Canada’s Ups & Downs at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

It has been 36 years, but Canada’s Men’s National Soccer team finally made their way to the FIFA World Cup. It’s been an incredible journey for the squad, who have been outcasts for decades in competitive soccer on the world stage.

But sadly, this World Cup has been short-lived for the team, who were hopeful of making it past the group stages after an impressive start to the tournament against the number 2 ranked team in the world, Belgium. Canada started their first game on the right foot as they were awarded a penalty shot against Thibault Courtois of Belgium. Alphonso Davies, the 22-year-old Canadian superstar, stepped up to the spot to take the penalty but was denied by a great save by the goalkeeper.

This opportunity seemed to haunt the team for the rest of the game, as they lost 1-0 after giving up a quick goal before halftime. All it takes is a sliver of a chance for one of the best teams in the world to capitalize.

Croatia was up next for Canada, another European giant that was runner-up in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This game started with a bang as Alphonso Davies headered the first Canadian goal in history at the World Cup only 67 seconds into the game. But this was short-lived, as Croatia spoiled our hopes of getting past the group stage after scoring four unanswered goals.

Canada will play their final game against Morocco on December 1st and will look to make more history at the FIFA World Cup with its first win on the world stage. It has been a tournament of firsts for the team, so it would be amazing to see them get a win before exiting the tournament and leaving Qatar.

Even though their hopes and dreams for this FIFA World Cup are over, this has been a great learning experience for the young team that will look to use this when they play in the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Canada can play with the best in the world and has proven they shouldn’t be taken lightly by any team in the future of the competition. This is just the beginning of something special for Canada’s men’s soccer and will inspire generations to come.

Cooking: A Delicious Hobby!

Graduating from high school came with tons of expectations that had to do with my future. Questions like was I going to school, or was I going to work? I didn’t have any answers to these questions at the time, but I knew I had a passion for food and cooking.

I decided to pursue work instead of school right out of high school. I thought that I potentially had a career in the restaurant industry. Honestly, my dream at the time was running a food truck and traveling across the country serving up some of the most delicious food to people across the country.

This dream honestly stemmed from watching the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau. They made it seem like the best way to live your life was through food, which I do agree with still because food brings people together and creates memories.

I knew I had to gain experience in the culinary world before knowing if I wanted to pursue this dream of mine. So, I began working in the kitchen at restaurants. I started at the bottom making salads and worked my way up to the top working on the grill.

Sadly, my love for cooking disappeared slowly after years of working in different restaurants because it was just too stressful. I found it to be a lot of hard work with little reward, which is why I respect chefs who take pride in their menus, food, and restaurant.

I’ve slowly learned that my love for cooking is better at home than out in the industry, which is okay. I still love making food at home, experimenting with new recipes, and digging into some yummy homemade food. If you don’t like cooking, give it a try because at-home cooking is a great stress reliever, enables a unique type of creativity, and can lead to healthier eating.

Coaching : A Mix of Teaching & Learning

Opportunities can sometimes come out of the blue and catch you by surprise, and there will come a time when you take advantage of the opportunity. Or you either leave it. And a few months ago, I got offered an opportunity that I found too difficult to turn down.

It has been five years since I began playing in my senior year of basketball at my old high school, Ecole Gabrielle-Roy, and now, I am starting my journey as head coach for the senior team this year. If you told me in my last year of high school that I would be coaching the team a couple of years after graduation, I would have thought you were crazy. But it’s funny how life works sometimes.

Over the summer, I crossed paths with my old English teacher, and he asked me if I would be willing to be the head coach for the basketball team once the season rolled around. I knew I was in school at BCIT, but I also saw this as an exciting chance to be a part of something great.

Especially with how much I’ve been missing team sports, this was a way for me to expand on everything I’ve learned in the past and implement my way of doing things to help the team succeed.

I’ve been coaching for a month now and have learned a lot about myself and the players. In a way, this is my first-time teaching, but there’s more to coaching than just telling someone what to do. I’ve noticed that players need encouragement, tips, and tricks to learn how to play the right way on their own.

There’s also a fine line between being critical about mistakes, but also understanding that everyone makes mistakes and that not every game, play, or practice is perfect. And the big thing as a coach is to establish a goal for the entire team so they understand what it means to be a part of the team.

Not only have I learned all this in a month about my team, but I’ve seen myself grow. I’ve become better at communicating, more patient, and more empathetic. These qualities will continue to expand over the year, and looking forward to what’s in store for our first game.

Remembering Borje Salming

On Thursday, November 24th, 2022, the NHL lost legend and Hall of Famer Borje Salming. The 71-year-old from Sweden played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for 16 seasons and holds the record for most assists by a defenceman for the team. Borje also has his number 21 retired in the rafters at Scotiabank Arena, alongside many other notable Maple Leafs like Mats Sundin and Tim Horton.

He is known as one of the greatest NHL players of all time, and Borje did more than play hard on the ice. He paved the way for Swedish and European players in the NHL because most of the players in the league were North American. There was also this misconception that European players did not play with any grit and were too soft to play in the best hockey league in the world. The Europeans were known as more skilled and quicker without being as tough. Borje proved that was false with his strong play and toughness.

Salming once received 250 stitches after accidentally getting stepped on by another player’s skate. Salming even got interviewed after getting stitched up, saying he was lucky to have his eye. If that is not tough, then I don’t know what is.

Sadly, Borje was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, in July 2022. He battled as hard as he could till the very end. On Saturday, November 12th, the Toronto Maple Leafs hosted a very emotional tribute for Borje Salming before their game against the Vancouver Canucks.

They honored him and celebrated his career as a pioneer for many European players who play in the NHL today. Salming dropped the puck before the game between two swedes from each team, William Nylander and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. It is very touching to know he lived this before he passed away.

We will remember Borje as someone who shaped the game for players across the pond, and the NHL is better because of him. A fantastic player and an even better human being, Borje, you will be missed by the entire hockey community. Thank you for all you have done for the sport we love dearly.

Cyber Monday & The Rise of E-commerce

The last weekend of November leading into December is full of spending and can be stressful for us and our wallets. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, there are thousands of deals for an infinite number of products, which can feel overwhelming for many of us, especially with the holiday season approaching very quickly. E-commerce plays a vital role in what we see on the internet and has changed our buying habits.

There would be no Cyber Monday without e-commerce. They play hand-in-hand together in this world that is going completely electronic. Nowadays, we have the ability to do things that felt impossible not too long ago, such as ordering an item from your phone and receiving it the same day, delivered right to your front door.

When you think about it, this is an incredible advancement in humanity, but this progression is slowly transforming the world as we know it.

Black Friday this year was not even close to as busy as it was in the past. People can now shop in the comfort of their own homes, but that is not all. E-commerce stores can match prices from other brick-and-mortar stores that offer face-to-face customer service and sometimes online services.

But the tricky thing is that these brick-and-mortar stores must evolve quickly to online shopping if they have not already because e-commerce is becoming the new norm.

E-commerce has exploded over the past decade, which has led to almost 25% of the entire world population shopping online. People can buy or sell whatever they want, whenever they want, from wherever they want.

I think this is the ultimate advantage that e-commerce offers, which is why I believe retail outlets and malls will sooner or later not be needed, and we will be able to do everything over the internet. But is that a good thing? Efficiency does not necessarily mean we are heading in the right direction, and I believe buying in person can be better depending on what you are looking for, but that could just be me.

Let’s Celebrate National French Toast Day!

November 28th, 2022, is National French Toast Day. Have you ever tried French Toast? Well, if you haven’t, you’re missing out on one of the simplest yet tasty breakfasts there is out there. French Toast is a dish that anyone can learn to make and doesn’t require any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients that would make you go out to the store and get them.

It only takes a few ingredients that most of us have in the fridge, such as bread, eggs, milk, and, optionally, some cinnamon or vanilla. All it takes is whisking together the eggs and milk to make a custard, to which you can add cinnamon or vanilla as well, then soaking your day-old bread into the mixture and then frying it on medium heat with some butter. When both sides turn golden brown, you know it is ready. The options for toppings are endless but usually served with maple syrup or some fruits, which is why this is one of my favorite breakfasts.

And you may be wondering, were the French responsible for inventing this delicious recipe? Well, funny enough, a recipe for soaking bread in milk and then frying it originated during the Roman Empire in the 4th century and was known as Roman Bread. In the 14th century, Germany called this dish “poor knights pudding” because it was an affordable option for people on a tight budget.

But the different names for French Toast don’t just stop there. Around the world today, this breakfast food can be known as eggy bread, gypsy toast, German Toast, Spanish Toast, or even pain perdu. Pain perdu means lost bread in French because this recipe works best with old stale bread that soaks up the mixture without falling apart.

Nothing quite beats the smell of French Toast on a Sunday morning. I was lucky growing up because my dad made French Toast at least once every weekend, and there was nothing better than waking up to the sweet and savory smell of this yummy breakfast, no matter how early it was. Make sure to celebrate National French Toast Day today by ordering it at your favorite breakfast or brunch spots or making it at home.

Connor Bedard Sells out his West Coast Trip!

Connor Bedard is coming to town. The most anticipated talent in the hockey world is back in his hometown to play the Vancouver Giants at Langley Events Centre on Friday, November 25th. The 17-year-old is the obvious lottery pick in next summer’s NHL draft and it’s no surprise that he’s creating a ton of buzz for his games in his home province as the Regina Pats take on a five-game road trip in BC.

Obviously a young superstar like this is good for business, but the WHL has never quite seen a talent take over arenas like Connor Bedard. Not only has the North Vancouver product sold out his game at the Langley Events Centre, but he’s also sold out his games against the Victoria Royals on Saturday and the Kelowna Rockets on Tuesday.

I don’t think there’s been this type of hype for a hockey phenom since Connor McDavid, and that’s saying something. The appeal is real for a kid who’s taking the world by storm and leading the WHL in points with 48 points and 19 goals in only 22 games, and a handful of those goals are nothing less than spectacular.

I find it incredible how cool, calm, and collected Bedard has been under the spotlight and how he’s been proving he’s worth that top spot in the NHL draft. The team that gets the first pick better hold onto that and cherish it because they’re getting a generational talent that will shift the franchise for years to come.

This is something the Canucks would love right about now, and I’m sure Bedard wouldn’t mind either, since he’s also a huge Canucks fan. Bedard even said last year that his favorite player was former Canuck, Tyler Motte and that he’s been trying his best to stay up-to-date with the team this season. But wherever Bedard goes, it’ll be special to see a Vancouver product shine on hockey’s biggest stage.

Fantasy Sports have Taken Over!

Sports are a global phenomenon that attracts billions of fans every year. In North America, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL are among some of the most popular sports watched by the public, whereas in Europe, soccer, tennis, and rugby are among the top choices for viewers.

No matter what you watch, sports bring a sense of community and excitement to their followers. But another side of sports has been rapidly growing over the years.

Fantasy sports have grown significantly over the past 20 years and will continue to grow over the next decade, with an increase of 15 billion dollars in market value by 2027. From friendly competition at work to putting money on the line in a 20-team league, fantasy sports go hand in hand with the real deal as it leads to the bare bone of sports, which is competition.

Professional sports are competitive, and if you’re not a part of a team, fantasy sports are for you. It allows you to control a team virtually, and you oversee everything that goes into the team.

From drafting to trading and picking players up off waivers, fantasy sports allow you to feel like you are a part of the action. You are in charge of your team from anywhere, even your couch, and it is fun to play against like-minded people who know and enjoy the game as much as you do.

The thrill of winning is the best part of fantasy sports and is a fun way to keep up with the season all year round. Fantasy sports can make watching sports and enjoying the game more entertaining and enjoyable for their fans. And there’s something for everyone. It’s only a matter of finding a sport you like, entering a league with friends or strangers, and letting the season take its course.

Surviving Black Friday!

Black Friday is the biggest annual shopping day that happens after Thanksgiving in the US but is recognized by countries across the world, including Canada, Australia, Mexico, and even places in Europe. Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and is the unofficial start of Christmas shopping for many of us because of all the discounts and promotions.

Nothing makes people crazier than a good deal on some of their favorite items, which is why Black Friday can sometimes feel like a zoo for customers and workers. So, here are some tips on how to survive a busy day at the mall.

If you can do your shopping online, do it. Tons of online retailers are having Black Friday deals, so to avoid the lines and chaos, shop in the comfort of your own home, and if you’re willing to wait till the end of the weekend, there’s also Cyber Monday, which is essentially Black Friday, but online.

But maybe you’re not someone who likes to gamble with online shopping and enjoys being hands-on when shopping for yourself and others. Here are a few tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed and overspending. Make a list of stuff you need, and don’t forget it, as this will avoid shopping for things you don’t need and will save you time and money. Do some research on the best prices so you know when you are getting a deal versus when it may just be a fake promotion. If you want selection, you have to be there early, which means setting an alarm and trying to be one of the first in line. And last but not least, be patient and friendly to the staff and other shoppers.

If you follow all these tips, your Black Friday shopping should hopefully be smooth sailing. Make sure to put in a little thought before you shop, and don’t shop till you drop.

The Importance of the Gym Physically, and Mentally!

From the young age of 5 years old, I began skating and playing hockey. I kept playing until I was about 18 years old, and at the same time, I played basketball during my last two years of high school. So, my teens revolved around playing team sports and physical activity. The camaraderie, teamwork, and memories stick with me to this day.

Graduating from high school meant I aged out of minor hockey and could not play basketball anymore. Reality sunk in, and I had to either get a job or go to school, and my life in sports seemed like it was fading away. Honestly, I felt this void in my life. I was missing out on playing the sports I loved, and I knew something was missing.

A few months after graduation, I was starting to feel lazy, disappointed, and sad that I didn’t have my usual games and practices to go to, but I knew I needed some type of physical activity. Then the gym came along and swept me off my feet. Getting in the gym for the first time was intimidating, but at the same time, I saw it as a challenge. And the best part was this challenge was with yourself, and the gym lets you be the best version of yourself.

There are physical perks, like increasing muscle mass and improving cardio, but the benefits don’t stop there. The gym benefits your mental health just as much. Regular exercise helps with relieving stress, makes me feel energized, accomplished, and even helps me with my sleep. These are all benefits that I value more than any physical traits because mental health needs to be made a priority in this day and age.

The price of a gym membership is such a small price to pay for all the positive things it brings into your life. Put on your earbuds, play your favorite playlist, and put in the work! It’s a great escape for someone looking to do something for themselves and will leave you feeling good about yourself.