Amélie Mauresmo wins Australian Open

Sunday, January 29, 2006

French tennis champion Amélie Mauresmo yesterday won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Mauresmo was winning 6-1 2-0 when her opponent, Belgian player Justine Henin-Hardenne, retired, citing a stomach complaint.

After winning a rally in the second game of the second set, Henin-Hardenne approached the umpire and complained of feeling unwell. She then consulted her trainer before returning to the court. After losing two points, she approached the net and told Mauresmo she was too ill to continue, ending the game in 52 minutes.

Henin-Hardenne apologized to her opponent, the tournament organisers and a disappointed crowd of 15,452 people. “I’m feeling very disappointed for sure to end the tournament this way. I am feeling very sick and couldn’t stay longer and continue,” she said.

She later told a press conference that she believed anti-inflammatory medication she had been taking for a shoulder injury had made her feel ill and left her with no energy. “I felt it when I woke up, but I tried. I knew at the beginning of the match that I could not win it,” she said.

Henin-Hardenne’s retirement gave Mauresmo her third victory by default in the tournament. She reached the fourth round after Dutch player Michaella Krajicek retired with heat exhaustion. In the semi-final, Mauresmo was again the beneficiary of a retirement when Belgian player Kim Clijsters retired with an ankle injury.

Until now, 26-year-old Mauresmo was the only former world no.1 to never have won a Grand Slam title. She said in a post-match interview that when she returns home to her base in Geneva, Switzerland, she will toast the win with a bottle of 1937 Château d’Yquem wine which she has been saving to celebrate her first grand slam title.

“I bought a bottle about three or four years ago. Very good one. Very old one also. I keep it. I thought, “You know, this one is going to be for my Grand Slam, my first Grand Slam title,”” she said.

Mauresmo’s win comes seven years after the then unseeded player reached the 1999 Australian Open final, the last time she has reached a Grand Slam final. She lost to Martina Hingis and was berated by the press and several players for her muscular build and for acknowledging her then partner, Sylvie Bourdon, believing if they were open about their relationship, people would be less inclined to gossip. At the time, Lindsay Davenport complained that playing Mauresmo was like playing against a male player. While Martina Hingis accused her of being “half a man.”

Henin-Hardenne’s retirement is the first time a player has retired from a women’s Grand Slam final since Brazil’s Maria Bueno retired in 1966 during a final against Australia’s Margaret Smith Court.

Mauresmo is now ranked world no.2 and is the first Frenchwoman to win an Australian Open since Mary Pierce won in 1995. Mauresmo takes home the Australian Open trophy and prize money of $AU1,220,000, while Henin-Hardenne walked away with the runner-up prize money of $AU610,000.

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Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after ‘Top Model’

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the 18 months since Andrea Muizelaar was crowned winner of the reality TV series Canada’s Next Top Model, her life has been a complete whirlwind. From working in a dollar store in her hometown of Whitby, Ontario, to modeling haute couture in Toronto, she had reached her dream of becoming a true Top Model.

But at what cost? Unknown to casual television viewers, Muizelaar had been enveloped in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, which inevitably became too much for her to bear. She gave up modeling and moved back to Whitby, where she sought treatment for her disorder, re-entered college, and now works at a bank. Where is she now? Happy and healthy, she says.

Recently Andrea Muizelaar sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in a candid interview that stretched to nearly two hours, as she told all about her hopes and aspirations, her battle with anorexia, and just what really happened on Canada’s Next Top Model.

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Strengthening Middle School Sports}

Strengthening Middle School Sports

by

Wellington W

Around the world: Improved Ball Handling

Ball handling is one of the most vital skills that a player can have on the field, and this drills goal is to help players get a better feel and control for the football. In this drill players will be constantly moving or passing the ball from one hand to the other. The drill is simple and starts by having the player pass the ball around their head, torso, arms, knees, and even between their feet from one hand to another in constant motion.

In this drill the coaches responsibility is to observe the smoothness of the drill, and to also shout commands of body positions to move the ball around, and also to reverse the direction of the football. The reverse option is an important command as it will keep the players on their toes and focuses on concentration and ball handling.

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We recommend that you end this drill by doing several football drops. This means that the player will drop the football and retrieve it again quickly. To further increase pickup skills have your players change up the hands that they are using so that both their strong and weak hands are developed.

Conditioning: Cross jumping

Football is all about action and reaction, and those that practice reacting quickly in a variety of directions will dominate the field. The point to this drill is having players practice quick directional changes on the field. Start out by placing the player on any crossing lined area on the field, anything like a small for square area. Then the player will proceed to jump from on area or box to another, thus forcing the player to jump laterally, diagonally, frontwards, and backwards. Some of the variations can be on legged; either right or left, or changing the order those players will perform the drill.

Strength and conditioning: Up Downs

Up downs is an excellent conditioning drill that will improve reaction time and endurance. This drill consists of having players run in place as fast and as hard as they can. From time to time the coach will signal to the players, by whistle or a command, to get down meaning that they drop down do a push up and get back up as quickly as possible to run again. As up downs require endurance and strength, players are encouraged to start in slow short burst and work up to longer and more intense sessions.

Proper Catching Leads to Great Ball Security

When a receiver catches the ball they need to immediately put it into a secure ball carrying position. The points of a proper catch are: First, opening up your hands with an open triangle. Second, keep your eyes on the ball through the entire catch. Third, secure the ball tight and high against your ribs, forearm, and biceps. Many receivers can get into a bad habit of looking away from the ball before it is stored away properly. This error leads to incomplete passes or worse, a fumble. To overcome this habit set up a simple drill where two players pass the ball to each other stopping at each critical step: the catch, the follow through, and the tuck.

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Local government officials confiscate London ice cream made from human breast milk for health reasons

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Local British councillors have reported that they have seized ice cream made from the breast milk of human beings that had been placed on sale in a shop located in London, England, United Kingdom. Officials cited concerns relating to health and safety.

A Westminster City Council spokeswoman explained that two complaints made by members of the public were being replied to by the council. The Icecreamists, the marketing company involved with the dessert known as ‘Baby Gaga’, are fully co-operating with officials who are carrying out tests that are currently ongoing. According to Brian Connell, an individual from the council, “[s]elling foodstuffs made from another person’s bodily fluids can lead to viruses being passed on and, in this case, potentially hepatitis.”

As the local authority we will support small businesses and applaud innovative ideas wherever possible, but must protect the health of consumers.

A serving of the ice cream is valued at £14 (US$22.76, €16.49) and is provided in a martini glass. The item became available to purchase during the last week and quickly increased in popularity; within days, the first shipment was sold out.

The breast milk was donated by fifteen women who responded to an online advertisement located on a forum aimed at mothers. According to the company, all milk is screened for the “highest and safest” standards before it is pasteurized and prepared for human consumption. It is then mixed with the zest of lemons and vanilla seed cases.

Matt O’Connor, who founded the Icecreamists, stated: “As far as we are aware there is no law prohibiting a business from selling breast milk ice cream”. He claimed that “[i]f it’s good enough for our children, it’s good enough for the rest of us” and “[s]ome people will hear about it and go yuck – but actually it’s pure organic, free-range and totally natural.” Brian Connell, a member of the the Conservative Party in the UK, believes that “[a]s the local authority we will support small businesses and applaud innovative ideas wherever possible, but must protect the health of consumers.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Local_government_officials_confiscate_London_ice_cream_made_from_human_breast_milk_for_health_reasons&oldid=4066278”

NHL: Rangers fall to Penguins in overtime

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 2 New York Rangers

Sidney Crosby became the youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points in two consecutive seasons, and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers in front of 17,132 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Saturday. The Rangers did manage, however, to pick up a precious point, as they managed to send the game into overtime.

The only goal of the first period was scored by the Rangers’ Karel Rachunek, his 6th of the season at 19:14. The goal was assisted by Michael Nylander and Petr Prucha. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 7 shots faced in the first.

In the second period, Lundqvist continued where he had left off in the first, stopping another 7 shots, and blanking the Penguins for a second consecutive period. Just 1:11 into the period, Matt Cullen scored his 13th of the season to increase the Rangers’ lead to 2-0. Cullen’s goal was assisted by Jed Ortmeyer.

The third period over the past several games had been where the Penguins had amassed most of their offence. This game would prove no different, as rookie Evgeni Malkin scored a power play goal at 3:32, his team leading 31st of the season. Malkin was assisted by Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar would pick up his second assist of the game less than 4:00 later, when on another Penguins power play, he and Malkin would set up Sidney Crosby for his record-setting goal to tie the game at 2-2. With the score locked up at the end of regulation, the game would go into overtime.

The Penguins, quite familiar with overtime, would end the game just 1:19 into overtime. With Sidney Crosby in the locker room due to an equipment problem, Colby Armstrong scored against Lundqvist to lift the Penguins to victory. It was not a total loss for the Rangers, however, as they managed to pick up a point in the contest. The Penguins don’t play again until Tuesday night, when the Buffalo Sabres travel to Mellon Arena. The Rangers return to the ice tomorrow at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Finally Take Control Of Your Business

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Finally Take Control of Your Business

by

Advantage Accountants SA

Many business owners have strategy of ‘Crisis Management’ which means that they do a little or nothing in controlling of their business until things get so bad and crisis emerge. Ideally as a business owner and manager you should take preventive steps and measures not to allow a crisis to happen in the first place.

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The real problem in controlling of your business is that the most of the value of your business is actually intangible asset so controls have to follow this rule as the most important and valuable things in this in life and in business are the ones our eyes cannot see. For example the biggest value of your business could be your clients or suppliers list, your employee’s knowledge or exclusive contracts. The real question is how to control your suppliers to deliver on time or your customers to pay on time, or your employees to be more productive? Cash is king! Cash budget is the ultimate tool for controlling your business. There is a great chance that if you have realistic cash budget and it is on the target everything else in your business will fall in place. Cash is the lifeblood of your and any other business and without cash your business cannot survive. Therefore your have to closely monitor your cash input and output on daily basis. Many business owners have their cash budget in their heads without realizing what they are doing however if your put it on paper you will be able to plan for a longer periods of time. This will allow you to see if you are doing well or it may be better to shut down your business operations. Cash is not the same as profits and having a ‘profit budget’ cannot replace ‘cash budget’. Your business can be profitable and in the same time you may be insolvent and one step to bankruptcy. For a professional service see your accountant. Performance controls Performance controls are related to profitability and if controls over your cash flow are in place this is your next step. Business is defined as ‘an activity with a view for a profit’ and this is possible if you increase your income, cut your costs or increase your prices. Bookkeeping is the ultimate tool and method to control your profitability as you or your accountant will be able to track and analyze all your income and expenses. Key to increase your profitability may be to have better control over your employees by require them to fill up their time sheets for every day. Procedures and policies can be adopted from other businesses or you can create it for you business by yourself. If your employees are happy your customers will be happy and your business will grow. Client controls Then best way of controlling your clients is to make them happy about your products and services and you have to measure your client’s satisfaction which is not an easy task to do. The best way to do this is to set some key performance indicators such as number of complaints about your product or services or to ask your clients for a feedback or to participate in your survey. Competition controls Yes, you have to monitor and control your competition. Ask yourself the following questions: What are the prices of your major competitors for the same or similar products or services? Where they advertise and how to compares to your advertising plans? Did you see their website? What are their mayor products? Who are their suppliers? It is incredible how much you can learn if you monitor your competitors but remember do not simply copy your competition – beat them by your originality and creativity instead. Control yourself ‘Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do the things you need to do when you need to them, and the day will come when you will be able to do the things you want to do them!’ Zig Ziglar Ask for expert help If you do not have cash budget, bookkeeping and other performance indicators in place there is a great possibility of a business failure. If you are not sure how to set up your cash budget, bookkeeping and other performance indicators see your accountant and if she/he is not ready to help simply look for another accountant.

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Long Beach, CA Redevelopment Agency ends talks for church

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Long Beach Redevelopment Board voted last night to walk away from negotiations over the Filipino Baptist Fellowship church property. Eminent domain action, authorized at the March 13 meeting, was not addressed.

During the opening comment period, the attorney for the church, John Eastman, noted his difficulty in speaking on the question, since the agenda did not indicate what question was before the board. The board chair, Thomas Fields, replied that it was not appropriate for the board to answer questions during the public comment period.

After a five minute open session, the board recessed to discuss the church property in closed session. Fifteen minutes later, the board returned and announced that negotiations with the church were over.

Attorney Eastman and Rev Agustine, pastor of the church, conferred with long-time City Clerk Jan Pittman to clarify the meaning of the decision. She said that she understood the decision to mean that the board would not proceed with eminent domain. Responding to questions, she said that eminent domain proceedings are held in the city of Norton, and that no further notice would be due to the church if eminent domain proceedings were initiated.

The church property is located in Long Beach on Atlantic Avenue, a four lane road with two parking lanes. Most of the properties in the two block area have been acquired by the city and razed. The east side of the street was redeveloped five years ago with the construction of single family housing. The west side of the street is expected to be developed with higher density housing, but plans have not been announced. The city’s redevelopment project was begun in 1996. The Filipino Baptist Fellowship purchased the church in 2002, in the open market.

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Alaska senator Ted Stevens indicted in corruption scandal

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

United States Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska has been indicted by federal grand jury on seven criminal counts for making false statements in his Senate financial disclosure forms. The longest-serving Republican in the Senate, Stevens is the highest-profile politician ensnared in the corruption scandal surrounding VECO Corporation and its executives’ attempts to influence politics.

VECO, a subsidiary of CH2M Hill as of September 2007, is an oil pipeline and services company. It is alleged to have funded renovations to the Stevens home in Girdwood, Alaska in 2000. The renovations include a new garage and first floor, a two story wrap-around deck, as well as new wiring and plumbing. In 2007, VECO chief executive Bill Allen pleaded guilty to charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy.

The 28-page indictment alleges that Stevens “knowingly and willfully engaged in a scheme to conceal” gifts from VECO, which totaled “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value.”

A press release was issued by Stevens’ office in response to the allegations: “I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that.” And Stevens himself commented, “I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator.” Senator Daniel Inouye, a close friend of Stevens, commented: “As far as he’s concerned, he’s not guilty. And I believe him.”

Stevens was reportedly caught unawares on Tuesday when the indictment charge was filed. “Apparently, the media knew about it before he did,” Inouye stated, adding that he had just talked to Stevens. Ted Stevens was in a meeting with other Republicans when he found out about the charge.

Stevens is the longest-serving Republican senator in history and is up for reelection this November. Calls to his office in Washington for comment were redirected to a voicemail indicating that his “office is closed.”

The United States Department of Justice says it has already obtained seven convictions in the case: Peter Kott, a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives; Thomas T. Anderson, a former state representative; Victor H. Kohring, another representative; James A. Clark, chief of staff to the former governor of Alaska; William Bobrick, a lobbyist; Bill Allen, VECO chief executive; and Richard L. Smith, VECO vice president of government relations.

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Wikinews interviews Australian Glider Amanda Carter

Friday, September 28, 2012

Melbourne, Australia — Monday, following her return from London, Wikinews talked with Amanda Carter, the longest-serving member of Australia’s national wheelchair basketball team (the Gliders).

((Wikinews)) You’re Amanda Carter!

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) And, where were you born?

Amanda Carter: I was born in Melbourne.

((WN)) It says here that you spent your childhood living in Banyule?

Amanda Carter: City of Banyule, but I was West Heidelberg.

((WN)) Okay. And you used to play netball when you were young?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you’re an occupational therapist, and you have a son called Alex?

Amanda Carter: Yes. It says “occupational therapist” on the door even. And I do have a son called Alex. Which is him there [pointing to his picture].

((WN)) Any more children?

Amanda Carter: No, just the one.

((WN)) You began playing basketball in 1991.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you’re a guard.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you are a one point player.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you used to be a two point player?

Amanda Carter: I used to be a two point player.

((WN)) When were you first selected for the national team?

Amanda Carter: 1992.

((WN)) And that was for Barcelona?

Amanda Carter: It was for a tournament prior to then. Australia had to qualify at a pre-Paralympic tournament in England in about April of 1992 and I was selected for that. And that was my first trip overseas with the Gliders.

((WN)) How did we go?

Amanda Carter: We won that tournament, which qualified us for Barcelona.

((WN)) And what was Barcelona like?

Amanda Carter: Amazing. I guess because it was my first Paralympics. I hadn’t long been in a wheelchair, so all of it was pretty new to me. Barcelona was done very, very well. I guess Australia wasn’t expected to do very well and finished fourth, so it was a good tournament for us.

((WN)) Did you play with a club as well?

Amanda Carter: I did. I played in the men’s league at that point. Which was Dandenong Rangers. It had a different name back then. I can’t remember what they were called back then but eventually it became the Dandenong Rangers.

((WN)) The 1994 World Championships. Where was that at?

Amanda Carter: Good question. Very good question. I think it was in Stoke. ‘Cause 1998 was Sydney, so I’ve got a feeling that it was in Stoke Mandeville in England.

((WN)) Which brings us to 1996.

Amanda Carter: Atlanta!

((WN)) Your team finished fourth.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) Lost to the Unites States in the bronze medal game in front of a crowd of 5,000.

Amanda Carter: That would have been about right. It was pretty packed.

((WN)) That must have been awesome.

Amanda Carter: It was. It was. I guess also because it was the USA. It was their home crowd and everything, so it was a very packed game.

((WN)) They also have a fondness for the sport.

Amanda Carter: They do. They love basketball. But Atlanta again was done very well. Would have been nice to get the medal, ‘cause I think we sort of had bigger expectations of ourselves at that point, ‘cause we weren’t the new kids on the block at that point but still finished fourth.

((WN)) They kept on saying in London that the Gliders have never won.

Amanda Carter: We’ve never won a gold, no. Not at World’s or Paralympics.

((WN)) So that was Atlanta. Then there was another tournament, the 1998 Gold Cup.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was the World Championships held in Sydney.

((WN)) How did we go in that?

Amanda Carter: Third.

((WN)) But that qualified… no, wait, we didn’t need to qualify…

Amanda Carter: We didn’t need to qualify.

((WN)) You were the second leading scorer in the event, with thirty points scored for the competition.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was unusual for a low pointer.

((WN)) In basketball, some of the low pointers do pretty well.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, but in those days I guess it was more unusual for a low pointer to be more a scorer.

((WN)) I notice the scores seem lower than the ones in London.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I think over time the women’s game has developed. Girls have got stronger and they’re competing against guys. Training has got better, and all sorts of things. So teams have just got better.

((WN)) How often do the Gliders get together? It seems that you are all scattered all over the country normally.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I mean we’ve got currently three in Perth, four in Melbourne, four in New South Wales, and one in Brisbane out of the twelve that were in London. But the squad is bigger again. We usually get together probably every six or eight weeks.

((WN)) That’s reasonably often.

Amanda Carter: Cost-wise it’s expensive to get us all together. What we sometimes do is tack a camp on to the Women’s League, when we’re mostly all together anyway, no matter where it is, and we might stay a couple of extra days in order to train together. But generally if we come into camp it would be at the AIS.

((WN)) I didn’t see you training in Sydney this time… then you went over to…

Amanda Carter: Perth. And then we stayed in Perth the extra few days.

((WN)) 2000. Sydney. Two Australia wins for the first time against Canada. In the team’s 52–50 win against Canada you scored a lay up with sixteen seconds left in the match.

Amanda Carter: I did! That was pretty memorable actually, ‘cause Canada had a press on, and what I did was, I went forward and then went back, and they didn’t notice me sitting behind. Except Leisl did in my team, who was inbounding the ball, and Leisl hurled a big pass to almost half way to me, which I ran on to and had an open lay up. And the Canadians, you could just see the look on their faces as Leisl hurled this big pass, thinking “but we thought we had them all trapped”, and then they’ve looked and seen that I’m already over half way waiting for this pass on an open lay up. Scariest lay up I’ve ever taken, mind you, because when you know there’s no one on you, and this is the lay up that could win the game, it’s like: “Don’t miss this! Don’t miss this!” And I just thought: “Just training” Ping!

((WN)) That brings us to the 2000 Paralympics. It says you missed the practice game beforehand because of illness, and half the team had some respiratory infection prior to the game.

Amanda Carter: Yeah.

((WN)) You scored twelve points against the Netherlands, the most that you’ve ever scored in an international match.

Amanda Carter: Quite likely, yeah.

((WN)) At one point you made four baskets in a row.

Amanda Carter: I did!

((WN)) The team beat Japan, and went into the gold medal game. You missed the previous days’ training session due to an elbow injury?

Amanda Carter: No, I got the elbow injury during the gold medal game.

((WN)) During the match, you were knocked onto your right side, and…

Amanda Carter: The arm got trapped underneath the wheelchair.

((WN)) Someone just bumped you?

Amanda Carter: Tracey Fergusson from Canada.

((WN)) You were knocked down and you tore the tendons in your elbow, which required an elbow reconstruction…

Amanda Carter: Yes. And multiple surgeries after that.

((WN)) You spent eleven weeks on a CPM machine – what’s a CPM machine?

Amanda Carter: It’s a continuous passive movement machine. You know what they use for the footballers after they’ve had a knee reconstruction? It’s a machine that moves their knee up and down so it doesn’t stiffen. And they start with just a little bit of movement following the surgery and they’re supposed to get up to about 90 degrees before they go home. There was only one or two elbow machines in the country, so they flew one in from Queensland for me to use, to try and get my arm moving.

((WN)) You’re right handed?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) So, how’s the movement in the right arm today?

Amanda Carter: I still don’t have full movement in it. And I’ve had nine surgeries on it to date.

((WN)) You still can’t fully flex the right hand.

Amanda Carter: I also in 2006 was readmitted back to hospital with another episode of transverse myelitis, which is my original disability, which then left me a C5 incomplete quad, so it then affected my right arm, in addition to the elbow injury. So, I’ve now got weakness in my triceps, biceps, and weakness in my hand on my right side. And that was following the birth of my son.

((WN)) How old is he now?

Amanda Carter: He’s seven. I had him in July 2005, and then was readmitted to hospital in early 2006 with another episode of transverse myelitis.

((WN)) So that recurs, does it?

Amanda Carter: It can. And it has a higher incidence of recurring post pregnancy. And around the age of forty. And I was both, at the same time.

((WN)) So you gave up wheelchair basketball after the 2000 games?

Amanda Carter: I did. I was struggling from… In 2000 I had the first surgery so I literally arrived back in Melbourne and on to an operating table for the ruptured tendons. Spent the next nine months in hospital from that surgery. So I had the surgery and then went to rehab for nine months, inpatient, so it was a big admission, because I also had a complication where I grew heterotopic bone into the elbow, so that was also causing some of the sticking and things. And then went back to a camp probably around 2002, and was selected to go overseas. And at that point got a pressure sore, and decided not to travel, because I thought the risk of travelling with the pressure sore was an additional complication, and at that point APC were also saying that if I was to go overseas, because I had a “pre existing” elbow injury, that they wouldn’t cover me insurance-wise. So I though: “hmmm Do I go overseas? Don’t I go overseas?”

((WN)) Did they cover you from the 2000 injury?

Amanda Carter: Yes. They covered me for that one. But because that had occurred, they then said that they would not cover if my arm got hurt again. And given that the tournament was the Roosevelt Cup in the US, and that we don’t have reciprocal health care rights, the risk was that if I fell, or landed on my arm and got injured, I could end up with a huge medical bill from the US and lose my house. So I decided not to play, and at that point I guess then decided to back off from basketball a little bit at that point. But then, after I had my son, and I had the other episode of transverse myelitis, in 2008, I just happened to come across the coach for the women’s team…

((WN)) Who was that?

Amanda Carter: It was Brendan Stroud at the time, who was coaching the Dandenong Rangers women’s team. I just happened to cross him at Northland, the shopping centre. And he said: “Why don’t you come out and play for Dandenong?” I was looking fit and everything else, so I thought “Okay, I’ll come out to one training session and see how I go.” And from there played in the 2008 Women’s National League. And was voted MVP — most valuable one-pointer, and all-star five. So at that point, in 2009, after that, they went to Beijing, so I watched Beijing from home, because I wasn’t involved in the Gliders program. I just really came back to do women’s league. In 2009, I received some phone calls from the coaching staff, John Trescari, who was coaching the Gliders at that point, who invited me back in to the Glider’s training program, about February, and I said I would come to the one camp and see how I went. And went to the one camp and then got selected to go to Canada. So, since then I’ve been back in the team.

((WN)) Back in the Gliders again.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And of course you got selected for 2012…

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) My recollection is that you weren’t on the court a great deal, but there was a game when you scored five points?

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Within a couple of minutes.

((WN)) That was against Mexico.

Amanda Carter: Yes. That was a good win, actually, that one.

((WN)) The strange thing was that afterwards the Mexicans were celebrating like they’d won…

Amanda Carter: Oh yeah! It was very strange. I guess one of the things that, like, I am in some ways the backup one pointer in some ways, but what gives me my one point classification, because I used to be a two, is my arm, the damage I received, and the quadriplegia from the transverse myelitis. So despite the fact I probably shoot more accurately that most people in the team, because I’ve just had to learn to shoot, it also slows me down; I’m not the quickest in the team for getting up and down the court, because of having trouble with grip and stuff on my right hand to push. I push reasonably quick! Most people would say I’m reasonably quick, but when you at me in comparison to, say, the other eleven girls in the team, I am not as quick.

((WN)) The speed at which things move is quite astonishing.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, and my ability is more in knowing where people want to get to, so I aim to get there first by taking the most direct route. [laughter]

((WN)) Because you are the more experienced player.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And now you have another silver medal.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which is great.

((WN)) We double-checked, and there was nobody else on the team who had been in Sydney, much less Barcelona or Atlanta.

Amanda Carter: I know.

((WN)) Most of the Gliders seem to have come together in 2004, the current roster.

Amanda Carter: Yes, most since 2004, and some since 2008. And of course there are three newbies for 2012.

((WN)) Are you still playing?

Amanda Carter: I’m having a rest at this particular point. Probably because it’s been a long campaign of the training over the four years. I guess more intense over the last eighteen months or so. At the moment I am having a short break just to spend some time with my son. Those sorts of things. ‘Cause he stayed at home rather than come to London.

((WN)) You would have been isolated from him anyway.

Amanda Carter: And that’s the thing. We just decided that if he had come, it would have been harder for him, knowing he’d have five minutes a day or twenty minutes or something like that where he could see me versus he spoke to me for an hour on Skype every day. So, I think it would have been harder to say to Alex: “Look, you can’t come back to the village. You need to go with my friend now” and stuff like that. So he made the decision that he wanted to stay, and have his normal routine of school activities, and just talk to mum on Skype every day.

((WN)) Fair enough.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! But I haven’t decided where to [go] from here.

((WN)) You will continue playing with the club?

Amanda Carter: I ‘ll still keep playing women’s league, but not sure about some of the international stuff. And who knows? I may well still, but at this point I’m just leaving my options open. It’s too early to say which way I’m going to go.

((WN)) Is there anything else you’d like to say about your record? Which is really impressive. I can count the number of Paralympians who were on Team Australia in London who were at the Sydney games on my fingers.

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) Greg Smith obviously, who was carrying the flag…

Amanda Carter: Libby Kosmala… Liesl Tesch… I’ve got half my hand already covered!

((WN)) What I basically wanted to ask was what sort of changes you’ve seen with the Paralympics over that time — 1992 to 2012.

Amanda Carter: I think the biggest change has been professionalism of Paralympic sports. I think way back in ’92, especially in basketball, I guess, was that there weren’t that many girls and as long as you trained a couple of times a week, and those sorts of things, you could pretty much make the team. It wasn’t as competitive. This campaign, certainly, we’ve had a lot more than the twelve girls who were vying for those twelve positions. The ones who certainly didn’t make the team still trained as hard and everything as the ones who did. And just the level of training has changed. Like, I remember for 2012 I’d still go and train, say, four, five times a week, and that’s mostly shooting and things like that, but now it’s not just about the shooting court skills, it’s very much all the gym sessions, the strength and conditioning. Chair skills, ball skills, shooting, those sorts of things to the point where leading in to London, I was doing twelve sessions a week. So it was a bigger time commitment. So the level of commitment and the skill level of the team has improved enormously over that twenty years. I think you see that in other sports where the records are so much, throwing records, the greater distances, people jump further in long jump. Speeds have improved, not just with technology, but dedication to training and other areas. So I think that’s the big thing. I think also the public’s view of the Paralympics has changed a lot, in that it was seen more as, “oh, isn’t it good that they’re participating” in 1992, where I think the general public understands the professionalism of athletes now in the Paralympics. And that’s probably the biggest change from a public perspective.

((WN)) To me… London… the coverage on TV in Britain, but also here, some countries are ahead of others, but basically it’s being treated like the Olympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Yeah. There wasn’t a lot of difference between.

((WN)) Huge crowds…

Amanda Carter: Huge crowds! We played for our silver medal in a sell-out crowd… you couldn’t see a vacant seat around the place.

((WN)) I was looking around the North Greenwich Arena…And that arena! The seats went up and up and up! And as it was filling on the night, you could see that even that top deck had people sitting in it. I guess in 2000 even, to fill stadiums, which we did, we gave APC and school programs, a lot of school kids came to fill seats and things. We didn’t necessarily see that in London. They were paid seats! People had gone out and spent money on tickets to come and see that sport.

((WN)) I saw school groups at the football and the goalball, but not at the basketball.

Amanda Carter: No. Which is a big difference also, that people are willing to come and pay to watch that level of sport.

((WN)) I was very impressed with the standard of play.

Amanda Carter: The standard, over the years, has improved so much. But the good thing is, we’re looking at development. So we’ve got the next rung of girls, and guys, coming through the group. Like, we’ve got girls that weren’t necessarily up to selection for London but will probably be right up there for Rio… Our squad will open, come January, for the first training camp. That will be an invitational to most of the girls who are playing women’s league and those sorts of things, and from there they’ll do testing and stuff, cutting down and they’ll select a side for Osaka for February, but the program will remain open leading into the next world championship, which is in Canada.

((WN)) What’s in Osaka?

Amanda Carter: The Osaka Cup. It’s held every year in February, so that will be the Gliders’ first major tournament…

((WN)) After the Paralympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah. So everyone’s taking an opportunity now to have a bit of a break.

((WN)) And then after that?

Amanda Carter: It’s the world championships in 2014 in Canada. So that will be what they’re next training to.

((WN)) How many tournaments do they normally play each year?

Amanda Carter: We’ve played a few. And you often play more in a Paralympic year, because you’re looking to see the competition, and the other teams, and those sorts of things, so… This year we did Osaka, which Canada went to, China went to… Japan, and us. We then went to — and we’d previously just been to Korea last November for qualification. We’ve been over to Germany. We’ve been to Manchester. So we’ve had a few tournaments where we’ve travelled. And then we’ve had of course a tournament in Sydney about three weeks before we went to London. And then of course we went to the Netherlands, before we went on to Cardiff in Wales.

((WN)) You played a tournament in the Netherlands?

Amanda Carter: Yes. Of four nations — five nations. We had Mexico at the tournament… GB… Netherlands… us… and there was one other… There were five of us at the tournament. It was a sort of warm up going in to… Canada! Canada it was. Canada was the fifth team. Because Canada stayed on and continued to train in the Netherlands. So they were good teams. Mexico we don’t often get a look at so it was a good chance to get a look at them at tournaments and things like that. And then flew back in to Heathrow and then in to Cardiff to train for the last six days leading in to London.

((WN)) Thank you very much for that.

Amanda Carter: That’s okay!
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The Perfect Family Vacation On A Budget

January, 2015 byAlma Abell

Vacation is a special time for every family, but many have been vacationing less frequently due to financial concerns. This is unfortunate because vacations are a wonderful time for all family members and are the perfect opportunity for creating memories that can last a lifetime.

There are many options available and one which has proven popular for a lot of people is to become a tourist within their own hometown. This may not appeal to everyone, especially if you are very familiar with your city. In this instance, it may not matter exactly what you see, but how you see it.

For a special vacation consider reserving a Limousine Service in New Orleans. Maybe you have already viewed the famous architecture, toured Bourbon Street and gotten a glimpse of the many haunted locations, but being guided through these streets in a luxurious limo will add an entirely new atmosphere.

Make the most of this exciting experience! Dress in your best clothes, make reservations at a restaurant you have always thought was too expensive and finish your day at one of the best hotels in town. While some of these may seem like very expensive choices, remember you are saving on airfare, passports and much more.Limousines are a popular way for groups to go sightseeing today. They offer professional drivers, room for everyone to stay comfortable and they are an experience most will often never have otherwise, or only enjoy once or twice in their lifetime. Limos are loved by everyone and they can be an especially exciting experience for children. No one in the family will feel they are missing anything from their typical vacation experience.

Really consider what your entire vacation budget is this year. If you find you will have to stretch your dollars too thin for your typical getaway, check out a limousine service in New Orleans instead! Even if your vacation is shorter, you will likely get more enjoyment for the money than any other way.

Click here to learn more about the rates and possibilities of renting a limo for your next family vacation. It will be an experience no one will ever forget – exactly what a family vacation is supposed to be.