Weekly Digest #52
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Friendship over Fame: Lessons from the Tokyo Olympics
By: Agastya Rao
The Olympics bring the winning athlete fame and glory not only for themselves but also for their country. The Tokyo Olympics will always find a special place in history, not only because they managed to take place while the world was in the grip of a pandemic; but because many athletes showed us that the spirit of friendship was more important than winning. These next few heart-warming positive incidents from the Tokyo Olympics 2020 shall surely bring a smile to your face.
1. The shared Gold Medal-
Picture this - Two friends make it to the finals of the Men’s High Jump at the Tokyo Olympics. They both clear the same height and are tied for the 1st position. Then, the final decider when the height is raised to the OR (Olympic Record Height), both of them try 3 times to clear the height, and fail- leaving both of them tied at the 1st Position.
The officials were in a fix, wondering what to do. The officials recommend a “Jump off” to decide the winner. However, the two friends proposed a different and unorthodox approach and asked if the two athletes could share it, and so it was done! The two athletes shared a Gold Medal rather than bitterly fighting for the Gold Medal.
With that, Mutaz Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy put the friendly spirit of the Olympics ahead of a bitter battle for glory and managed to keep their friendship and their gold medal :)
2. Taxi fare help- Gold Medal win!
The day Hansle Parchment, a Jamaican Athlete had been waiting for all his life, had finally arrived -the finals of the 110M Hurdles. He had worked hard and all the effort he had ever put in was leading up to this moment.
However, there was a slight hurdle (I don’t mean the regular ones) he had to overcome on the day of the race that could have prevented him from achieving Olympic glory- a simple misunderstanding. On the bus ride towards the stadium on the day of his race, it turned out he had boarded the wrong bus and had reached the wrong venue!
If he waited to take another bus, he would miss his race entirely. Luckily for him, a good samaritan was there to help him. Trijana Stojkovic was volunteering at the venue where Hansle had accidentally landed up at, and helped with money to pay the taxi fare to get to the correct venue. Thanks to her help, Hansle reached the venue on time and ended up winning the Gold Medal in the 110M Hurdles by overcoming all the hurdles in his path to win (See what I did there 😁).
Hansle tracked Trijana down and gave her a Jamaican Olympic Team T-Shirt, paid her the taxi fare she had given him and made an entire video thanking her for being instrumental in his success and for helping him on the final day.
3. Cameraman crashed into by skateboarder: keeps recording
Australian Skateboarder Kieran Woolley was skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics and was representing his country in a highly prestigious moment. Sadly, one of the moves he was performing went awry and he crashed into a cameraman who was recording the event. The cameraman however showed complete dedication and continued recording the event. Wow! He should have gotten a gold medal purely for his dedication to his job! Kieran Woolley came and checked on the cameraman to make sure he was okay, and they even fist-bumbped!
4. 12 year old wins Olympic gold
For all the naysayers who say “you are just a child” HAVE to read this paragraph. Children set various records at the Olympic games this year, the first being when Momiji Nishiya who was just 13 years old won an Olympic Gold Medal in Skateboarding. Then, roughly a week later, 12 year old Kokona Hiraki won the Silver medal in another Skateboarding event! This just goes to show that you are never too young to achieve tough sporting dreams.
5. Spotlight on Mental Health of Athletes
This last highlight is related to my article in Weekly Digest #50 about how the Olympics have led to more focus on the Mental Health of Athletes, with star gymnast Simone Biles pulling out of various finals due to a mental health condition called the twisties (A mental block/condition where a gymnast thinks they are in the air, but lose track of their space and how to land back on the ground.)
The Olympics showed the entire world that athletes are humans too and we have to start caring about their Mental Health.
With that we come to the end of a collection of positive instances from the Tokyo Olympics. Stay positive :)
15 wishes on August 15th- a teenager’s vision of an independent India
By: Abhimanyu Rao
Today is India’s Independence day! It is celebrated as a culmination of India’s long struggle for freedom from the oppressive grasp of the British. This involved years and years of fighting, fasting, civil disobedience and sacrifice. This is the 75th independence day, and that means that there have been 75 years since India gained its independence! In this article, I will give you 15 things I want for this great country this 15th August! So without further ado, here goes:
1.Clean Streets: One of our country’s biggest drawbacks is the litter around every corner, and it ruins both the visual impact, and the health and safety of Indian citizens! This is why we need to have cleanliness over litter.
2. True Equality: Our Constitution guarantees us equality for all. 75 years into being an independent country, the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and discrimination on the basis of more biases than I can count, mean that we are far away from true equality. We need to work as a group to remove these biases and inequalities so that all people get equal opportunities for whatever they want to do.
3. Standardised testing: One of the main issues in the Indian education system is standardised testing. In Weekly Digest #15, I talked about the issues with standardised testing, and how the types of questions were very poor in some cases. Now, due to the onset of the pandemic and the cancellation of last year’s board exams, we need to wonder, are board exams still necessary?
4. Extracurricular Activities- India has always been famous for its academic rigour, however, that has also made it infamous for not focussing enough on sports. Hopefully, we can find a balance, to make India an “all rounder” of a country. If nothing else, the medals won by our athletes at the Tokyo Olympics should inspire us.
5. Ending religious rivalries: In a country as diverse as India, there is a huge diversity of religions and cultures. While unity in diversity is the ultimate dream, recent times have shown us that we may be in danger of becoming a deeply divided country. Our generation must look past differences as dividing factors and we must work together, celebrating these differences.
6. Decrease in poverty: India has a huge number of people below the poverty line. This is heartbreaking, and one of my biggest hopes for our country is that we manage to decrease this number substantially.
7. Increase in literacy rate: Another heartbreaking statistic in India is the 69.3% literacy rate. While that is much better than several countries, we need to improve it to at least 85% soon.
. Decrease in air pollution: India has the dubious distinction of being among the most polluted countries in the world. Especially around October and November , you can barely see 3 feet ahead of you if you live in Delhi NCR. This is because of the terrifyingly thick smog that engulfs our cities. We need to keep a check on this, so that people can breathe freely all year round.
9. Better health infrastructure: Our health infrastructure is not in shambles per se, but it needs to be so much better, as the pandemic has shown us. News from India in April and May 2021, during the worst of the second wave of the pandemic, has again shone a light on the changes we urgently need to bring to our medical facilities. At the very least, education and health must be accessible for every citizen of our country.
Hopefully, our leaders will learn, and we will be prepared for anything in the future!
10. Decrease in homework: Many students get a high volume of homework, and it leeches them of both their time, and their energy! While a limited amount of homework does more good than harm, if you give too much, you will make the student hate it, and also ruin their day.
11. Food for all: Another harsh reality of India is that not everyone can manage to get food on their plates thrice a day. I hope that one day, this occurrence of no food can be unheard of. When you think about it, once the most basic needs like food, education and health are taken care of, the country can truly progress.
12. Education for all- Not everyone has access to education, and that is another thing that must be remedied, hopefully before this decade is up?
13: Access to clean drinking water for all: Did you know that some people have to walk up to 10 kilometers to get water to drink? This is horrifying, and this is another thing that must be remedied by 2030.
14. Decrease of violence around the country: There are a lot of violent incidents that occur from time to time. If we decrease that, we will have a much safer country.
15. India becoming a first world country: India is rapidly developing, and the day it becomes a first world country is the day that all of these things will be achieved, and we will have achieved the wishes of the freedom fighters who fought for our freedom.
These are my wishes for India. Do YOU have any wishes that I haven’t written? Let's work together for these to come true.
15 tips on how to improve your work ethic!
By: Mihir Rao
Working for long periods of time can get a bit difficult, but starting something for the first time is
Even harder. In my opinion, starting a new task is one of the biggest hurdles that you have to jump. As soon as it becomes a habit, the work/task becomes much easier to do. This ‘task’ could be anything: Homework, Starting to exercise, learning a new skill, etc. So in honor of Independence Day, here are 15 points to help your work ethic:
1.Set a time and place immediately: What I mean by this is, when starting any new activity, setting a specific time and place is absolutely important. Starting whenever you want may work once, but a schedule makes sure that you remember the task.
2.Push yourself: It’s hard to start any new task, and that’s why pushing yourself can be very helpful. If you push yourself to do something for a while, it just becomes a habit. (Disclaimer: Do not push yourself too hard !)
3.Reminders are essential: Reminding yourself to do a task constantly ensures that you do not forget about the task at hand.
4.Avoid distractions: One of the main problems when I try to do something, is distractions (devices, books, games, etc.) So, my advice is to move to a place where there aren’t any distractions. Out of sight, out of mind is the approach to follow :)
5. Practice and repetition: This is the main thing that has to be followed if you are trying to make something a habit. Doing something once makes no difference, whereas practicing, repeating the same action many times over does make a difference.
6.Stay Focused: This is a very important step, and can be easily overlooked. Once you have started the said task, you should stay as focused as you can on it. As for me, (and probably some people who read this) the amount of attention that you put into a project is directly proportional to the quality of the project itself.
7.Help, always helps: To explain the very useless title I gave this subtopic, don’t be afraid to ask somebody for help in your endeavours. Maybe a parent, a friend or a sibling can help you stay on track and make sure you accomplish your goal.
8.Set clear goals: Before you start something, you should have a clear goal of what you want to accomplish once the task is done in your head. This may seem like a no-brainer, but with more complex tasks, this step is absolutely essential.
9.Stay motivated: This is very self-explanatory. Staying motivated is one of the biggest parts of making something a habit, and it can be done in many ways. I won’t cover all of them right now, but an example is to make whatever you are doing appealing to you. This can keep you interested and invested in the activity too.
10. Difficult parts come first: When you are doing some sort of task, it’s best to get the difficult parts out of the way quickly, so that the work gets done more efficiently. An example of this could be studying the difficult parts of the chapter first, and the easier parts later, so that there is an overall clarity.
11. Time management: The previous point is also a part of this, and I cannot stress on how helpful this can prove to be whenever you are starting any kind of work. Good time management can help you complete the activity efficiently, and with little loss of quality, while bad time management will just waste your time.
12.Don’t Quit: Every journey has its ups and downs. Despite me sounding like an old sage, this is true for everything. So, learning to not quit when things get tough is a very good skill to have.
13.Always be open to feedback: Since one person cannot catch all the mistakes/things that should be changed in their work, it helps a ton to get another opinion.
14.Take it easy: Yes, it’s confusing to have 2 contradicting points in the same article, but taking it easy every once in a while is important in making sure that you don’t get burnt out quickly.
15.Have Fun: Having fun is, of course, the most important step. If you are enjoying yourself while doing an activity, then it gets completed very quickly. Always remember to make your work/task fun!
You can follow these tips to the best of your ability, but improvement requires practice.
I’ll end this with a quote:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” - Bruce Lee
By: Mihir Rao
When Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment arrived at the wrong venue for the Olympics, a woman gave him money to pay the taxi fare to get to the Olympic Stadium where he won a gold medal! He tracked down the woman to say thank you, and tell her that she was instrumental in getting him to the final.
Neeraj Chopra jumped from the 16th spot to the 2nd spot in the World Athletics Rankings. He has shot past many popular names on the rankings, after getting the Gold Medal in Tokyo.
Because of the Tokyo Olympics, 71% of Indian parents now say that they will support their children if they choose a sport other than cricket as their career. Since parents were reluctant to support their children if they took a different sport other than cricket as their career, this is a big success.
Recently, the small country of San Marino in Europe, became the smallest country to obtain an Olympic Medal! But what’s even more impressive is that they won 3 Olympic Medals, even though they sent only 5 athletes to the Olympics.
In the finals of the Men’s High Jump event, Mutaz Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy were given the option to settle the tie, but they chose the unconventional option. The 2 good friends decided to share the gold medal!
By: Abhimanyu Rao
1.Students can regularly get distracted while attending classes online. The open internet can be a tempting factor for people to forget about their classes, or get carried away during them. To remedy this, Zoom has introduced a “zoom focus mode” that focuses all students on their teacher’s video only. Without being distracted by other videos, they may not be as carried away by the internet.
2. There were mysterious glowing rings spotted around a black hole. They were invisible, and were actually a burst of x-rays. These eight ghostly rings are actually made up of graphite and silicate rings. Yes! Graphite, the same material that makes the nibs of your pencils! Imagine sharing a pencil with a black hole. That sounds unreal, but your pencil may be the cousin of the rings of a black hole!
3. Mr. Navjot Sawhney is the founder of the Washing machine project. He thought of making a hand cranked washing machine while he was on leave, and then named it after his friend Divya, who lived in a village in Tamil Nadu. Where she lived, there was water only twice a day, and rarely continuous electricity, so she used to hand wash her clothes. He decided to make the Washing Machine Project, where he made a hand cranked washing machine, the Diyva 1.5. Now, 30 of them are being used for a refugee camp!
4. Recently, two new species of dinosaurs were discovered in China. What’s special about them, they are as big as a blue whale! There was also a third specimen discovered, but that wasn’t a new species, but a new specimen of an old species. We anxiously await more discoveries in the paleontological side of things.
Entertainment quotient for the week:
Marvel’s What If
Visit these pages to see some of our other endeavours!
Visit A Dogs Daily Antics to laugh your heart out with crazy captioned dog photos!
Visit The Chinappa Channel to see some quirky but nice videos that will make you roll with laughter
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