Sports Quick Bites (May/June 2024)


Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews led the league in goals this season. At print time, he was just shy of 70 goals, a feat only achieved by eight other players in NHL history. Matthews and the Leafs are headed to the playoffs this spring.

Alex Ovechkin is getting close to Wayne Gretzky’s career regular-season goals record. Ovechkin, in his 19th season playing for the Washington Capitals, is around 40 goals from the record set by Gretzky, who retired in 1999 with 894 goals. Ovechkin won’t get there this season, but if he plays at a high level for another season or two he could.


Toronto’s Professional Women’s Hockey League team has been one of the best this season, after a slow start. The league has six teams. Natalie Spooner, a forward for Toronto, led the league in goals and assists as of our print date. Will PWHL Toronto win the inaugural PWHL cup? The playoffs start in May.


After a string of injuries, illnesses, and absences depleted the Toronto Raptors’ roster, the Raptors recorded their second-worst season in franchise history. which included a franchise record setting 15-game losing streak. The team remains in the news due to a sports betting scandal involving Raptors’ player Jontay Porter. Porter is currently under investigation by the NBA and is facing a lifetime ban from the league.


The jury is still out on whether early-season favourite Victor Wembanyama (call him “Wemby”) is likely to be the rookie of the year or whether Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren has stolen Wemby’s thunder. While both players are having incredible debut seasons, Holmgren plays on one of the best teams in the league and has been critical to their success while Wemby is on one of the worst teams in league. Both Wemby and Holmgren’s talents are undeniable, however, in the battle between two elite seven-footers, the supporting casts may play more of a role than we think.


After a season where some fans were calling for Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins to “blow it up” and trade superstars Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette, the Jays start the 2024 season with Vladdy and Bo, a returning Kevin Kiermaier, and new signing Isiah Kiner-Falefa. They are also entering the season with a new motto, “To the core,” and a newly renovated stadium that cost a reported $300-million and which made the lower seating even more grey and corporate.


Ukrainian-Canadian ultra runner Ihor Verys of Chilliwack, B.C. became the first-ever Canadian to complete the infamous Barkley Marathon. The race is a grueling fiveloop, 160 km race, through the difficult and punishing terrain of Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee with a 60-hour cut-off time.

Verys completed the race more than an hour ahead of the 60-hour time limit, finishing the five loops in 58:44:59. In another groundbreaking first, British ultra runner Jasmin Paris became the first woman to complete the race, finishing with 99-seconds (59:58:21) to spare. Congratulations Ihor and Jasmin!


The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), the governing body for competition climbing, has introduced a new policy to address disordered eating amongst climbers. In a sport that relies heavily upon an athlete’s strength-toweight ratio, eating disorders are a serious problem and have resulted in some athletes developing Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S).

RED-S occurs when an athlete does not have sufficient energy to support their bodily functions because they are burning more calories than they are taking in. Long-term symptoms can include delayed puberty, stunted growth, anxiety, depression, bone loss, and more. The new IFSC policy outlines a detailed assessment protocol as there is no single test for RED-S.

This article appeared in the 2024 May/June issue.