OVO jerseys, we’d say things are looking pretty good.