Joy Drop: Who knew shoveling snow could create so many smiles?

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 week's happier moments

If there's anyone who deserves a nice mug of hot chocolate, it's Carter Trozzolo. (Screengrab from CTV News)

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. 

Hail Sincy!

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:

Christine Sinclair receives FIFA Lifetime Achievement Award

4 months ago
Duration 5:49
Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C. was honoured for breaking the international goal scoring record at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2021 ceremony.

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. 

Movie recommendation

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. 


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 X University, in Toronto, Canada 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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