The USWNT’s Olympic opponents were announced yesterday
⚽️Soccer: The USWNT’s Olympic opponents were announced yesterday, and to say we’re fired up is an understatement. Team USA will face world No. 5 Sweden, No. 9 Australia and No. 22 New Zealand in the group stage. When the world’s top team emerges from the group stage, we could see a quarter or semifinal against our “favourite” rivals, Team Canada. Fingers crossed.
🏒Hockey: For the second straight year, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship (WWC) is . The premier annual event for women’s hockey was to be held in Halifax starting May 6th. It’s going to take us a while to get over this one.
🥇Olympics: The Olympics, as far as we know, are still a go, but things look dicey. The torch relay, which sees the Olympic flame carried through a tour of Japan, had to be rerouted multiple times since starting on March 25th; and qualifying events for the host nation had to be moved out of Japan for the time being. Outlook: .
🏅2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Controversy
- The Biden administration suggested that they would speak with allies about a joint approach, in what would be the first American-led Olympics boycott since they organized the of the 1980 Summer Olympics in the USSR.
- In response, China’s government (obviously), citing a “robust Chinese response” if the U.S. went ahead with it.
The decision: While the governments toss around rumors, the National Olympic Committees will make the final call, and so far, both the US and Canadian Olympic Committees have rejected the idea. Both committees have acknowledged that a boycott would ineffectively use athletes as .
The GIST's Bits & Bites: USA
🥇X-Games: The always-entertaining extreme sports event took place over the weekend, and our Americans cleaned up. Chloe Kim took no time at all to get back to her winning ways, picking up a gold in Snowboard SuperPipe, while Maddie Mastro took silver, and Jamie Anderson and Dusty Henricksen snagged snowboarding golds, too.
- But the was Eileen Gu, a 17-year-old freeskier from San Francisco, who competes for China and who made history by winning three medals in her X Games debut.
- She’s also , fluent in Mandarin, an accomplished pianist and plans on studying molecular genetics at Stanford next year. Kids these days!
🏒Hockey: COVID-19 has entered the
chat NWHL bubble. The Metropolitan Riveters withdrew from competition late last week after multiple players and team staff tested positive, leading to a and a wide-open battle for the Isobel Cup. Stay tuned for The GIST’s NWHL postseason preview, landing in your inbox on Wednesday.
🏈NFL: So about that Pro Bowl...just kidding. The real NFL news? . The Detroit Lions sent first overall 2009 Draft pick Matthew Stafford to the LA Rams in exchange for QB Jared Goff and a couple of draft picks.
- Given Stafford — — was on one of the league’s worst teams, we knew a trade was coming soon. Turns out Stafford wanted to leave too, and go . If , they’d be so hurt right now.
⛳️Golf: Tiger Woods isn’t the only cheater on the PGA Tour (sorry, we had to): golf’s favorite villain, Patrick Reed, has been accused of yet another rule violation. During this weekend’s Farmers Insurance Open, Reed to give himself a better lie when he clearly shouldn’t have ( can explain).
The GIST's Bits & Bites: Olympics, NWHL Bubble, James Harden, NWSL Challenge Cup
🥇Olympics: Will they or won’t they? That’s the big question still surrounding the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Last week, a alleged that Japanese officials are coming to terms with a possible cancellation, but the IOC and the have denied this.
- Still, the Olympic and Paralympic organizers have a ton of prep work to do before welcoming over 15,000 international athletes, so they’re next week to let the world know exactly how they plan to do that.
- And if it all goes to sh!t, Florida is and save the day (wish we were kidding).
- The Minnesota Whitecaps remain undefeated after handing the Metropolitan Riveters their first loss in Tuesday’s battle of the best, while the Toronto Six won their first game in franchise history and added another last night. Check out the standings ahead of Saturday’s final round robin games.
🏀NBA: Though the four-team blockbuster trade that saw James Harden leave Houston hasn’t been as successful for the Brooklyn Nets as they’d hoped, it was a for Caris LeVert. The 26-year-old was traded from the Nets to the Indiana Pacers in the January 16th trade, pending a physical.
- That physical included an MRI, which found a mass on LeVert’s kidney, and following successful surgery on Monday, it was confirmed that the tumor was kidney cancer. We’re happy to report that LeVert is expected to make a full recovery without any additional treatment.
⚽️NWSL: The Challenge Cup is , starting April 9th, but instead of it replacing the regular season like last year, it’ll complement the regular season, which begins May 15th and runs to October 30th. An extended postseason will start November 6th.
- And if that weren’t enough to get you pumped, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd are all expected to return after sitting out last season. Is it April yet?
🏅The right stuff
The GIST: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the long-awaited and completely obvious decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics, originally set to start July 24th in Tokyo, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weren’t they waiting until April to make a decision?: They were, for like a minute. On Sunday, the IOC said that it was giving itself until mid-April to decide whether they would postpone the Summer Games or leave them be (cancelation was not an option).
- But a few hours later, the Canadian and Australian Olympic Committees said they wouldn’t be sending their athletes if the Games were held this summer, and with the fear that other countries would also pull out (Team USA announced they were leaning heavily towards doing so), the IOC made the decision to delay the Games on Tuesday.
So what now?: The IOC has a few more decisions to make. Along with the Tokyo Organizing Committee, they’ll have to set a new 2021 date for the Games and somehow make up the estimated $2 billion lost in this postponement. The 57% of athletes who have already qualified will get to keep their qualifications, but now the IOC will have to work with the sports’ governing bodies on new processes to fill the rest of the open spots.
- For a deeper dive into the IOC’s decision, listen to this week’s episode of The GIST of It, our weekly podcast. We have your back...er, ears.