Facebook Twitter Google+ It was referred to as the F-word. A joke all along, but some around the athletic offices of the University of Texas at San Antonio couldn’t muster the courage to utter the word that had been a dream in the works for nine years: “Football.”In a movement spearheaded by UTSA athletic director Lynn Hickey and president Ricardo Romo, the football program that was nothing more than a concept five years ago is now rising to national prominence. “They were committed to creating the program here and starting football right,” head coach Larry Coker said, “and I thought it had a chance. “There’s no guarantees, but I thought it had a chance.”Coker, a former national champion head coach at Miami, is at the helm of the team with 37 seniors, the most in the country. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMany of them bought into a dream pitched to them five years ago when there wasn’t a football field to play on. They played well enough to advance the program into Conference USA and turn a projected last-place finish in 2013 into a 6-2 second-place one.That was just the opening act for the seniors’ grand finale. Coker and his veteran team are about to complete a four-year odyssey that started with a single football helmet and, they hope, concludes with more than 80 of them raised in the air celebrating a conference championship.Before Hickey was hired in 2000, she was asked in her interview with Romo if UTSA should have a football team. She rejected the idea. At that time the athletics program had 14 teams and a budget of only $1.2 million. She said adding a football program to that equation would have been outlandish. Not to mention the political, fiscal and social hurdles that would have to be cleared in order for the idea to gain any traction. So she waited.It was only a year later she said that the university experienced an explosion of growth with Romo announcing that UTSA was going to become a tier-one research institution to help fuel an enrollment growth from 16,000 to 32,000.“It became very obvious that (UTSA) had an identity problem,” Hickey said. “The kids wanted campus life.”The best selling T-shirt in the student center was one that read: “UTSA Football, Still Undefeated.” Of course, there was no football team at the time, but the cries for change were becoming louder. It was quite literally a culture shock for the kids who were raised on “Friday Night Lights,” only to come to a school in the heart of Texas and the seventh-largest city in the country and not see a football team.Hickey knew at the very least, Title IX regulations would have to be met before anything. She helped in the formation of the women’s golf and soccer teams, and the athletic department implemented a $20 student fee.Then Hurricane Katrina not only put the city of New Orleans out of commission, but it left an NFL team without a home.The Alamodome was built in 1993 with the intention of luring an NFL team to San Antonio. It was vacant when the storm struck in 2005, so the New Orleans Saints played there in San Antonio.The Saints’ short stay prompted significant business people in the area to rally around the idea of bringing a professional or college football team to San Antonio, Hickey said. The Alamodome being without a permanent resident, things started become all too apparent to Hickey and the UTSA staff, she said.“We always joked,” Hickey said, “that one hurricane blew in the Miami Hurricane, Larry Coker.”In 2006 Coker was ousted at Miami and took an analyst job at ESPN. He heard about the position at UTSA as the school began to publicize the job opening in 2008. He immediately acted upon his first instinct – dialing up good friend and Tulsa offensive line coach Denver Johnson to suggest he apply for the job.Johnson inquired about the position, and returned a phone call. That call went to Coker, and Johnson told his friend that in fact he was the one who should be applying.“I believe all of this was meant to happen,” Hickey said. ‘There’s been too many things that happened when they happened, and it wasn’t a coincidence.“What are the chances of a Larry Coker calling and telling us he was interested in the job?”Coker went through a series of interviews and ended up part of a narrowed-down field of three candidates. There was Northwest Missouri State coach Mel Tjeerdsma, Tulsa defensive coordinator Paul Randolph and Coker.“There was a chance everything could have fallen through,” Coker said, “but the chances of success were greater than the chance of failure.”Coker’s hiring was made official on March 6, 2009, and he’s been in go-mode since day one.Coker and his three newly hired assistant coaches immediately hit the recruiting trail. They sought out to recruit the best athletes regardless of what positions they played.“We realized we weren’t going to put Texas out of business with recruiting and competing against all those other schools,” Coker said. “But we said, ‘Hey, let’s just sell what we have, sell our dream, and if kids buy in then hey, we’ve got a chance.’”Nate Leonard was just a junior in high school when Coker dropped by one of his spring football practices. At the time Leonard was a fringe-Division I prospect, unsure if he could get an offer.When he heard about Coker and UTSA, it wasn’t something he was about to let pass up. He was left with an invitation to UTSA’s first-ever senior tryout camp in the Alamodome.“After I met and talked to Coach Coker for the first time at the camp,” Leonard said, “I knew he wanted to get to know more than just me. He wanted to know the people around me.“I knew if he cared that much about my family before he really knew me, how much would he care when he actually knows me and we are family?”Leonard turned his invitation to a 400-person high school senior tryout camp into the only scholarship offer he would receive — much like almost every other player who was recruited in the inaugural class of 18.The team practiced at a San Antonio Northside Independent School District field for a year. There were no facilities at UTSA.Leonard described the period of just practices for a season and holding those on a high school field as playing on “borrowed land.”The jerseys and equipment were also borrowed. The University of Texas and University of Texas-El Paso combined to send over 200 pieces of equipment for the Roadrunners to use.“We were just a rag-tag group of guys,” Leonard said. “What I love to tell people is that we were a group of guys who nobody wanted.“No one.”The players were expected to keep up with the fast pace of information being thrown at them by the coaching staff. Leonard said they were treated like salty veterans and thrown into the furnace. The canvas was blank. There was nothing to build off for Coker and Leonard — only room to create.And for a group of athletes who were playing for the football team that was likely their only shot at Division I football, they created an opportunity.“They told us that us original 18 were forged by fire,” Leonard said. “We were thrown right into the fire and forged.“We prove that every Saturday when we play.”Coker gave Leonard a recruiting pitch built on hopes and dreams, and bedazzled by the national championship ring on his finger.Now, that pitch is reinforced with top-notch facilities and a respectable conference to play in. The national championship ring still makes an occasional appearance, too.“I think he wears it around once in a while to give us an awakening and inspire us a little bit,” senior quarterback Tucker Carter said. “Plus it’s hard to miss that thing when he’s walking around.”The “rag-tag” group of seniors has plenty of reasons to play inspired. In what will be their final hurrah, this is the most complete team UTSA has fielded with five recruiting classes worth of talent. A diehard fan base that set an NCAA record for the largest single-season attendance for a start-up program — 56,743 — backs these players as much as the coaches that recruited them. The Roadrunners are ranked the 51st-best football program out of 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools on Football Outsider’s F/+ rankings. They’re outperforming storied programs like West Virginia and California, both of which have been around much longer than four years.The motto this year is straight to the point, and might be considered a stretch for a program of any age: rings or bust.“Our dream from the beginning of when we got here was to win,” Leonard said. “That hasn’t changed and will not change. What it means to us this year is to win the conference and a bowl game.” Comments Published on September 11, 2014 at 12:08 am Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman
Haiti said 18 people have now been confirmed dead following the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked the country on October 6.The Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) in its latest revised statement said that 580 people were injured up from the last figure of 333. The last assessment had indicated that 17 people had died.The authorities said that the civil protection teams and the National Laboratory of Building and Public Works are completing the damage assessment, with the help of several partners.Free hospital care provided In Port-de-Paix, which bore the brunt of the quake and the several aftershocks, the authorities said that hospital care is now being provided to residents free of cost and that the Immaculate Conception Hospital received a generator with a capacity of 125 kilowatts, a gift from the presidency.It said that the distribution of food aid continues, a treated water storage tank and a hand washing point have been installed in an accommodation site with support from Action against Hunger.“These initiatives complement the implementation of hygiene awareness actions in shelters, with a view to preventing cholera outbreaks,” the statement said.Multiple homes destroyed According to the latest evaluations, 11,497 houses, up from 7,430, were either destroyed or damaged and that 90 per cent of them were in the communes of Bassin-Bleu, Port-de-Paix, Saint-Louis, north-west and Gros-Morn.The most affected commune in the north is Pilate where at least 533 homes were affected.
Photos:A geocaching team in Seattle on the way to the find. Photo by geocacher SkyTrainOne of the sites to see while you’re in Köln: Kölner Dome! Photo by Geocaching HQ’er Prying PandoraFound it! Photo by geocacher Aga & DetiSee more photosThis geocache is all about geocachers helping each other out. What’s your favorite way to help other geocachers? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:More Seattle – KölnGeocache Name:Köln-Seattle Exchange Multicaches (GC1GWEV and GC1H38J)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:Seattle: 2/3Köln: 3/2Why this is the Geocache of the Week:It’s often said that the best thing you find while geocaching isn’t the geocache, but the people you meet along the way. You can meet other geocachers at events, on the trail, or while coordinating your finds for this pair of geocaches. Completing the Köln-Seattle Exchange MultiCaches takes geocaching teamwork to the next level. To make the find, you’ll have to pair up with a geocacher across the world. Here’s how it works: you go to the first stage of the geocache. There you’ll find coordinates for the second stage of the other geocache. You send those coordinates to your international partner, and then bam! You can both go find the geocaches in your respective countries.# of Finds:Seattle: 107Köln: 118# of Favorite Points:Seattle: 39Köln: 52What one of the geocache owners, Thoto, has to say:“In 2005 we had a similar cache here in Cologne which inspired me to create this transatlantic cache. I just loved the idea to connect with people from the other side of the world and play the game together.”“It is always a great feedback you get. I am very happy to see that a lot of cachers like the idea of a transatlantic cache as much as I do. Furthermore I am extremely proud when I look at the high number of cachers who have already visited and logged both “sites” of the cache. Someday I hope to find the Seattle cache as well.”What geocachers are saying:“This is the best Multicache I ever played! Together with Pico69 and Schwarzer Peter in Cologne we solved the challenges together. As a Cologne citizen working for a Seattle headquartered company, I was in town and had some time to go after this cache.” – Arnold1967“It is actually an interesting place to visit and search, and very rewarding once you actually find the cache. Thanks for setting up another one of these “hands across the water” geocaches. They add a new dimension to the game.” – Scouting4Ever“Great adventure between the two cities!!! Thanks to DieGroppis in Köln and Quigquay in Seattle! This idea it allowed me explore new areas and see how interesting and multi cultural Geocaching can be!!” – MedicineManOfSeattleRead more logs SharePrint Related350 miles, all for a smiley. — Munich – Venice (GC1FPN1) — Geocache of the WeekJune 12, 2013In “Community”3 Tips for New Geocachers – Geocaching.com Weekly NewsletterSeptember 12, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”37 Ways to Spice Up Your GeocachingJuly 22, 2014In “Community”
8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market There are an increasing number of educational resources available online, but the challenge today might be less a matter of finding something that you want to learn than it is a matter following through with the actual learning itself.Fitango wants to address that by offering its users action plans, step-by-step guides on how to accomplish their goals. There are hundreds of plans on the site, including “How to Grow a Vegetable Garden” and “How to Winterize Your Vehicle.” Some of the action plans are free, but many cost money – about $10 on average. What comprises the plans depends, obviously, on what you’re learning: some include videos, some are text. But they all include some way to track your progress and maintain a checklist of how you’re doing.That tracking is also highly social, so you can share your progress with others. You can find your friends via Facebook and email, for example, and you can push your updates to your social streams, should you choose. This is meant to help you keep yourself motivated, not just with a checklist of what you need to be doing in your action plan, but by having others become your tracking your progress as well. You can invite others to become your motivator so they can keep you on task and give you feedback. Tags:#E-Learning#web audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting In addition to selecting an action plan from Fitango’s marketplace, you can create your own plan as well. You can distribute these via the site, although these plans can’t be sold for money, as the company wants to keep the quality of its expert advice high. Like many companies that are moving into this growing space of online learning, that will be the challenge for Fitango – making sure the content on the site is worthwhile and its users’ experiences positive.Fitango launched in December, just in time to catch the New Year’s Resolution crowd. No surprise then, many of its initial plans emphasized health and self-improvement. But since then, the company has expanded into other areas, most recently with action plans from the language-learning company Berlitz. Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…
Issue 3: Bath fan duct termination is misplacedThe bath fan termination has been placed on the north-facing roof, in the middle of a zone of highly concentrated water flow. Since the fan exhausts warm humid indoor air, the outlet will tend to melt the snow and condense water in its vicinity.On this building, this snow melt is occurring in a “box canyon” roof zone, where flows are concentrated and optimum drainage is already compromised. This north-facing location sees no sunshine in the winter, so any ice accumulation will persist for a long time. These risks are enhanced if the exhaust fan runs continuously to meet mechanical ventilation code requirements. These factors, taken together, mean that the potential for ice dams and roof leaks is increased.Required corrections: Consider relocating the exhaust termination to a gable end or to a south-facing slope away from zones of concentrated flows. Note that longer duct runs from the fan to the outlet may require a larger diameter duct. Issue 4: Uncontrolled heat loss leads to ice damsIce accumulation is visible. Ice dams are typically caused by inadequate insulation or air-sealing measures. These defects allow indoor heat and warm air into the attic, where it melts snow above the attic space. Once the liquid water reaches colder surfaces at the soffit, it refreezes and builds up over time to form an ice dam.If conditions persist, the water can work under roof waterproofing layers, and enter the soffit or living space.Required corrections: An energy audit should be conducted to discover the cause of the heat loss. Once found, the condition can likely be remedied by additional air sealing, additional insulation, or both. (For more information on ice dams, see Prevent Ice Dams With Air Sealing and Insulation.) Issue 2: Porch roof concentrates water flowsThis issue is similar to Issue #1. A gable has been placed on top of the shed roof above the covered front porch. This concentrates the water flows, increasing the consequences of a leak. This may be an even more risky condition, since the concentrated drainage water is directed at the sidewall, where waterproofing will not be as robust as on the roof.It is likely that moisture will penetrate the wall at the soffit / wall interface. This can lead to mold and decay in the wall sheathing and structure behind.Required corrections: There are a couple of possible solutions. One is to ensure that all flashings can deal with the concentrated flow, and to consider installation of a robust waterproof membrane on the wall where flows are concentrated. A more radical solution would be to remove the unnecessary gable from the porch roof. In any case, a well-integrated kickout flashing should be added. Last week we published this photo as part of our “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” series. The photo shows a problematic roof at a multifamily building in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The puzzler was created by Garrett Mosiman and Pat Huelman at the University of Minnesota. Mosiman and Huelman concluded that the Minneapolis building had the following five problems. The flat valley appears to be located over a party wall dividing two units. Party walls are notorious for lacking good insulation and air sealing, and are a common source of heat loss to the attic. Placement of this feature above such a vulnerable building element increases the risk.In addition, if this design is rotated to face east or west (as occurs elsewhere at this site), the southern gable shades the valley while providing ample solar heating to the south face of the north gable. While not the primary cause of the ice dam issue, this differential melting worsens the problem. The complex roof shape also tends to favor wind drifting of snow. This is likely to increase snow depth and accumulation in these critical areas.As the roofing ages, the likelihood of leaks and moisture damage is much greater where roof water flows are highly concentrated. (For more information on designing roofs with simple configurations, see Martin’s Ten Rules of Roof Design.)Required corrections: Given that the structure exists, one critical corrective action is to ensure that roof drainage and waterproofing layers are as robust as possible, and integrated with flashings at all transitions.Another correction to consider is the replacement of the gutter / downspout system. A larger, open-faced downspout would tend to be less prone to plugging with ice, and a dark color would enhance melting within the downspout on solar-exposed facades. Issue 1: Double gable concentrates water flowsThe designers came up with a rather complex roof shape that concentrates flows of water from large areas of the roof. A double gable protrudes beyond the soffit line of the main roof. This causes the resulting valley to be rather flat; it is likely that a low-slope cricket was installed to form a slight slope in the valley. The design is unnecessary; since the attic space has no windows, it is probably unoccupied. RELATED ARTICLES Martin’s Ten Rules of Roof DesignPrevent Ice Dams With Air Sealing and Insulation WHAT’S WRONG? What’s Wrong With This Window Installation?What’s Wrong With This Insulation Job?What’s Wrong With This Crawl Space? Issue 5: Missing kickout flashingThe ice on the siding tells the story of a missing kickout flashing at the roof / wall interface that, if present, would direct water away from the sidewall and into the gutter.Kickout flashing — a type of flashing that forces water out and away from the wall — should be installed wherever a roof terminates at a sidewall. This kickout flashing be well-integrated with the weather-resistive barrier (WRB).This building lacked kickout flashing in all locations where it should have been installed.When roof water is not positively directed away from the wall and WRB below, it can exploit small defects in the weatherproofing system and enter the wall. There it can cause mold or decay.Required corrections: Siding should be removed where necessary to allow for the installation of a proper kickout flashing. This flashing should be integrated with existing WRB and flashing components in a shingle-style fashion.
Greg McBeth is head of revenue at Node.io, the first AI-infused discovery engine that identifies relevant, personalized opportunities for people and companies. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Greg McBethHead of Revenue at Node.io Technology that changes the way we live has always been met with suspicion — especially information technology. When new tech supplants less efficient ways to engage with the world, it usually attracts trumpets of doomsday proclamations about how tech will negatively impact humanity. Even the printing press was said to be a harbinger of our cultural demise. In the long term, though, many information technologies have positively contributed to the modern world.Artificial intelligence is in its infancy, so in one sense, the distrust it’s received is no different than that of any other game-changing technology. In the next 25 to 50 years, AI is likely to mirror the trajectories of the printing press, early computers, or cars: Initial applications will become increasingly powerful. Pundits on both sides will warn of both incredible potential and potential catastrophe. Once the undulations smooth out, AI will likely contribute a net positive gain to society.To be clear, that’s the short-term view of narrow AI, which is good at specific tasks. Today’s AI is still rudimentary and is generally only good at performing one thing at a time. I believe narrow AI’s capacity has been overestimated in the next decade or so, but I do think we will see valuable benefits in the near future.General AI is where things become much more interesting — and potentially perilous. That’s when we’ll see machine learning that is truly human-level or beyond, a program that can perform a range of cognitive tasks as well as or better than a human. The advent of general AI is when the comparisons of production-enhancing previous technology is no longer relevant because we simply can’t predict what will come from it.Even though AI in the short term will be beneficial to society, it will quickly outgrow its obvious positive impact. We will face security, informational, and existential threats within our lifetime as AI becomes smarter unless we get serious about the risks as well as the benefits.On the Near HorizonTo date, AI’s practical impact has primarily been felt in natural language and image processing, which are difficult for traditional computers to accomplish. Narrow AI has brought efficiency to tasks that would otherwise slow down processes or bore humans. When done correctly, this has an overall positive impact on business.More importantly, AI will bring two major advances in the near future that will save millions of lives: self-driving cars and AI-driven medicine.Every year, more than 1 million people die in auto accidents worldwide, the vast majority of which are due to human error, including intoxication. Self-driving cars could cut the mortality rate of driving by a factor of 10. We’ve seen companies like Uber struggle to get road-ready self-driving cars off the ground (despite billions invested), but even the most pessimistic projections put self-driving cars on the road for private use within the next 20 years.The potential upside for AI-driven medicine is even more incredible. AI’s proven utility in medical triage aside, it will play a revolutionary role in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the cost to bring a drug to the U.S. market is well over a billion dollars. This forces drug companies to prioritize mass-market drugs and so-called drugs of desperation, which consumers will likely pay for by any means necessary. AI can predict which drugs are likely to be effective against a particular disease at much lower costs and risks to companies, and it could reduce the need for testing on humans and animals. Furthermore, AI-led DNA analysis might usher in an era of personalized drug treatments.Resentment and a Crisis of MisinformationAs the technology develops, so will challenges. The first sticking point will be a growing resentment against AI for taking jobs currently performed by humans — driving trucks or intaking patients, for example. Robots taking jobs from humans is, again, not a new concern. The level of blowback will be determined by society’s ability to reallocate resources and adjust for job shifts.The second challenge is a misinformation ecosystem that will be impossible for humans to make qualified judgements against. As machines learn how to create better and more nuanced information, humans will want digital verification that the information is somehow real — or at least not false. But it’s almost certain that it’ll become a game of cat and mouse; as the verification gets better, so, too, will the fakery.I believe there’s potential for an AI-driven misinformation crisis in our lifetime. AI can already convincingly manipulate images and video. Actresses’ faces have been superimposed on pornographic photos and videos. World leaders are being made to say ridiculous or inflammatory statements.Fake news is just the half of it. Individuals will face risks to their reputations (fabricated naked photos sent to co-workers or fake revenge porn posted online), finances (forged bank documents that impact credit), and legal standing (phony audio, video, or other evidence of a crime). This is not a worst-case scenario; this will probably be the norm.If people don’t know what’s real or what’s fake, personal responsibility could go out the window. Even now, strategic people use AI-created media as a way to dodge the court of public opinion. If a person is caught on tape saying sexist comments, for example, he can argue that the tape is fake. When the AI is good enough, it will be hard to prove otherwise. At a certain point, the simple existence of advanced technology will be enough to cast doubt on nearly any information.Beyond the risks to individuals and their families, AI poses global security hazards. AI-created intelligence or media could be used to create a political firestorm, spark riots, or even start World War III.Long-Term Look: Super AIBy far the biggest threat is posed by general AI. There are questions as to whether human-level AI (or beyond) is even possible. But unless we find evidence that human intelligence is driven by processes that humans simply cannot tap into, it’s only a matter of time before a super AI is developed. However, despite what Ray Kurzweil says, I don’t believe superhuman AI will be created in our lifetime.A reasonable timeline for AI to achieve human-level or better performance in most tasks is about 250 years. Anything that historically required our intelligence — building machines, solving problems, making important decisions — will be handled more efficiently by machines. Perhaps there will be a few preeminent mathematicians working out the equations of the universe, but the rest of us will have little to offer society.In this world, most folks will probably live on universal basic income. It’s possible that we would have the freedom to simply learn and enjoy time with ourselves, our friends, and our families. But I think it’s more likely that we become lazy, unmotivated, and irrational people — a shell of society, much like in “Brave New World.” Ongoing long-term studies on UBI might shed some light on how this would affect us.I agree with the late Stephen Hawking, who believed the birth of AI could be “the worst event in the history of our civilization.” Because we simply don’t know the outcome of creating a super AI, the possibilities demand an abundance of caution for what could be one of the best or worst events in human history.It remains to be seen whether the benefits will outweigh the ensuing negatives from AI and machine learning. Already, AI has opened the door to an era potentially ruled by misinformation. From forged bank statements to world leaders declaring false wars, AI-created media will cast doubt on what we read, see, and hear. Once we dig deeper into the possibilities of the technology, humans will become displaced by machines. These will be massive problems to solve, and the companies that solve them will be worth billions. I don’t see any other solution beyond a technical one.The most important thing we can do is start the conversation about how to deal with general AI now. We need to understand whether we can build effective safeguards — such as Asimov’s three laws of robotics — that could control any conceivable superintelligence.I hope I’m wrong, but I’m skeptical. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them Related Posts AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#AI
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:44US transit worker saves man who fell on rail track00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Joint Koreas hockey team ends historic Olympic run Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Martinez, 21, wasn’t even supposed to make it to the Games after finishing eighth in the 2017 CS Nebelhorn Trophy, which served as an Olympic qualification last September.READ: Martinez finishes 28th, fails to advance to Olympics free stake roundFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut after the pullout of Swedish figure skater Alexander Majorov, he was given the last quota spot and earned his ticket to PyeongChang.Despite the short notice, Martinez still pulled off a clean performance, scoring 55.56 in his short program performance, which was only good for 28th place among 30 competitors. Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines reacts as his score is posted following his performance in the men’s short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Though he failed to improve his standing in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Michael Christian Martinez is proud with his showing in the men’s figure skating given the circumstances he had to deal with.“With three weeks to prepare for PyeongChang and to be able to perform what I just did, that was just unbelievable,” he told INQUIRER.net in an online interview.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH It may not have been enough to advance to the free skate round, where Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu claimed the gold medal, but Martinez was satisfied with what he was able to showcase.“A lot of people knew about it and very surprised that the fact I am back on doing my triple jumps again and be able to skate a clean program is truly something else,” he shared. “Usually it takes two to three months to get the jumps the way it was before, and need at least another two months of training to be able to prepare for a competition, but I only did it in three weeks.”With another Olympic experience under his belt, Martinez hopes that his showing would serve as an inspiration for the young figure skaters as he seeks to continue hoisting the Philippine flag in the Winter Games.“I really worked so hard for me to be able to do what I needed to do out there. I really am proud that I get to represent our country at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. To be part of this Olympic Journey is truly amazing,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT View comments AFP official booed out of forum
The Congress party on Monday virtually asked Sheila Dikshit and Suresh Kalmadi, locked in an ugly public spat over allegations of corruption in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) projects, to shut up.The gag order came on a day the Group of Ministers (GoM) on CWG extended the tenure of the Games Organising Committee (OC), a step that will help facilitate investigations by various agencies into the corruption charges.”We would like everyone concerned to observe restraint,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.The inquiry ordered by the Prime Minister gives wide powers to the investigator who could recommend further inquiry by the CBI, the CVC or departmental action, the party said.Earlier in the day, the Centre ordered its officials on deputation to the Kalmadi-led OC to stay put as a probe into charges of corruption that tarred the spectacle gained momentum. The GoM on the Games headed by urban development minister Jaipal Reddy – meeting here for the first time after the Games and probably the last time after its formation – extended the tenure of the OC “until further orders”, thereby extending the stay of government officers on deputation to the committee.The GoM met in the backdrop of the spat between the Delhi CM and Kalmadi over allegations of corruption in Games projects.The meeting was attended by Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna, sports minister M.S. Gill, cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar and other senior officers, besides Dikshit and Kalmadi. Tourism minister Kumari Selja, who is out of town, could not attend the meeting.advertisementBriefing reporters after the meeting that lasted close to 50 minutes, Reddy said the GoM met in a cordial atmosphere to pass a resolution hailing the successful conduct of the Games and thanking all stakeholders. Emerging from the meeting, Dikshit and Gill declined comment.Reddy said the decision to extend the tenure of government officers serving in the OC was taken so that work left in the committee could be wound up. On the face of it, the development may appear routine. But the decision will help facilitate the probe by various agencies. Fears have been expressed in several quarters that vested interests within the OC may try to tamper with key documents.It has been left to the sports ministry to decide till which time the services of these officers will be spared. It means Gill has emerged as the PM’s trusted man and will help facilitate the probe. Jaipal Reddy, though, refused to answer any query on bungling in the Games projects, saying this was not the mandate of the GoM. Reddy also refused to answer any queries relating to bungling in the Central Public Works Department that built major stadiums. The agency is under the urban development ministry.Meanwhile, BJP president Nitin Gadkari tried to pull the PMO into the Games mess, saying it approved several files relating to the Games projects. The Congress was quick to retaliate, saying Gadkari lacked gravitas and it was below the party’s dignity to respond to him.
ATHENS, GA – MARCH 03: Aaron Harrison #2, Andrew Harrison #5, Willie Cauley-Stein #15, Karl-Anthony Towns #12 and Tyler Ulis #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats rush down the court to get back on defense against the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum on March 3, 2015 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Georgia locked up five-star quarterback commit Jacob Eason during his official visit, and the entire athletic department tried to do its part to ensure that he would stick with his commitment. Head basketball coach Mark Fox tweeted out video from last weekend, when Eason was on campus, of his team proving that it needs a quarterback. The basketball team runs a play, and a deep ball almost leads to disaster for one receiver. We tried to show a certain recruit we needed a QB at practice last weekend… pic.twitter.com/2GeANJrP0e— Mark Fox (@coachmarkfox) December 16, 2015The hedges at Sanford Stadium are probably a bit more forgiving than that wall, and they’re not so dangerously close to the end zone. We’re not sure if Eason, who we can’t quite identify in the blurry video, was impressed with the display, but he re-upped with the Dawgs either way.