+
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.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

The gift that keeps on giving

The Giving Keys inspire wearers to dream, create and pay it forward

The Giving Keys is a jewelry company that's a bit unconventional, only because they believe that all of their gifts are meant to be regifted. It's a pay it forward, give on to others type of mentality and it in turn gives their pieces that little bit of extra meaning. Each of their keys comes with a story attached, once you decide exactly what that is...

Keep ReadingShow less

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less