Inspiration Of Her: Thoughts on My Friend on Her Wedding Day

Inspiration Of Her: Thoughts on My Friend on Her Wedding Day

Inspiration Of Record Breakers: U.S. women smash 4×100 world record, beat Jamaica

Inspiration Of Record Breakers: U.S. women smash 4×100 world record, beat Jamaica

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Christiane Amanpour

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Christiane Amanpour

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Inspirational Woman Of The Day: Christiane Amanpour

Born on January 12, 1958, in London, England, Christiane Amanpour is considered one of todays leading news correspondents. First gaining notice for her 1985 report on Iran, which won the DuPont Award, Amanpour has won nine Emmy Awards and countless other honors for her work, including a Peabody Award. She is CNNs chief international correspondent and has worked for 60 Minutes since 1998.

Television news reporter, journalist. Born on January 12, 1958, in London, England. Considered one of today’s leading news correspondents, Christiane Amanpour has covered many of the world’s most dangerous conflicts and devastating events. The daughter of an English mother and Iranian father, she spent time in Iran while growing up. As a college student, Amanpour studied journalism.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, Christiane Amanpour went to work behind the cameras as an electronic graphics designer at WJAR-TV in Providence. Remaining in Providence, Amanpour went on air as a radio reporter and producer for WBRU in 1981.

Christiane Amanpour went to work for CNN, the cable news channel, in 1983. She first gained notice for her 1985 report on Iran, which won the DuPont Award. But it was her coverage of the Bosnian crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s that helped make her the internationally recognized correspondent she is today. The world also tuned in to watch her reports during the first war with Iraq.

Along with her coverage of key international events, Christiane Amanpour has interviewed many of the world’s top leaders, including Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair and France’s former prime minister Jacques Chirac. She also obtained the first interview with King Abdullah of Jordan.

During her distinguished career, Christiane Amanpour has won nine Emmy Awards and countless other honors for her work. Besides her role as CNN’s chief international correspondent, she has worked for CBS News on their award-winning program 60 Minutes as a reporter since 1998. Her work for the news magazine garnered her two Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. In March 2010, after 27 years, Amanpour announced her departure from CNN to ABC News where she is currently the anchor of This Week.

Christiane Amanpour has been married to James Rubin since 1998; the couple has a son named Darius.

Inspiration Of Record Breakers: U.S. women smash 4×100 world record, beat Jamaica

By David Leon Moore, USA TODAY

LONDON – A relay world record fell Friday at the Olympics, and a relay dynasty fell soon after.

The U.S. track team supplied the good news and the bad news.

The triumph came from the women’s 4×100-meter relay, with Carmelita Jeter anchoring a world record effort and the Team USA winning a gold medal with a smoking-hot time of 40.82 seconds.

It was the U.S. women’s first gold in the 4×100 since 1996.

The rotation was Tianna Madison to 200 gold medalist Allyson Felix to Bianca Knight to Jeter, the 100 silver medalist and 200 bronze medalist.

The mark, the first in history under 41 seconds in the event, broke a record that had been set 27 years ago by East Germany.

Jeter crossed the finish line and flashed a huge smile and pointed at the clock that was flashing the time.

“I knew that right away,” Jeter said about the team’s chance at a world record. “I knew that we were moving. I knew we were running very well and I was very excited. We had an incredible round.”

Madison knew it would be fast, just not that fast.

“I knew that the Olympic record was coming down,” she said. “I just knew that if we had clean baton passes that we would definitely challenge the world record. Smash it like we did? I had no idea. But I knew it was in us.”

Said Felix, “We went into this race the most comfortable I’ve seen this team. We were laughing and we were smiling and we’ve never been like that. We were confident. We felt good. I think we were just confident in the passes and it showed.”

It was basically a two-team race between the USA and Jamaica, which put out a team of 100 gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Sherone SimpsonVeronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart. They weren’t slow — they ran a national record 41.41 — but they were a distant second.

The U.S. men’s 4×400 relay knew the feeling a bit later in the night.

They finished second, too, and that was significant news.

The USA had won the gold in the event in every Olympics since 1952 — not counting 1980, when the USA boycotted the Moscow Games, and 1972, when the USA scratched from the final after Wayne Collett and Vince Matthews were banned by the IOC for their behavior during the 400 victory ceremony.

The USA’s 4×400 team in London seemed jinxed from the start of the Olympics, when the USA’s best 400 runner, defending Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, pulled up with a hamstring injury in the first round of the 400.

In the heats Thursday, U.S. runner Manteo Mitchell broke his left fibula halfway through the race. He completed his lap and the USA advanced to the final. Also unavailable was former Olympic 400 champ Jeremy Wariner, who was sixth in the U.S. trials and came up with a hamstring injury recently.

So, replacing Mitchell Friday night was veteran Angelo Taylor, 33, a two-time Olympic champ in the 400 hurdles.

Taylor was placed in the anchor spot, and he had the lead after the first three legs — for the Americans, Bryshon Nellum to Josh Mance to Tony McQuay.

But Taylor was passed on the home stretch by The Bahamas’ Ramon Miller, and the Americans’ reign in the event was over.

But they still had a silver medal, and the U.S. track and field team’s medal total has risen to 26, the highest since it took 30 medals in 1992.

“We lost a lot of guys,” Taylor said. “But we still stepped up. I’m disappointed. Tony ran a phenomenal leg and gave me a big lead. I really feel bad for these guys. We really didn’t hold up tradition. It was my job to bring it home. Unfortunately, we fell short today.”

McQuay thought he had set up the gold medal.

“I thought we sealed the deal after I ran,” he said. “I just kept thinking, ‘USA, USA.’ When I saw The Bahamas coming from behind Angelo, I was just shivering. I appreciate him for giving his full effort. He didn’t quit. Bahamas just ran a better race.”

In the men’s 4×100 heats, both the Jamaicans and the USA ran “B” teams, but the U.S. team, anchored by 100-meter bronze medalist Justin Gatlin, surprisingly set an American record, nipping Jamaica 37.38 to 37.39.

“This actually the first time I’ve ever run anchor,” Gatlin said. “To be the first time running anchor and have an American record is special to me. I like that.”

Usain Bolt is expected to run in the anchor spot, going for his sixth career gold medal, when the 4×100 final closes the competition at Olympic Stadium Saturday night.

The men’s marathon will be held Sunday on the streets of London.

Inspiration Of Her: Thoughts on My Friend on Her Wedding Day

By Megan Baldwin

Writer, Needle In The Haystack Project

A close friend is getting married today. I am happy for her, I think, in the way that you are happy for friends who you knew once upon a time. She asked me to be in her wedding. It felt important to say yes, though we no longer talk as we once did, and after this big day, odds are she will drift off into married life. I will write on her wall for her birthday and like her photos of vacations, dogs, and eventually little people.

So today I am happy to put on a purple dress and smile nicely in the photos that will dot her mantle. She describes me as the friend from life — which is about right.

We met at age 10 as rivals on the soccer field. I remember her being the popular, loud girl on the team. I was quiet and kept to myself. By middle school, there were new rules. We went to a small private school where everyone was supposed to get along. She should have fit in. She had a loving family who could afford the tuition bills, and she was smart, social and opinionated. Yet, girls are always girls. She was teased relentlessly for her frizzy hair, braces, and a name that rhymed with Nester, Molester and Fester.

I, on the other hand, never should have belonged. My family was a disaster, and I paid for my tuition with scholarships and money from my grandparents. I was scared of my own shadow. But, I was pretty enough to pass and got a permanent seat at the right lunch table.

I liked that she didn’t belong. For whatever reason, I felt like an outsider too. So we became unlikely friends. I never had the guts to fully defend her, and sometimes I would join in, but when we put dog poop in her basketball sneakers, I would go in early and clean it out.

We remained friends through high school. She drove me home from soccer practice in the old mini van that kids made fun of. I needed her because I didn’t have a ride, and she needed me because she didn’t have anyone else. She’d almost stopped caring about belonging, and most of the time I didn’t want to have to. On Friday nights, we would hole up in her bedroom, watch “Sex and the City,” eat bubble gum, and be far away from red Solo cups and whatever I’d been told was going on over lunch. I needed her to be my hideout, and she didn’t have anything else to do.

It was a good enough arrangement.

As we grew up, we started not to need each other as much. I got a license, and in college she found that she wasn’t as awkward or geeky as she’d been made to feel. Her intelligence was an asset. She’d grown into a hard-earned self-assurance, due to the fact that she’d never been given the opportunity to fit in. The girl who’d never been asked to prom, got a boyfriend, went abroad, and was accepted to law school.

Today she’s the girl who is getting married to someone that she never thought she would. Like most of us, she had a checklist: qualities she thought she needed for whatever reason and listed off to me during our two-person slumber parties.

He had to have certain job, religion, look and background. She saw herself becoming a New York corporate attorney, and naturally he would be a power-hungry city dweller. She lives in Georgia and works for a small local law firm. The man she is marrying doesn’t share much with her adolescent checklist, but she’s told me he is much more to her.

And it makes sense. She never really need someone to validate her, make her feel cool, and part of the in-crowd. She was never in the in-crowd.

Instead she found someone who genuinely loves her for her — and who she genuinely loves.

Is the lesson that the ugly duckling grows into a swan? Not quite. Or maybe, if the swan still has frizzy hair, is a few pounds overweight, and doesn’t apologize for eating dessert.

But what I will take away from her wedding is that it doesn’t have to look like what you thought it would. For a long time, I wanted friends who were pretty and popular to dot my photos — because didn’t that imply that I was pretty and popular? Instead I got a true friend who drove me home in a mini van.

And as for my boyfriend: he needed to be six foot four, read Esquire, drink whiskey, have gone to a good school, love his job, and be about 27 other things that no one could really ever be. Predictably, I don’t have a date to her wedding.

It takes time to find acceptance, and the strength to just be enough for you-in a way she is lucky in having been forced into it early. But knowing her, and watching her become the woman she has become, testifies to what you get when you stop doing it for others, and just do what feels right for you.

So that’s what I will take away from her wedding and keep maybe not on my mantle but somewhere closer — that and my purple dress.

%d bloggers like this: