Joy Drop: England's Euro championship a win all around

CBC Sports Senior Contributor Shireen Ahmed's weekly roundup of the things that struck her from the week that was.

CBC Sports' senior contributor Shireen Ahmed on the week's happier moments

England's women's soccer team is celebrated by thousands of fans in London's Trafalgar Square to celebrate their Euro championship, the country's first major soccer title in more than 50 years. (AFP via Getty Images)

Hello, friends! I hope you are all enjoying the summer warmth and getting some rest and fun. To start, I will share that I was on hiatus last week because I was fully engulfed in happiness. I got married. It was a beautiful, small religious ceremony and it was brimming with my favourite thing: joy. 

I have returned from our honeymoon in Jamaica and I must say, the unplugging was rejuvenating and wondrous.

The Commonwealth Games are in full force in Birmingham, England and CBC Sports is there. One of the gold medals won by Canadians was by Sarah Mitton in shot put. Shot put has been part of the Olympics since 1896 but the women's competition only began in 1948. It's a sport that requires strength, poise and immense focus. I love watching women throw things. And this event at the Commonwealth Games was no exception. 

Mitton, from Brooklyn, N.S., came fourth at last month's World Athletic Championships so the top of the podium was a superb finish. I particularly like the ending of the video in which she warmly congratulates silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jamaica) and then bronze winner Maddison-Lee Wesche (New Zealand).

While I was away, the women's Euros finished with an amazing feat: highest attendance for any Euros final — men's or women's — in history. On Sunday, 87,192 people watched the Lionesses claim their first European title at Wembley Stadium in London. While there are changes that are needed to elevate and racially diversify the national women's program, it is important that the world knows that watching women's sport is possible and necessary. 

In a grand gesture seldom seen at the highest levels of men's soccer, Team Canada's Alphonso Davies announced that he will be donating his World Cup money to charity. Davies has not specified which charity but the announcement comes at a time when things are fraught with Canada Soccer concerning financial payouts to players.

Another gesture caught my eye this week and it was of selflessness and heroics. In Sacramento, Calif., a seven-year-old named Massiah Browne jumped into the pool at his apartment complex to save a toddler who had sunk to the bottom.  Browne, a proficient swimmer, and his nine-year-old cousin Savannah sprung into action when Browne pulled him to the surface. They pulled him out of the water and Savannah ran to get help while adults performed CPR. The child was rushed to hospital in critical condition but is now stable.

 For a second grader to have the wherewithal to recognize that there is a problem is exceptional. And to have the skills and strength to leap to save that child is incredible. Browne's mother, Tiara Delvalle, called it a "miracle" and said she was so proud that her son could be so brave. That's a win if I have ever seen one. 

I wish you all a week of wins, courageous effort and of valuing yourself. 


Shireen Ahmed

Senior Contributor

Shireen Ahmed is a multi-platform sports journalist, a TEDx speaker, mentor, and an award-winning sports activist who focuses on the intersections of racism and misogyny in sports. She is an industry expert on Muslim women in sports, and her academic research and contributions have been widely published. She is co-creator and co-host of the “Burn It All Down” feminist sports podcast team. In addition to being a seasoned investigative reporter, her commentary is featured by media outlets in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia. She holds an MA in Media Production from Toronto Metropolitan University where she now teaches Sports Journalism and Sports Media. You can find Shireen tweeting or drinking coffee, or tweeting about drinking coffee. She lives with her four children and her cat.

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