Friday, October 22, 2021

August 8, 2021 TOKYO (AP) — They set records everyone saw coming and others that surprised the experts. They suffered, and battled, and spoke their truth in ways that hadn’t been heard before. Over nine days at the near-empty Olympic Stadium, the women of track and field delivered a memorable show, both inside the lines and out.

These are some of the athletes who defined the meet in Tokyo: Allyson Felix, Sydney McLaughlin, Sifan Hassan, Raven Saunders, Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Theirs was a sport in need of a good boost, not only because of the year-long delay sparked by the virus, but because no matter when they returned, Usain Bolt would no longer draw eyes to the track simply by showing up.

The women delivered — not so much with the feel-good, dance-a-minute vibe that Bolt brought, but with a series of inspiring performances and messages that showed the heart of their sport was still beating strong.

— Hassan and her unrelenting journey toward three medals — two gold and one bronze — in three of the longest races held on the track.

She started with gold in the 5,000 meters, then came back with bronze in the 1,500. She closed the show Saturday with a gold-medal run in the 10,000 — one in which her vision was so clouded by exhaustion that she admitted she could not see the finish line.

“I’m so happy,” she said after the odyssey — six races over eight nights covering 65 laps and 24 kilometers — was finally complete “I’m relieved. I’m finished. I can sleep.”

— McLaughlin, whose back-and-forth duals in the 400-meter hurdles with U.S. teammate Dalilah Muhammad reached a crescendo at the Olympics.

It was a race that had been much-anticipated and all but preordained to again reset the world record that one or the other had broken in three previous showdowns.

And they lived up to the hype. McLaughlin lowered her own mark to 51.46 seconds. Just as impressively, Muhammad’s silver-medal time of 51.58 would have been a world record, too.

 “I think it’s two athletes wanting to be their best,” McLaughlin said, “and knowing there’s another great girl who’s going to help you get there.”

— The sprinters were fast through the leadup to the Olympics, so it wasn’t all that surprising to see that pace keep going in Tokyo.

But while most of the pre-Games buzz went to Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100) and American Gabby Thomas (200), each of whom briefly staked their claim as the second-fastest women in history at their respective distances, it was Thompson-Herah who wound up there in the end.

After a slow start to the season because of an Achilles injury, Thompson-Herah swept the 100 and 200 sprints for the second straight time. One more like that and she’ll match Bolt.

She ran the 200 in 21.53 and set the Olympic record in the 100: 10.61 seconds. Though that record might not be the most formidable of the marks Florence Griffith Joyner set a generation ago, in 1988, it had been around every bit as long.

Flo Jo’s world records of 10.49 and 21.34 still stand. But for how long?

“By the Olympic finish, I’ll probably see what I’ve done,” said Thompson-Herah, who at 29, assures us she is not done yet. “At this moment, I’m just a normal girl.”

— The story of Raven Saunders was the inspiration for anyone who has been overlooked or left behind. The Black, gay American shot putter started wearing “Incredible Hulk” masks to the field — a way of projecting her fierce competitive spirit, but also a lighter side underneath.

After she received her silver medal, Saunders crossed her arms and formed an “X” on the medal's stand. “The intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet,” she explained.

It was the sort of message many believe should not only be tolerated but embraced, when Olympic athletes get their all-too-short time in the spotlight. The IOC, which after much debate and discussion over the past two years still chose to ban such demonstrations, said it would look into it. Any probe was set aside when Saunders’ mother died unexpectedly only hours after she won the medal.

For five Olympics spanning 16 — make that 17 — years, she was the epitome of class and speed. At 35 years old, she called it a career, but not without doing what she does better than any runner alive: Winning medals.

Her bronze in the 400 and gold in the 4x400 relay gave her 11. She now has more than any track athlete in history, save a Finnish distance runner, Paavo Nurmi, who won 12 between 1920 and 1928.

Felix has more to do. Since having her baby, Cammy, in 2018 she has transformed herself into one of the most outspoken advocates for women in sports.

“I feel like it’s definitely been a journey for me to get to the point where I guess I had the courage to do so,” Felix said.

She earned the platform with two decades of racing in which she won some, and lost some, and kept on coming back for more.

Now, it’s time to see who takes her place.

Earlier in the meet, someone asked Muhammad, the hurdler, what she thought about all this women’s dominance at the track - of America’s seven gold medals in track and field, they won five.

“Women do it better,” she quipped.

After watching them conquer records, overcome obstacles and make their messages heard over nine days and nights at the Olympic track, it was hard to say she was wrong.

SXM Radio Online

Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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