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Canadian women making an impression all over the sports world


I’m sitting in the home office – which is a desk at the back of the family room scrunched up against the old air hockey table so there’s enough space between it and a couch so that Super Dog 2.0 doesn’t do something stupid like jump up and eat another power cord – and watching the women’s U-19 team beat Latvia.

And about as that game ends after the young Aislinn Konig women makes ANOTHER THREE –POINTER – the e-mail beeps with news that Kylie Masse has set a world record at the FINA swimming championships.

Then I remember reading somewhere about Crystal Emmanuel breaking one of the longest-standing Canadian track records out there in the women’s 200 metres and Melissa Bishop setting a new Canadian standard in the 800 metres a few days ago.

A quick run through the google and the dark recesses of my mind and I recall that the beach volleyball part of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes is ranked like second in the world at the moment and that the national women’s water polo team is in the semifinals at the worlds and could get a medal for the first time in almost a decade. The Canadian women’s lacrosse team was second at the world championships. This is all in the last week or so and it’s astonishing, isn’t it?

Yeah, we’ve got some crazy good global female athletes and I’m not even close to going through the various winter sports in which we are internationally dominant.

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I know we’ve touched on this before – I remember asking Rosie if she was interested in writing about it last summer in Rio when the Canadian women got off to such a great start on the march to the Olympic medal podium – but it’s continuing unabated year to year and it’s something I think the country can be quite proud of.

The “why” is not simple to explain, I don’t think, but we’ll try, at least a cursory level this morning.

We do offer young girls a wide array of sports options when they are just starting out and that’s got to give us a leg up.

There is an importance placed on getting them good coaching and institutionalized support in the various sports and that allows them to flourish.

We are – to a much larger extent than most of the world – create equal opportunities and maybe it’s not perfect but it’s damn good and we are seeing the benefits.

Young Canadian women have role models, which is huge, and someone should probably take time to thank the various pioneers in the various sports because, as I’ve heard said, you can’t be what you can’t see and young girls see excellence and it gives them something to strive for.

I think the best thing about this is that it doesn’t seem to be cyclical or just one of those odd eras where a gaggle of great athletes emerges at one time and then things eventually cool off.

It is to our credit – and the credit of officials, coaches, fund-raisers and those who advocate for equality in sports opportunities for young girls – that we have built a sporting society that celebrates excellence in both genders and welcomes a huge level of equality in training and attention.

I know there’s still a ways to go before things are absolutely equal – and, yeah, the media could do a better job but it could do a better a job at a lot of things – but there is no disputing the fact that Canada has become a global force in women’s sports right across the board.

It’s been a hellluva week, I have a feeling it’s going to be a helluva summer and I would imagine it’s going to be a helluva winter when everyone gathers in Pyongchang for the Olympics.

We’ve long suggested around here that the general public should start paying a wee bit more attention to the women who so well represent our country in international sports.

This week might have validated that idea.

Who doesn’t like a little Cowboy Junkies?

We’re not going have nearly as many chances each week to remind you about the fun and games available through the weekend mail bag we’re still going to do each Sunday.

So …

Consider this the first of two gentle reminders to stop by askdoug@thestar.ca and drop a note with a probing question attached.

No queries too inconsequential.

Thanks.

I’m thinking this every-other-day stuff is going to be okay, at least for a little while. Got some extra shut-eye yesterday, nothing of real importance happened and I was able to eat a full day of time without doing much.

But I have a sneaking suspicion, and I’m quite fine with it, that this U-19 women’s team over in Italy might get me working a bit on the weekend.

So part of the morning ritual is easing into the day by sitting on the front porch for 15 minutes to so to get the mind a’working.

Well, there’s this woodpecker who has been pecking the living crap out of a post holding up a No Parking sign right across from the bottom fo the Casa Doug driveway for about a week now.

It’s cool to watch, way loud and I’m wondering just how long it’ll take until he/she either pecks his/her way through it (there seems to be a different point of attack every two or three days) or when the whole thing is going to fall down.

I tell ya, the little things sure do capture my attention.

TORONTO STAR | SPORTS | DOUG_SMITHS_SPORTS_BLOG

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