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My review for 2023 |  Journalism

My review for 2023 | Journalism

My team for this year? Alouette. My leader for this year? Danny Masiosia. The best player in “Thunderbolt” this year? Marc Antoine Decoy.

Yes, the Alouettes take the entire podium in 2023. I wouldn't have thought of that 12 months ago, when the team's future was in the news.

Because of this uncertainty, Macioscia has not competed on equal footing with his peers in building his roster. A turning point came with the purchase of the club by Pierre Carl Péladeau, who had the good idea of ​​entrusting the presidency to Mark Whitman.

Macciocia and Whitman have known each other for more than 25 years. They dreamed of joining forces to bring the Gray Cup back to Montreal. Former baseball manager Leo Durocher said that “the good guys finish last,” a saying that has entered history.

Macioscia and Whitman show us that this is not true. Sometimes, the good guys come first and give their city a boost of pride.

The Alouettes won thanks to great play in the playoffs. Games against the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers had us on the edge of our seats. And Dikoy's heartfelt cry after winning the Gray Cup – “Keep it, your English!” » – It has become part of our sporting folklore. Pure emotion, a radiance in the dark November sky.

Sometimes sports tell us magical stories.

The Quebecois team that wins is also the Remparts in junior hockey. Under the guidance of Patrick Roy, they cruised through the Memorial Cup Championship, crushing the Seattle Thunderbirds in the final by a clear score of 5-0.

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Quebec that won was also the Carabins of the Université de Montréal that won the Vanier Cup with midfielder Jonathan Senecal at the helm.

The Quebecois who wins is also the Canadian who… Oops, sorry, we'll have to wait a few more years, I'm afraid, before completing that sentence.

Continuity is also what defines 2023… for better and for worse.

As usual, Novak Djokovic dominated men's tennis.

As usual, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs have been to the Super Bowl (three times in four years, two wins).

As usual, Paris Saint-Germain disappointed its fans despite its collection of stars.

As usual, the Edmonton Oilers stumbled in the playoffs even though they fielded two of the best players in the world.

As usual, CF Montreal/Impact fired their head coach after the season.

We see something new – and 2023 confirms this trend – in basketball. First, the Canadian men's team has qualified for the Paris Olympics, for the first time since 2000. And watch out, this group will be fighting for a spot on the podium. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, recently named Canada's Athlete of the Year, is among the world's elite.

Then, Quebec players confirmed their immense talent in the NBA: Chris Boucher with the Toronto Raptors, Benedict Mathurin with the Indiana Pacers, and of course Luguentz Dort with the Oklahoma City Thunder. We had a sweet moment last October when Dort greeted the fans at the Bell Center before his team's warm-up game.

Photo by Olivier Jean, press archive

Logointz Dort

Also new in women's hockey. The professional league will soon begin its first season. Bravo to Danielle Sauvageau, Marie-Philippe Poulin, Mélodie Daoust and everyone who fought to make this project a reality. It took extraordinary perseverance.

In 2015, the International Olympic Committee was slapped in the face. Only two cities have expressed interest in organizing the 2022 Winter Games, namely Beijing and Almaty in Kazakhstan. The Chinese capital inherited its width almost by default.

At the time, the hot question was: “Who wants the Olympics?” » Citizens of several cities expressed, by referendum or poll, their opposition to the nomination: Oslo, Stockholm, Krakow, Davos/St. Moritz, Budapest, Munich… In Canada, Quebec and Calgary considered the project without pursuing it. In short, Western democracies no longer want to organize the Games.

The tide turned in 2017 when the International Olympic Committee had the good idea of ​​awarding the Summer Games in Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028) at the same time. The historical process of conflict between candidate cities has been put aside in favor of “dialogue” with interested cities, in order to reduce the costs of the preliminary phase. The Australian city of Brisbane was later chosen to host the 2032 Games.

Photo by Brendan MacDiarmid, Reuters archive

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

However, the problem remained for the Winter Games. But now countries have shown interest. The International Olympic Committee seized the opportunity and announced last month its intention to award the 2030 Prizes to the French Alps region, the 2034 Prizes to Salt Lake City, and the 2038 Prizes to Switzerland. The first two files will be completed next July. For Switzerland, there is still a lot of work to be done.

By reconsidering the selection model, the IOC has played a trump card. This initiative allowed it to solve one of its two crucial problems regarding the Winter Games, and find cities willing to host them. It will now have to deal with the impact of climate change on its performance.

The waltz has continued for millions in professional sports. Shohei Ohtani made $700 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jon Rahm made at least $300 million from LIV Golf. In football and basketball, annual contracts worth over US$50 million have been awarded to many stars.

For us, it's a relatively modest sum – £5m to £7m – which will stun the imagination. The Legault government invested this amount to convince the Los Angeles Kings to play two preparation games in Quebec next fall.

In a context where inflation is taking its toll and employees are struggling to improve their working conditions, this issue has rightfully caused massive protests. This is, by far, the biggest sports-related blunder in Quebec in 2023.

Tomorrow: Ten predictions for 2024