Are you all missing the Olympics as much as I am? Don’t get me wrong, I am digging football season but I miss the lovely ladies of Team USA. Thankfully there are a few things to keep a sports obsessed lady occupied this fall and winter.
Team USA women’s hockey traveled to Finland last week for the annual Four Nations Cup. The team opened with a 4-0 win over Sweden before dropping its second game to Canada 3-1. The U.S. thanked the host nation for its hospitality by crushing Finland 15-1 before advancing to the final against Canada. In the final the U.S. was able to shut out the Team Canada and took the Cup with a 3-0 win. Kendall Coyne’s unassisted, short-handed goal was the game winner for the U.S.
The U.S. added the Four Nations cup to the World Championship it captured in April and will hope to keep its win streak as it looks toward the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Canada surely does not to lose in any tournament but has to be comforted by the fact that despite dropping World Championships and Four Nations Cups, which Canada last won in 2010, it has still taken home the last three Olympic Gold Medals. The next major tournament for both teams will be when they meet in Ottawa in April for the World Championships.
Women’s college basketball has started around the country and the Baylor is not giving up the top spot in the polls. Last season, Baylor did what no team had done before and went 40-0 for the season and took home the NCAA Championship. Can they keep it going for the year? There are some familiar faces on the court including the ridiculously good, and impossible to stop, Brittney Griner and teammate Odyssey Sims will be at the center of any repeat title run by Baylor. Skylar Diggins returns to Notre Dame to run the point and try to get back to the NCAA Final Four in her senior season. Elena Delle Donne is fighting Lyme’s disease but if that doesn’t slow her down every other team in the country will have to worry about the 6’5” University of Delaware superstar who can do everything on the court. Chiney Ogwumike is ready to step into the void her big sister left when she graduated from Stanford last season. The teams at the top of the polls, Baylor, UConn, Duke, Maryland, Stanford, and Notre Dame have all been in the hunt before and will make the season worth watching.
One other story that is getting a lot of attention early this season is how Holly Warlick will do as Pat Summit’s hand-picked successor at Tennessee. There can’t be much harder than following not just a legend but the legend of women’s basketball (and one of the true legends of basketball history) but Warlick appears up to this daunting task. I will certainly be wishing her nothing but the best of luck.
Pat Summit and Holly Warlick
This weekend the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center held its annual gala and the recipient of the Board of Director’s award was out soccer superstar, Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe, who was joined at the ceremony by her family and friends, including fellow out member of the USWNT, Lori Lindsey. Rapinoe joins the list of past honorees which includes the likes of Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, and Chaz Bono. Rapinoe spoke about how coming out was an “evolutionary process” in which she began to wonder “…why am I not out? I want to be out and I don’t have anything to hide, I’m very proud of who I am.”
Photos courtesy Lori Lindsey’s Instagram account
What sets Rapinoe, and Lindsey, apart for me is that both exude such a sense of comfort and pride in who they are. While the rest of the world may be distracted as it breathlessly awaits the first man to come out while still playing a major sport in the U.S., we are lucky enough to have several women, including Rapinoe and Lindsey, who are confident, funny, excellent in their sport, and perfectly willing to take on the mantle of being out and being role models for the younger generation. Gents, you could learn a thing or twelve from these chicks.
What sports are you watching now or looking forward to this winter? As always if you’ve got something you think we should cover, drop me a line.