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Premier League slams Liverpool and Man Utd’s ‘Project Big Picture’ plans

first_imgLeague bosses feel some of the proposals will have a ‘damaging impact’ (Picture: Getty Images)The Premier League has distanced itself from reports of a plan, titled ‘Project Big Picture’, which would overhaul English football and give an enormous amount of power to the big six clubs.A report from The Daily Telegraph on Sunday revealed that Liverpool’s owners had authored a proposal, which has the support of Manchester United, which would see a £250million bail-out handed to EFL clubs in exchange for a host of dramatic changes.The Premier League would be reduced to just 18 teams and the League Cup and Community Shield scrapped, while only six votes – rather than the current 14 – would be needed to make rule changes. Metro Sport ReporterSunday 11 Oct 2020 3:22 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link42Shares Comment Chairman of the EFL Rick Parry supports the proposals (Picture: Getty)EFL chairman Rick Parry came out in support of the plans, telling the Telegraph: ‘The view of our clubs is if the [big] six get some benefits but the 72 also do, then we are up for it.’AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut the Premier League has now released a statement raising concerns over a number of the proposals suggested, as well as Parry’s comments, and still hopes to be able to give EFL clubs the money they need without resorting to such extreme measures.‘We have seen media reports today regarding a plan to restructure football in this country,’ read the statement.‘English football is the world’s most watched, and has a vibrant, dynamic and competitive league structure that drives interest around the globe.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors‘To maintain this position, it is important that we all work together.‘Both the Premier League and The FA support a wide-ranging discussion on the future of the game, including its competition structures, calendar and overall financing particularly in light of the effects of COVID-19.‘Football has many stakeholders, therefore this work should be carried out through the proper channels enabling all clubs and stakeholders the opportunity to contribute. Premier League issues statement on Liverpool and Manchester United’s ‘Project Big Picture’ planscenter_img ‘Project Big Picture’ was put forward by Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (Picture: Getty)‘In the Premier League’s view, a number of the individual proposals in the plan published today could have a damaging impact on the whole game and we are disappointed to see that Rick Parry, Chair of the EFL, has given his on-the-record support.‘The Premier League has been working in good faith with its clubs and the EFL to seek a resolution to the requirement for COVID-19 rescue funding. This work will continue.’A Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport spokesman also commented, telling the BBC: ‘We are surprised and disappointed that at a time of crisis when we have urged the top tiers of professional football to come together and finalise a deal to help lower league clubs there appear to be backroom deals being cooked up that would create a closed shop at the very top of the game.‘Sustainability, integrity and fair competition are absolutely paramount and anything that may undermine them is deeply troubling. Fans must be front of all our minds, and this shows why our fan led review of football governance will be so critical.’MORE: Liverpool and Manchester United leading plans to scrap League Cup and reduce Premier League to 18 teams in major shake-upMORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer responds to Monchi telling Manchester United to get a Director of FootballFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Runaway ‘Spoons’ win for Yorkshire pair

first_img Yorkshire golfers Jane Butler and Carole Morris scored a runaway win in the national final of the Australian Spoons at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.The pair from Doncaster Golf Club defied torrential rain to score 36 points in the foursomes competition, which was run as part of England Golf Week – and they won the trophy by seven points.“It’s a dream come true,” said Jane, who plays off 23 handicap. Carole, a 28-handicapper, added: “We are over the moon, really, really excited that we have won. We just kept saying ‘We can, we will’ and now ‘we have!’”Jane has proved herself something of a foursomes specialist over the last two days. Yesterday, with a different partner, she took second place in the Yorkshire ladies’ county foursomes – and then travelled straight to Frilford for the Australian Spoons.She and Carole had come through club and north regional qualifying rounds to reach the final and take on pairs from England Golf’s five other women’s regions.The runners-up were Lisa Hawkins and Sophie Tester from Sedlescombe Golf Club, Sussex, taking second place on countback from Naomi Pilmer and Jane Clark (The Links, Newmarket) and Pam Greenfield and Desley Smith (Branston, Staffordshire). The other finalists were Sonia Restall and Sandra Ruxton (Harewood Downs, Buckinghamshire) and Sue Warren and Helen Walker (Cumberwell Park, Wiltshire).England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring the national finals of a host of individual and team championships for club golfers. Caption: Australian Spoons winners Carole Morris and Jane Butler from Doncaster Golf Club. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography). 16 Aug 2018 Runaway ‘Spoons’ win for Yorkshire pair center_img Tags: Australian Spoons, Frilford Heathlast_img read more

Transfer gossip: Don Balon still linking Real with Hazard

first_imgSome of the latest transfer speculation involving Chelsea…Eden Hazard has been outstanding for club and countrySpanish media outlets continue to link Real Madrid with Chelsea star Eden Hazard.Hazard, who has been in sensational form this season, was widely tipped to join Real during the summer transfer window. Now Don Balon claim Real boss Julen Lopetegui wants the club to fight to sign Hazard rather than Neymar, who has been linked with a move to the Bernabéu from Paris St-Germain.Don Balon claimed several times during the summer that a deal had been agreed for Hazard to move to Real, when in fact no offer had been made.Chelsea still being linked with RamseyReports continue to claim Chelsea want Aaron Ramsey. [Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire]Chelsea have once again been linked with Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.There has been speculation over Ramsey’s future for some time as his contract at the Emirates Stadium is due to expire next summer.It has repeatedly been claimed that Chelsea are interested in signing the Wales international.And, despite the Blues’ wealth of midfield options, Ramsey has again been touted for a possible move to Stamford Bridge.The Daily Mirror say Ramsey’s contract talks have broken down completely and that Chelsea and Manchester United are among clubs keen on him.The newspaper say there is now no contract offer on the table for Ramsey and that Arsenal stand to lose him on a free transfer at the end of the season.Speculation over Cahill’s future continuesGary Cahill has suggested he might leave ChelseaSheffield Wednesday are the latest club to be linked with Gary Cahill.It follows reports that Aston Villa are interested in taking their former defender back to the club he began his career with.The Sun say both Villa and Wednesday are keen on Cahill but that he wants to stay in the Premier League.The newspaper also claim Manchester United’s former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is monitoring Cahill’s situation.Cahill recently said he would seek a move when the transfer window reopens in January if he is still being overlooked by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebookby Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksRecommended for youAspireAbove.comRemember Pauley Perrette? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowAspireAbove.comUndoRome Hotels | Search AdsRome Hotels Might be Cheaper Than You ThinkRome Hotels | Search AdsUndoLifestly.com25 Celebs You Didn’t Realize Are Gay – No. 8 Will Surprise WomenLifestly.comUndoUsed Cars | Search AdsUsed Cars in Tuen Mun Might Be Cheaper Than You ThinkUsed Cars | Search AdsUndoezzin.com20 Breathtaking Places to See Before You Dieezzin.comUndoFood World Magazine15 Fruits that Burn Fat Like CrazyFood World MagazineUndoDrhealth35 Foods That Should Never Be Placed in the RefrigeratorDrhealthUndoHappyTricks.comHer House Always Smells Amazing – Try her Unique Trick!HappyTricks.comUndolast_img read more

SA wine bottles to lighten up

first_imgSouth Africa’s thriving wine industry is soon to become even more eco-friendly, with the introduction of lighter wine bottles. (Image: MediaClubsouthafrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Andre MorgenthalCommunications Manager, Wines of SA+27 21 883 3860RELATED ARTICLES • Dounle Tri Nations win for SA • SA scoops World Wine Awards • Wine-tasting in the township • South African wine export booming Janine ErasmusThe introduction of new, lighter wine bottles for red and white wines will help the South African wine industry reduce its carbon footprint and impact on the environment.Wine bottles have become increasingly lighter over the years – a mere four years ago a 750ml bottle tipped the scales at an average of 516g, and by 2009 it had dropped to 437g, but the new screw-capped bottles weigh in at just 350g each.Cork-sealed bottles have also slimmed down, reduced in weight from 570g to 460g.The new bottles are expected to be available around April 2010, in time for the annual harvest.The 370g bottle is the lightest bottle on the market at the moment and has already garnered a trophy for sustainability at the annual Gold Pack award ceremony, held by the Institute of Packaging South Africa.Eco-friendly industrySouth Africa’s wine industry has become steadily greener over the years. The introduction of a number of innovative eco-friendly initiatives has made it one of the most progressive industries in the world when it comes to saving the earth.Among these are the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which is a partnership between the wine and conservation sectors, protecting precious indigenous flora in the species-rich Cape Floral Kingdom.A number of wine estates have set up their own green projects, such as Backsberg, which is one of only a handful of winemakers worldwide that are carbon neutral, and which in 2008 launched its educational Earth Centre, also home to environmental NGO Food and Trees for Africa.Hein Koegelenberg, CEO of Leopard’s Leap wines, which is known for its tireless conservation of Cape leopards, said: “We are extremely excited about the introduction of the lightweight bottles into our range. The introduction of lighter bottles into our wine collection is in keeping with our objective of being an eco-conscious wine brand and doing our utmost to limit our carbon footprint.”Overseas successSouth African wines are generally doing well overseas. In the UK the country is increasing its market share faster than any other competitor and to date has bagged 12.5% of that wine market, from 10.4% in 2008, according to internationally recognised market research company AC Nielsen.Foreign exchange earnings from wine exports totalled over R6-billion (US$779-million) in 2008.In the US the market share is much smaller but consumers there are looking for value for money in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and South African wines, with their outstanding quality and wallet-friendly prices, are in growing demand.South African wines have also made inroads in Sweden, where exports increased 18%, and Canada with an 11% increase. Other countries where local wine exports grew are Japan, Nigeria, Angola and China.In 2009 the export of packaged South African wine grew 7% year-on-year, while export of bulk wine dropped by 18% to 150.5-million litres – in total 389-million litres of wine left the country last year.Environmental impactThe wine industry takes a large toll on the environment. Not only does actual production have a substantial impact, but transportation of the finished product, often over vast distances, creates significant carbon emissions.The new wine bottle is expected to reduce emissions simply by being lighter, resulting in lower fuel consumption.This smoothly addresses the problem facing the local wine industry in terms of increasing output and expert volumes while operating in a responsible manner.“It becomes a delicate balancing act to enhance our sustainability profile while pushing up our output,” said Wines of South Africa CEO Su Birch.Then why not supply overseas bottlers with wine in bulk and cut down transportation-related emissions in that way? Because, explained Birch, South African jobs would be lost – for every 10-million litres of bulk wine sent overseas, 107 jobs would be shed, and in the current economic climate too many have been lost already.And taking into account that breadwinners have dependants, and associated services would also be affected, such a step would devastate many lives. Almost 276 000 people are currently directly employed by the wine industry.Consumers, too, are doing their bit to save the planet. Many will choose an eco-friendly brand of wine over one that is less so, and savvy supermarkets and wine shops are eager to accommodate them.last_img read more

Van Schalkwyk named for top UN job

first_imgMarthinus van Schalkwyk and performersat the 2009 opening of the Nelson MandelaBay visitor information centre.(Image: Port Elizabeth Daily Photo) South Africa’s Presidency has put forward the country’s minister of tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, as a candidate to head the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).The Presidency announced in March that after consideration, it had nominated Van Schalkwyk to take over from the outgoing executive secretary Yvo de Boer, who has been at the head of the organisation since 2006.Earlier in 2010 De Boer announced his retirement from the UN position to join consultancy giant KPMG as their global advisor on sustainability and climate. He will take up his new post on 1 July 2010.Van Schalkwyk is regarded as a strong contender for the position, having gained extensive experience in dealing with climate-related issues in his previous post as minister of environmental affairs and tourism.The Presidency reported that it had received requests from a number of outside parties – including governments, corporations and NGOs in both the developed and developing world – for Van Schalkwyk to be made available for nomination for this prestigious post.President Jacob Zuma and Van Schalkwyk have already met to discuss the matter.The final decision lies with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.A tough jobShould his bid be successful, the minister will face a tough job in getting the 192 members of the UNFCCC to agree on the effects of climate change and unite to implement strategies to counter the global phenomenon.In the wake of the 2009 climate conference held in Copenhagen, which failed to produce any realistic or legally binding emission-reduction target between participating nations, Van Schalkwyk will have his work cut out for him to bring the members of the UNFCCC into accord. De Boer is of the opinion that a new climate deal will not be struck before 2011.Van Schalkwyk will also have to restore the faith of developing nations, who also widely condemned the failure of the Copenhagen talks to provide any real hope of assistance for them from developed nations.However, as environmental affairs minister, a post which he held until after the general elections of 2009, Van Schalkwyk earned respect as a fighter for developing nations, and for leading South Africa in a number of progressive climate change initiatives that elevated the country as a champion for good environmental practices.Among his achievements are the implementation of a Black Economic Empowerment scorecard and charter for tourism, the launch of a new environmental protection fleet to counteract illegal fishing, the enforcing of the 2004 Air Quality Act, and the banning of the use, import and export, and manufacturing of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.In 2008 he assumed the rotating presidency of the biennial African Ministerial Conference on the Environment, a gathering of African ministers of the environment, at its 12th session, which took place in Johannesburg.“Our message for this gathering is that we are ready to assist in shaping and building a cohesive African environmental agenda,” said Van Schalkwyk in his acceptance speech.He therefore has the understanding and the experience needed to effectively punt the needs of developing nations, ensuring they do not get pushed aside in the global climate debate.Towards the end of next year South Africa hosts the 2011 Conference of the Parties, an annual meeting of the members of the UNFCCC. To have a South African at the helm of global climate negotiations would be fitting, and, said the Presidency, “an honour and a privilege”.Saving the planetThe UNFCCC arose out of the 1992 UN environment summit, known as the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro. The treaty was established with the main aim of stabilising the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and came into force in March 1994.The UNFCCC’s 192 parties are classified as Annex I or Annex II members. Annex I countries are seen as industrialised economies or economies in transition. Annex II countries have developed economies and are able to help developing countries financially with initiatives that fall under the UNFCCC.To date, 40 Annex I and 23 Annex II countries have become parties. There are also a number of non-Annex 1 parties, of which South Africa is one – these are mostly developing nations who are dependent on assistance from wealthier nations.The UNFCCC itself has no compulsory carbon emission limits to which members are expected to adhere, but its main instrument, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, does set legally binding targets for carbon emission reduction for its own 184 members.The UNFCCC secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany.last_img read more

The Cradle of Humankind

first_imgA handful of the world’s great cities trace their heritage to early human settlements thousands of years back. Johannesburg’s earliest residents were in the neighbourhood 3-million years ago.Forty kilometres west of Johannesburg, is a 47 000-hectare valley known as the Cradle of Humankind. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterForty kilometres west of the city, among nondescript koppies, scattered shrubs and trees, is a 47 000-hectare valley known as the Cradle of Humankind.Three million years of human activity have taken place in and around these caves, including people’s earliest-known mastery of fire, and 40% of all the world’s human ancestor fossils have been found here.The biggest and best-known of the caves is Sterkfontein, where over 500 hominid fossils and over 9 000 stone tools have been found. It was at Sterkfontein that two major finds were made, that have changed modern paleontology:The Australopithecus africanus Mrs Ples (now believed to be a Mister Ples), dating back 2.5-million years, and found by Robert Bloom in 1947.Little Foot, an almost complete ape-man skeleton that could be just over 4 million years old, the first pieces – footbones – of which were found by Ronald Clarke and Phillip Tobias in 1995 (the bones had lain in a box since the late 1970s, when they were excavated).Another major find was:A new species of hominin, homo naledi, was unveiled at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg in September 2015. It was described as a new branch of the human family tree. Professor Lee Berger, the American archaeologist who led the excavation, called the Rising Star expedition, said fossils of 15 individuals of various ages were found 12 metres into the Dinaledi Chamber.In 1997, Clarke, digging through more boxes of bones from Sterkfontein, found more footbones from the same individual – one with a clean break suggesting that more of Little Foot’s bones might still be inside the cave. Clarke went after the rest of Little Foot’s skeleton – and in 1998, amazingly, found it, or at least a significant part of it.Maropeng brings fossils to life with interactive displays, stunning exhibits and a boat ride on an underground lake, the state-of-the-art Maropeng centre allows visitors to explore the rich fossil heritage of the Cradle of Humankind.A complete skull and fragments of arm, foot and leg bones have been uncovered so far; the rest of the bones are still being painstakingly excavated from the rock. Some believe that Little Foot is the most significant hominid find since Raymond Dart’s discovery of the skull of the Taung child, a juvenile Australopithecus africanus, discovered in 1924 near a town called Taung in the far north of North West.According to Clarke, the Little Foot fossil has yielded the most complete australopithecine skull yet found, found together with the most complete set of foot and leg bones known so far – with more extracted from the rock since then. In addition, the preservation of the skeleton is extraordinary, with most of the bones intact and joined in their natural position.The Little Foot skeleton was originally thought to be between 3 and 3.5 million years old, but a more recent study argues that it could be over 4 million years old, which would make it one of the oldest known australopithecine fossils, and easily the oldest from South Africa.According to Talk.origins: “If Clarke’s expectations of further finds are borne out, Little Foot could become the most spectacular and important hominid fossil ever discovered, rivalled only by the Turkana Boy Homo erectus skeleton [discovered in 1984 near Lake Turkana in Kenya].”The Sterkfontein valley consists of around 40 different fossil sites, 13 of which have been excavated. It includes Bolt’s Farm, where the remains of three sabre-tooth cats have been found in a pit that trapped animals; Swartkrans, site of the earliest-known deliberate use of fire, around 1.3-million years ago; Haasgat, where the fossils of early forest-dwelling monkeys, around 1.3-million years old, were found; and Gondolin, where 90 000 fossil specimens have been found since 1979. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. Although it is on privately owned land, any finds belong to the world, and the area is strictly controlled and protected.BeginningsIn the late 1890s, miners dynamited the Sterkfontein caves, searching for limestone which they converted into quick lime, an element needed for the processing of gold and the manufacture of cement. They displaced the sediment and revealed entrances to the caves. The rocks contain cyclindrical shapes – evidence of early life called stromatolite, dating back 3.8-billion years.These organisms breathed in carbon dioxide and breathed out oxygen, thus increasing the earth’s oxygen levels and leading to the evolution of other forms of life. Some 2.5-billion years ago, the area was an inland shallow sea.Over time the water evaporated and the mud formed dolomite rock, in which the stromatolite are visible. Around 2-billion years ago a large meteorite, 10 kilometres in diameter, fell in Vredefort (100 kilometres south of Sterkfontein), leaving a massive crater now known as the Vredefort Dome. The entire area for hundreds of kilometres around was covered in debris, which helped preserve the gold reefs of the Witwatersrand, preventing them from being eroded – and also helped preserve the stromatolite rocks.Some 3.5-million years ago, openings to the caves started appearing. They may have been occupied by sabre-toothed cats and other predators which would explain why the remains of large herbivores like wildebeest, extinct zebra and buffalo have been found in the caves. One of the caves is called Plover’s Lake Cave. It has been explored some 50 metres down, but beyond that point are a labyrinth of unexplored passages, and several entrances. A hyena and a porcupine are known to live there – no-one has spotted them, but their footprints are often seen. Excavations of Plover Cave and others in the area is ongoing.The nearby Wonder Cave has an enormous chamber with beautiful 15 metre-high stalactite formations. The Cave is believed to be 2.2-million years old, and bones of rodents, frogs, lizards and birds have been found in the cave. It’s hard while walking around the area to fully comprehend the age of the sites and the importance of the finds.Charles Darwin predicted in the 19th Century that the origins of humankind would be traced back to Africa because that’s where the great apes live. South Africans, and Joburgers in particular, don’t have far to go to take a stroll into life millions of years ago… so long as they are mindful of hyenas and porcupines.Updated: September 2017Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

MAN Develops Marine FuelGas System for Liquefied Hydrogen

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: MAN MAN Cryo, a subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has developed a marine fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen, in close cooperation with Fjord1 and Multi Maritime in Norway. Multi Maritime’s hydrogen vessel design for Fjord1, including the fully integrated MAN Cryo – Hydrogen Fuel Gas System, has been granted preliminary approval in principle (AiP) by DNV-GL. As informed, the system is the first marine-system design globally to secure such an approval.“As a solution for vessels employed on relatively short maritime routes, such as ferries, this technology is a world-first… Furthermore, Hydrogen is a clean fuel whose profile fits perfectly with the general desire within the industry to move towards cleaner technology. The possibilities for this technology are varied and exciting,” Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, said.MAN Cryo developed the system design in-house at its headquarters in Gothenburg in close cooperation with the shipowner, Fjord1, and ship designer, Multi Maritime, in Norway.“To secure this approval in principle shows the determination that MAN Energy Solutions has to advance cleaner shipping solutions…Our strategy is to actively work with our customers to design and promote cleaner ways of powering vessels,” Louise Andersson, Head of MAN Cryo, said.According to MAN, the system has a scalable design that allows easy adaptation for different shipping types, sizes and conditions. The design is suited for both above- and below-deck applications.Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253° Celsius and is one of the absolutely coldest cryogenic gases there is, which places system components and materials under extreme stresses. Another design challenge was hydrogen’s explosive nature.Once liquefied, hydrogen is reduced to 1/800th of its volume, compared to that of its gas phase, facilitating a more-efficient distribution. As a fuel, hydrogen does not release any CO2 and can play an important role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon, energy system. Liquefied hydrogen can be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel-cell technology.last_img read more

What A Badass Olympic Skier Can Teach Us About WorkLife Balance

3Slovakia34.0– 22Turkey16.0– 28Switzerland14.0– 25Germany14.0– 19Luxembourg16.0– 12Denmark18.0– Randall’s Finnish peer Aino-Kaisa Saarinen had a child around the same time that Randall did, and she told me that her country has a mandatory four-month paid leave for mothers, which she started a month before her due date. After the baby was born, she and her partner received further benefits, including leave that they could split as they chose between the parents. “In our case, the dad took all that,” Saarinen said. (Not to mention the paid leave that fathers are entitled to.)Randall has competed in the predominantly Europe-based World Cup without that kind of paid leave but with Breck in tow for the past two seasons. It hasn’t always been easy. Although she emerged from childbirth without any serious complications (not all women do, as tennis star Serena Williams’s story demonstrates), the snap in her muscles didn’t return right away. And during her time off, the U.S. team “had gotten so strong,” Randall said. She sat out the second World Cup weekend after her return because she wasn’t skiing as well as her teammates.There have been many men who’ve continued competing after adding a child to their family, said Chris Grover, head coach of the U.S. cross-country ski team, but very few women. “Many of these guys are not primary caregivers and tend to come to the races Thursday and head back home on Sunday night or Monday,” Grover said. And while fathers may experience sleepless nights just like mothers do, they don’t need to physically recover after childbirth.Randall and her husband have built their work and family life around her job. Ellis secured a job as a media coordinator for the ski federation, which allowed him to travel the World Cup circuit with her. “He got the job so that we could see each other in the winter,” Randall said.Randall breast-fed her son until about a month into the racing season. Realizing that there would be at least four mothers coming to the World Cup with babies, the ski federation worked with the athlete commission, national ski federations and organizing committees to make formal recommendations encouraging race venues to provide a “baby room” with appropriate provisions so that moms can breast-feed and care for their infants as needed. Randall thinks she used these rooms much more than others in her cohort of new mothers. She said that may be because the others live in Europe, where most of the races take place, and can travel back and forth between home and races on a weekly basis.In Finland, Saarinen benefits from laws that guarantee child care facilities will be available. “The government also pays for most of it,” she said. That’s not all. “We also get child money from the government, which is about 200€ per month, a baby box with 48 items, and free and mandatory monthly health checks for baby and for the mom.”Things are different in the U.S. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, 62 percent of parents of infant or preschool-age children report difficulty finding affordable, high-quality child care in their community, regardless of their income.Because Randall and Ellis are both working while on the race circuit, their parents and some friends have stepped in to provide child care, but paying travel and accomodations for these helpers isn’t cheap. In part because of the cost, Breck won’t be accompanying his parents to Pyeongchang. After calculating that it would run something like $15,000 to $20,000 for them to bring him and a caretaker along, they decided to send him to his grandparents’ house in Canada instead.As well as things are working out for her now, Randall acknowledges that her current situation is not sustainable. And it probably wouldn’t be scalable to the whole workplace either. Grover acknowledged that it’s difficult to imagine a ski team traveling around Europe with all the coaching staff’s kids, in addition to the team athletes.Randall plans to retire from racing after this season but will remain in the sport. She is president of the U.S. branch of Fast and Female, a group that encourages girls to participate in sports, and she’s running for election as an athlete representative on the International Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission. After two decades of competition, it feels right, she said. Success in a career like sports requires giving it your all, and that means family life can’t always come first. For a parent who wants to substantially take part in parenting, eventually something must give. 5Ireland26.0– 24Slovenia15.0– 23Belgium15.0– 6Hungary24.0– 16Austria16.0– 10Australia18.0– CountryLength of paid maternity leave, in weeks 20Netherlands16.0– 27Japan14.0– 7Italy21.7– 11Chile18.0– 29Iceland13.0– 2United Kingdom39.0– Source: OECD Family Database 15Canada17.0– 21Spain16.0– 35United States0.0 34Portugal6.0– 4Czech Republic28.0– 8Estonia20.0– 32Sweden12.9– 17France16.0– 13New Zealand18.0– 18Latvia16.0– 30Norway13.0– 1Greece43.0– 31South Korea12.9– Paid maternal leave policies around the worldAmong countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2016 33Mexico12.0– 14Finland17.5– 26Israel14.0– 9Poland20.0– Team USA has sent 20 fathers to Pyeongchang, but only one mother: Kikkan Randall. A three-time winner of cross-country skiing’s World Cup sprint title, Randall was part of a baby boom that happened after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when four of the sport’s top athletes took time off from racing to give birth.1The others were Marit Bjoergen of Norway (whose silver medal in Saturday’s skiathlon earned her the title of most-decorated woman at the Olympic Winter Games), five-time Olympic medalist Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland and Katja Visnar of Slovenia.These women didn’t just return to work — they came back to the highest level of a demanding sport, and all four are expected to compete in Pyeongchang. But Randall is doing so without the same safety net that her European colleagues have. And that’s left her facing the same challenge that many other American women experience: how to balance a grueling career with the demands of new motherhood. A job as arduous as being a professional athlete (or, say, director of policy planning at the State Department) has little room for compromise or scaling back, and that means that much of the parenting must fall to a spouse or outside help.The 2018 Games will be the fifth Olympic appearance for Randall, a 35-year-old cross-country skier from Alaska.2When I was an elite skier in the 2000s, Randall was an up-and-coming star. I never skied fast enough to make the Olympic team, and the U.S. women’s teams in 2002 and 2006 were unlikely contenders for medals. But since then, thanks in large part to Randall’s performance and leadership, the American women have become a force to reckon with — earning both World Cup and world championship titles. Minnesota native Jessie Diggins won the final World Cup race before Pyeongchang. In 2008, Randall, nicknamed Kikkanimal, made history by becoming the first American woman to win a World Cup in cross-country skiing. And in Pyeongchang, she has a legitimate shot at a medal.Mothers-to-be in most professions take time off after childbirth, but Randall’s situation was different: “I was on my maternity leave while I was pregnant,” she said. Because she remained on the U.S. ski team roster, she retained access to her health insurance, and most of her sponsors continued their support, in exchange for appearances, social media plugs and other publicity. She resumed training about three weeks after her son, Breck, was born in April 2016, with the support of her husband, Jeff Ellis, who parented while she trained. Having a husband who is willing to take on parental duties and, most importantly, to do so “unbegrudgingly” has been “a huge piece of the puzzle,” Randall said.There’s no such thing as a part-time return to work in elite sports, which usually require multiple training sessions each day, along with naps, massages, full nights of sleep and other recovery rituals. Of course, sleepless nights are almost a given for the first years of a child’s life. And Randall said that knowing Ellis will “take care of those night-time wakings before a race really helps.”She noted that her peers in Scandinavian countries have the benefit of paid time off for fathers as well as mothers. (Of the 35 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. is the only one without paid maternal leave.) read more

From end zone to stage former Buckeye Maurice Hall back in the

“Maurice showed up and everybody knew who he was, but he was completely humble and he knew that he was just beginning,” McClatchy said. “He was a voracious learner — he was willing to try anything.” Hall had taken a theatre class at OSU when he was fairly new to campus and really enjoyed it. But he was concerned that his demanding football schedule wouldn’t allow him to participate in theatre. McClatchy, who’s currently teaching at OSU while pursuing his master’s in acting and performance, said Hall had a certain amount of poise that carried over from his football career. “He had the confidence that comes from accomplishments. He was uncertain about how to go about doing things, but he was confident that he’d (be) able to figure it out,” McClatchy said. “That gave him a little bit of a leg up.” Hall also believed his football career, particularly the season the Buckeyes won the National Championship, helped to ease his transition to acting. “In 2002, the practice, the work ethic, the faith and development, all of the things I learned while playing at Ohio State, and understanding what it takes to dive in and start from scratch really helped me out,” Hall said. Hall acted in a few plays and filmed the movie “Best Supporting Daddy” in Columbus. Still, Hall knew that, in order to pursue an acting career, he’d have to move to L.A. Hall quickly recognized the stark contrast between the protective blanket of Buckeye Nation and the fame-driven L.A. society. “Even though I did some independent films and some plays in Columbus, the reason I was picked for the roles was because I was a name that people knew,” Hall said. “People would come see the movie or the play because I was in it, not necessarily because I was a good actor. And that was one of the big differences in coming out to L.A.” Suddenly, it no longer mattered what Hall had accomplished on the football field. “Everybody in L.A. is some kind of actor, singer or other entertainer. It’s one of those things where you’re not going to get a role because you played football for Ohio State,” Hall said. “You have to actually be a good actor. So, from that aspect, it’s persuaded me to really pursue the craft and learn as much as I can and get better.” Charley Boon, Hall’s acting teacher at the Joanne Baron / D.W. Brown Studio in Santa Monica, Calif., said Hall has improved by “leaps and bounds.” “There are people who go out into the workforce and they have my name on them. Sometimes that can be a scary thing,” Boon said, “but the wonderful thing about Maurice is, I would not hesitate to recommend him for a job at all.” Hall recently made appearances on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House.” “I had the opportunity to be on the show ‘House,’ where you get a chance to see Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, you know, these great actors,” Hall said. “I see what they do as far as preparation, and being in that atmosphere drives you to want to be better.” There’s an old saying that to be a successful actor, you have to be able to deal with rejection. Hall admits he’s faced his fair share of it. He’s currently working at Lululemon Athletica, a company that sells exercise and yoga clothing. It’s a supplemental job, helping to pay the bills until the crapshoot that is the auditioning process leads to something more lucrative. “Right now it’s pilot season,” Hall said. “I’m hoping to get some opportunities coming up.” Maurice Hall is familiar with the venomous stereotype that haunts athletes who have made a similar career choice. It followed Hall across the country, from Columbus, Ohio, to Los Angeles. “Initially you hear that ‘Oh, he’s just a football player that wants to get into acting’ kind of thing, and I wanted to really get rid of that stereotype,” Hall said. “So, I applied the work ethic and the practice methods I used playing football, and put it into acting. “Eventually it got (to) the point where my growth as an actor was visible, and more people started to look at me as an actor, versus a football player who just wants to act.” Hall was a running back on the Ohio State football team from 2001-04, winning a National Championship in 2002. The San Diego Chargers signed him in April 2005, but less than a month later he was unemployed. Hall returned to Columbus to pursue his master’s in sports administration, while working as an assistant to OSU athletic director Gene Smith and doing sports television work for NBC. “During football season, I would do sports analysis stuff pertaining to high school football, along with Ohio State football,” Hall said. “The more I did that, the more I got comfortable with being in front of the camera and having fun with it.” His future in acting was starting to take shape. While working on the show “Football Friday Nights,” Hall had an opportunity to perform in skits. “I liked the aspect of coming up with skits,” Hall said, “and performing them on TV really got me motivated to want to do more.” So, Hall searched for an agent. Though there might not be any Ari Emanuels in Columbus, Hall found a commercial agent. “She referred me to do some acting classes to help with my auditioning for things going on in Columbus,” Hall said. “Once I started taking acting classes, I kind of fell in love with it.” Hall began to search Craigslist for acting classes and found an advertisement for an audition at MadLab Theatre, where he landed on the doorstep of acting instructor Kevin McClatchy. McClatchy, who was aware that Hall was a former Buckeye, said Hall was disciplined and worked hard from the start. read more