Joy Drop: Like her mom says, Mikaela Shiffrin is a 'really good' skier

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

A celebrating woman is held aloft by a group of people.
KRONPLATZ, ITALY - JANUARY 24: Mikaela Shiffrin of Team United States takes 1st place and wins her 83 victory during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on January 24, 2023 in Kronplatz, Italy. (Photo by Millo Moravski/Agence Zoom/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Friends, I must start this week by admitting that I narrowly missed a huge snowstorm in the Toronto area and find myself penning this notebook entry from the gorgeous city of San Diego. I have never been to this part of California before and am floored at the beauty of this part of the state.

I went to La Jolla on the recommendation of many friends and saw the ocean in her splendour; the cliffs, sea lions, palm tree-lined streets, and the sunshine. As a born and bred Maritimer I am very connected to the Atlantic, but and thrilled to have spent time with her sister, the Pacific.

There is a magnificence to the ocean and the shades of blue on this side of North America are far different. Oceans bring me much joy and the power and strength of the Pacific, embedded in a darker indigo blue, is no different. It has a different culture and tone and I am quite enamoured with it. Jacques Cousteau once said, "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." 

An ocean wave crashes over rocks.
Shireen Ahmed is enjoying meeting the Pacific Ocean. (Shireen Ahmed/CBC Sports)

The polar opposite of the flowing ocean in a warm climate is a frozen hill, and we find joy this week from Mikaela Shiffrin's mom, Eileen. The American alpine skier broke Lindsay Vonn's record for most wins by a woman, and after doing that her mom said to her: "Holy crap, that was really good skiing!" 

I love her mom's response to her daughter's dominance. 

Shiffrin has now won 84 times and is only two behind retired Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark for the all-time mark.

Speaking of dominance on the ski hills, the Para nordic championships are taking place in Östersund, Sweden and the Canadian team is bringing home the hardware! Already having claimed medals are Natalie Wilkie, Brittany Hudak, Collin Cameron and Mark Arendz. What a fantastic result for Team Canada thus far. The event run until Jan. 29.

One of the most exciting pieces of news this week was the deal NCAA hockey superstar Daryl Watts signed with the Toronto Six of the PHF that will pay her $150,000 a year. The University of Wisconsin alum's contract is the largest in the league's history. That a woman can play hockey and earn that kind of money is encouraging for many. Toronto is Watts's hometown and although she was courted by Buffalo and Boston, the Leafs fan decided to stay and play at home. 

Last but not least is the return of the Arctic Winter Games. CBC Sports' Devin Heroux is headed to Wood Buffalo, Alta., to cover this important event that has not been held since 2018. 

The AWG will host Canadian athletes from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Alaska, Alberta and Quebec, as well as Indigenous (Sami) people from Norway, Sweden and Finland. The AWG run Jan. 29-Feb. 4 and you can watch events live here.

I leave you with some music from The Halluci Nation who will be performing at the opening ceremony. 


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.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now