Sunday, January 29, 2023

Joy Drop: A heart-warming finish at the Boston Marathon


Friends, as the weather gets wetter and better we can hope that, in this time for rain gear and April showers, sunnier days will come. In that vein, there have been brilliant moments of light and possibility that I would like to offer you.

While we are talking about rain, I will start with a story that will make it rain tears of emotion. 

This past week’s Boston Marathon saw some incredible achievement and recognition. One of those finishes was of Henry Richard. The name may not ring a bell because Richard is not a top marathon runner. But he may have succeeded in one of the most meaningful of finishes.

Ten years ago, his eight-year-old brother, Martin, was killed in the bombing attack on the race. On Monday, as a 20-year-old competitor, Richard ran the race for the first time in his brother’s honour. It is incredibly difficult to watch this finish and not be overcome with emotion. The exhaustion and the years of grief collide with a heart-swelling when Richard crosses the finish line. He runs into the arms of his family. His sister Jane, who lost her leg in the attack, was there to receive her brother. 


This year’s Boston Marathon celebrated the 50th anniversary of the women’s division. 

Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir is the reigning Olympic champion and she won the race in two hours, 21:01 minutes, four seconds ahead of rival Ababel Yashaneh of Ethiopia. The two women traded places at least eight times in the final mile with Jepchirchir coming out ahead in the last stretch. Trailblazer Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to complete the marathon five years before it would become an official category for women, was on hand to offer support along the way. To see the women’s division thriving half a century later reminds us that women have a place on the course, and in every sport.

Williams, Hamilton pursuing Chelsea

Speaking of thriving, there are reports that sports icons Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton are combining on a bid with Sir Martin Broughton for a takeover of the Chelsea Football Club, the storied soccer club in the English Premier Division. The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams is already co-owner of Angel City FC, a women’s soccer team in the NWSL. She and Hamilton, a seven-time Formula One champion, are committing more than $13 million each in a potential Chelsea deal. 

There are very few racialized owners in the Premier League, and Williams and Hamilton are two of the most recognized athletes in the world. Their influence and prestige add a level of panache and also approachability to the concept of ownership normally controlled by oligarchs or billionaires.

The former owner of Chelsea FC is Russian businessman Roman Abramovich who, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, handed over control of the club to its board of trustees in March after he was accused of ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin — which he denies. I have to say that Williams and Hamilton in the owner’s box would be pretty amazing. Here is an adorable video that Williams posted on her Instagram featuring her daughter, Olympia. Absolutely precious. 


Last week, Lizzo released a video for About Damn Time a single from her upcoming album “Special” which will be released on July 15. Lizzo is a champion of body positivity, self-care and creative genius. Her new reality show, called Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, is about dance for plus-size beautiful women and other body types not commonly celebrated in the dance world. The show is streaming on Amazon and it has been recommended to me by many friends. One Guardian review said: “This joyful show will water your parched soul.” And in this rainy month, we need all the joyful watering possible. 

Lastly, I am adding another water-inspired banger and one of my favourite happy tunes from the Vancouver-based band Hey Ocean! The acoustic version is equally gorgeous and an homage to the natural beauty of the West Coast. Enjoy! 

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