Watch this. Watch all of it. Watch the best two (which for some reason are at 3 and 4). Look at the skill and grace of number 4. Look at the savagery of the crossover in number 3.
I have watched that video a lot and I can’t get past numbers 3 and 4. They are two of the more impressive things I have seen on a basketball court. The quality of the skill is one thing but it is the seeming effortlessness of both that elevates them. The casual elegance belies the hours of practice that I know underpins them. You can’t find better moves than that.
Now have a look at this.
This is a casual video of the greatest athlete of my lifetime (and it’s not debatable) hitting two winning shots whilst performing the splits. There is a wonderful juxtaposition between the brutality of the shots and the balletic nature of Williams. It is easy to get lost down a YouTube rabbit hole of her most amazing athletic feats. And let us not forget that she won an Open whilst carrying a human inside her. I once cried out of 5-a-side football because I’d had a big meal.
Moving on, do you remember this (sorry to my Dutch friends)?
One of the undoubted highlights of the last Olympics was the hockey gold medal won by Great Britain and, in particular, the performance of Maddie Hinch in goal, who guarded her goal like Lily Potter guarded Harry’s life and defended her goal like I used to defend my food from my siblings. If she doesn’t go to every Halloween party forever as Gandalf wearing a hockey kit with Hinch on the back and randomly screaming “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” then, frankly, she’s not putting the effort in. To be clear, she conceded 0 goals in a penalty shoot-out. That doesn’t need hyperbole: the fact is shocking enough.
I spoke to the committee and we agreed that this is the best goal ever scored and you’re not allowed to disagree.
If I tried doing that, I’d probably tear every muscle in both legs. If I tried doing it in FIFA (or Pro Evo…*sniggers* -Ed), I’d expect the game to stop and “really???” to flash across the screen. I’m glad that video has the goal shown in slow motion, because it allows you to really appreciate the technique that Simpson uses and should stop any conversations about it being a fluke before they can start.
Amelia Kerr was born in 2000. A couple of months ago, she scored 232 runs in a one day cricket game. Not out. Oh, and she also took 5 wickets (for those that don’t know cricket, let me show you what that looks like)
To score 232 and then take 5 wickets in a one day game shouldn’t be possible: it definitely shouldn’t be possible in a full international. Kerr doesn’t have any time for limitations. She’s too busy breathing fire and destroying cities.
This post should be redundant. Women’s sport is amazing. The videos are the tip of the iceberg. Watch Elena Delle Donne, Diana Taurasi or Liz Cambage play a WNBA game; watch Serena and Venus Williams rage against the dying of the light in tennis. Heck, if you’re more of a “sports entertainment” fan, watch this match between Sasha Banks and Bayley and be amazed.
One of the “This Girl Can” campaign’s aims is to:
help women overcome the fear of judgement that is stopping too many women and girls from joining in.
It is sad that people fear judgement from others when it comes to being active. What I hope the videos I’ve shown make clear is that, at the top level, in terms of entertainment, skill and emotion, women’s sports stands unaided as a beacon of excellence.