F1 champion Michael Schumacher in critical condition

You cannot help but feel so sad after hearing the news of the skiing accident of seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher.

formula1.com reported that Schumacher remained in critical condition in hospital and doctors are working “hour-by-hour”.

We hope and pray that doctors will be successful in treating the world’s most successful F1 driver in history who has been an inspiration to millions of F1 racing fans.

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Statement from the IOC President on terrorist attacks in Russia

Please find below a statement from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach that was issued today on the recent bombings in Volgograd, Russia.

“This is a despicable attack on innocent people and the entire Olympic Movement joins me in utterly condemning this cowardly act. Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims.

I have personally written to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to express our condolences to the Russian people and our confidence in the Russian authorities to deliver safe and secure Games in Sochi. I am certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games.

Sadly terrorism is a global disease but it must never be allowed to triumph. The Olympic Games are about bringing people from all backgrounds and beliefs together to overcome our differences in a peaceful way. The many declarations of support and solidarity from the international community make me confident that this message of tolerance will also be delivered by the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.(pr)

IOC announces winner of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Medal Design Competition

A young sports fan from Slovakia was today announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the winner of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Medal Design Competition.The winning concept, entitled “Track of Winners”, was chosen from a pool of over 300 entries from 50 plus countries by a prestigious IOC jury who described it as “modern, fresh and dynamic” when they were brought together from across the globe to deliberate the decision earlier this month.

Speaking about his win, 23-year-old Matej Čička said: “It was our school task to join this competition and design a medal. So I drew a lot of sketches and spoke with a teacher to choose the best one. I was inspired by the athletes’ track which, to me, means the base of the Youth Olympic Games. So I put it into my concept and used different shapes to represent the winning athletes and the podium.  And finally I called it The Track of Winners.”

The judging panel comprised world-renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind the iconic Olympic cauldron at the London 2012 Olympic Games; Youth Olympic Games 400m hurdles gold medallist Aurélie Chaboudez (FRA); Olympic short-track speed skating champion Yang Yang (CHN); Youth Olympic Games Ambassador Yelena Isinbaeva (RUS); Olympic fencer and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Claudia Bokel (GER); and IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Gilbert Felli.

The panel also selected two runner-up designs that were placed in second and third place behind the winner. They were ‘A Hug From Lele!’ by Hugo Fernández, 29, from Spain; and ‘Stripes of Victory’ by Csaba Szitas, 28, from Slovakia.

Of his role as a jury member, Thomas said: “It’s been thrilling to have the chance to look through so many exciting ideas from all over the world and to feel how much the Youth Olympic Games mean to young people.”

The online competition was launched in September and invited fans all over the world to get inspired by the Olympic values and share in the YOG spirit by submitting their designs. Matej’s winning design will feature on the face of the gold, silver and bronze medals awarded in Nanjing from 16 to 28 August. His first prize also includes a trip to the Games, tickets to the Opening Ceremony and a full collection of the medals featuring their design.(pr)

Player of the Week: Jason Castro

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The road to a fourth straight Philippine Cup crown won’t be easy, but cat-quick guard Jason Castro is ready to face the challenge.

Dishing off the gutsy all-around performance he’s known for amid some injuries to key personnel, the 5’8” Castro stood tallest despite the opposition to tow the Texters to three straight victories in a span of six days.

The former Philippine Christian University standout said playing without the team’s top defensive player Ryan Reyes for much of the conference has served as a motivation for him to level his game up further in what coach Norman Black labeled as “hell week”.

Castro, last season’s Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference tallied 13 points, grabbed three rebounds and dished off three assists combining with fellow Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Ranidel de Ocampo in the second half to turn back Rain or Shine, 90-87.

The 27-year-old Castro then exploded for 23 points, six rebounds and nine assists three days later, in the absence of backcourt mate Jimmy Alapag, leading Talk ‘N Text to an 87-80 overtime victory over a tough Barako Bull side.

On Sunday, Castro remained in command, using his quickness to outwit his defenders en route to the Texters’ 87-82 win over the Air21 Express.

Castro’s 21-point, six-rebound effort against the Express completed Talk ‘N Text’s tough but gratifying week that saw the three-time all-Filipino conference champion improve its record to 6-2.

“Sinabi ni coach na kailangan ko mag-step up every game. Wala kasi si Ryan since the start of the conference so kailangan every game, nandun ako lagi,” said a soft-spoken Talk ‘N Text guard, whose sterling performance earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps. Player of the Week for the period of December 15-22, edging out Barangay Ginebra’s athletic forward Japeth Aguilar.

Castro said despite their three-game winning roll, the Texters will have to guard themselves from complacency as they continue in  their quest for a league record fourth straight all-Filipino title this season.(pr/photo by kc cruz)