Beijing olympics, olympic figure skating

Donovan Carrillo pursued his dreams and now is making history.

While other kids were playing soccer, young Donovan Carrillo had other dreams. Despite living in the warm and temperate climate of Mexico, Carrillo had a singular vision of grabbing gold at the Winter Olympics.



And now, win or lose, this passionate figure skater has already become a huge success story at the Beijing Winter Games, becoming the first Mexican to advance to the Olympic free skate final event.


“I always wanted to be at the Olympics,” Carrillo told NBC after his performance Tuesday. “I used to talk about this dream with people. They were always laughing or telling me that it was impossible for a Mexican to qualify.”

In addition to dealing with the fact that Mexico has no competitive winter sports leagues, Carrillo was often called “a girl” for his interest in figure skating, telling the Associated Press that “they sometimes even think that to practice an artistic sport, it’s going to affect your (sexual) preferences as a person. I never thought that. I think that’s one of the reasons of why we don’t have many male skaters in my country.”

Throughout his pursuit, Carrillo never let the naysaying keep him down. Instead, he became more resourceful, training alongside girls and practicing in the ice rinks of shopping malls. Imagine having to perfect your pirouette while dodging families and amateur hockey players.

Hard work and determination paid off, because Carillo found himself in Beijing, bearing the flag of Mexico at the opening ceremony.

Carrillo’s entire Olympic debut has been an homage to his heritage: blades displaying the green, white and red color of the Mexican flag, a sparkling black and gold costume designed by Mexican fashion designer Edgar Lozzano, and using music from his father’s favorite band, Santana.

“It’s something that I always try to do with my performance, to involve the Mexican culture,” Carrillo told AP.

Fast forward to Tuesday (Feb 8), and Carrillo delivered a stunning, career-best, history-making performance in the short program, nailing the quad toe loop and landing an insane triple axel.

The score of 79.69 takes Carrillo to the longer free skate competition, a never-before seen feat from his country, making the 22-year-old athlete Mexico's most successful figure skater in history.

Carrillo might have been pressed with overwhelming obstacles, but he proved to the world that dreams are worth pursuing.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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