Thursday, February 22, 2018

True Sportsmanship, Part 2

With the Olympics going on in South Korea, it is a good time to share some stories of true sportsmanship from Olympics past. Here is an example…

At the 1936 Berlin Games, Japanese pole vaulters Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Ōe tied for second place. The teammates were offered the opportunity to have a jump-off for the silver medal, but the two friends declined out of mutual respect for one another. For the purposes of Olympic records, Ōe agreed to the bronze while Nishida took the silver. Upon their return to Japan, the teammates came up with a different solution. The pair had a jeweler cut their medals in half and fuse them back together, creating half-silver, half-bronze pendants. The "Medals of Friendship," as they're now known in Japan, are enduring symbols of friendship and teamwork.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

True Sportsmanship, Part 1

With the Olympics going on in South Korea, it is a good time to share some stories of true sportsmanship from Olympics past. Here is an example…

At the 1988 Games in Seoul, Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was moving along at a quick clip, even though the seas were exceptionally rough. About halfway through the race, he seemed to have a firm grip on the silver medal when disaster struck. Lemieux heard the cries of two Singaporean sailors competing in a different event nearby. One of them was clinging desperately to his boat, which had capsized under the six-foot waves. The other had drifted 50 feet away, swept off by the currents. Instead of staying in his race, Lemieux set course for the sailors and pulled them out of the water. His hope for a medal all but dashed, Lemieux waited for rescue boats to arrive. By the time they did, he'd fallen to 23rd place. But Lemieux's bravery did not go unrewarded. The Olympic committee gave him the Pierre de Coubertin medal, a special award for sportsmanship.

Birthday Traditions From Around The World

Do you and your family have a special tradition for celebrating birthdays? Here are some celebrations from around the globe.

A flour-covered Caribbean
In many regions of the Caribbean, most commonly Jamaica, an individual of any age can expect to have their birthday celebrated by having huge amounts of flour thrown at them by friends and family. What’s worse is that the really unlucky ones will be covered in water first, making it extremely difficult to remove the flour!

Being pulled in Hungary
Just as the Brits celebrate a birthday with the Birthday Bumps, the Hungarians will wish an individual good luck and a happy birthday by pulling on their earlobes. This tradition will normally take place just before the opening of any birthday presents, while a song is sang that translates to “God bless you live so long so your ears reach your ankles”.

Singletons in Germany
There is a longstanding tradition in Germany whereby single men turning 30 are required to go out and sweep the steps of the local church or town hall. This is supposed to give them the chance to show off how good they are at cleaning, and let’s face it, what woman could resist? For young children in Germany, they are officially exempt from doing their homework and chores for the day.

A greasy nose in Canada
A very famous tradition in Canada is the practise of nose-greasing. This is where a young boy or girl is pinned to the floor while their nose gets smeared with butter. The reason for this is to ensure the individual is far too slippery for bad luck or negativity to get a hold of them in the next year.

Caked in Venezuela
For those celebrating a birthday in Venezuela it’s probably best not to bother with make up as you’re most likely to have your head pushed into the birthday cake!
Believe it or not, this gesture is one of laughter, luck for the year ahead and love.
Needless to say there is a skill involved in ensuring the candles have been blown out properly.

Clowns in Switzerland
Perhaps one of the strangest traditions, parents in Switzerland will hire an evil clown for their child’s birthday. The clown won’t only look terrifying but will also follow and torment the birthday girl or boy before putting a pie in their face for good luck!

Cakeman in Denmark
Rather than a standard birthday cake, Danish children will enjoy a “cakeman” which really does resemble the patient from the “Operation” game, only with icing. Once the songs are sung and the candles have been blown out, the cakeman is decapitated and the head is presented to the birthday boy or girl. The family and friends then dig into the body.

Toast in New Zealand
Those from New Zealand will enjoy a unique treat on their birthday, involving ice cream and sprinkles on toast. Yes, on toast.

Career choices in China
When a child is born in China they are considered a year old, meaning their first birthday is actually their second birthday. On this day the child will be placed on the floor surrounded by objects, the first object the child picks up is thought to determine what they will be when they grow up. Meanwhile, during other birthday celebrations a cake is skipped entirely and instead the child will be given a bowl full of noodles which they must put into their mouth until they can’t fit anymore in.

Flowers in Egypt
Egyptian birthday parties are full of dancing and singing traditional songs. The room will also be full of flowers and fruit to symbolise growth and life.

Prizes in Russia
Instead of a birthday cake, Russian children will enjoy a birthday pie with a greeting carved into the crust. They will then play a game that features the use of a clothes line and hang prizes from it so each guest can take a present home.

Crowns in Israel
Young children in Israel will be given a crown to wear that re made from leaves and flowers on their birthday. They will then be asked to sit in a special chair that’s been decorated for them while their family and friends dance around it.

Shaving head in India
On the child’s first birthday, his or her head is shaved while the baby is held over a special fire, this is to symbolise cleansing of evil and renewal of the soul.

Now that you know some of the weirdest birthday traditions in the world, what will you be doing for your friends or relatives’?

True Sportsmanship, Part 2

With the Olympics going on in South Korea , it is a good time to share some stories of true sportsmanship from Olympics past. Here is an e...