The Weird History Of Olympic Sports Just Got Weirder

CLARIFICATION (Aug. 4, 5:33 p.m.): The chart in this post shows only sports included in the 2016 Olympic Games, not those that will be added in 2020 or those that were played in previous games but discontinued. We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.RIO DE JANEIRO — Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee announced the addition of five sports to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo — baseball, softball, karate, skateboarding, climbing and surfing. Surfing’s Tyler Wright was beyond stoked, but others were less enthused about the IOC’s attempts at “bringing the Games to young people.”But concern trolling over the fidelity of the Olympics’ roster of sports overlooks just how capricious the traditional selection process has been. The 2016 games in Rio already feature a record 42 sport disciplines — rugby and golf are the newcomers this year — that make up more than 300 events. Both rugby and golf were part of the the 1900 Olympics in Paris — the second modern summer games — but by 1908 golf was out and rugby followed shortly thereafter. Other sports like basketball and boxing were added in subsequent years, but by the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea, far more obscure sports like synchronized swimming, taekwondo and rhythmic gymnastics were on the Olympic docket, decades before golf and rugby would return.Each Olympic cycle the executive board of the International Olympic Committee votes to add sports that have petitioned to be included based on criteria like “TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity,” according to ESPN. This can be an unscientific thing, as was made clear in 2013, when the board voted to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics and then reversed that decision and reinstated it just a few months later.Taken altogether, the weird blips in Olympic history become even more apparent — like the absence of soccer in 1932, or the decades-long tennis hiatus from 1928 to 1964. Below, a look at all of the sports that will be played in 2016 as they’ve come and gone throughout modern Olympics history.1We used the categories of sports based on the results from the 2012 London Olympics, and included golf and rugby for 2016. A few categories of sports changed in 2012, however. Individual equestrian events are now all listed under “Equestrian” and individual wrestling events (Freestyle vs. Greco-Roman) are also now both listed under “Wrestling.” We removed two sports that debuted at the summer Olympics, ice hockey and figure skating, but are now winter sports. read more

Venus Williams Gains 9th Wimbledon Final Awaits Muguruza

Venus Williams returns to Britain’s Johanna Konta during her Wimbledon women’s singles semifinal victory that sent the American to the 16th Grand Slam final of her career.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — All these years later, Wimbledon still brings out the best in Venus Williams.With her latest display of gutsy serving and big hitting, Williams beat Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday to reach her ninth title match at the All England Club and first since 2009.At 37, Williams is the oldest Wimbledon finalist since Martina Navratilova was the 1994 runner-up at that age.Williams also stopped Konta’s bid to become the first woman from Britain in 40 years to win the country’s Grand Slam tournament.“I couldn’t have asked for more, but I’ll ask for a little more. One more win would be amazing,” Williams said. “It won’t be a given, but I’m going to give it my all.”She will be seeking her sixth Wimbledon championship and eighth Grand Slam singles trophy overall. Her most recent came in 2008, when she defeated her younger sister, Serena, for the title at the All England Club. A year later, she lost the final to Serena.In the time since, Williams revealed that she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, which can sap energy and cause joint pain. As time went on, there were questions about whether she might retire, especially after a half-dozen first-round losses at major tournaments. But she kept on going, and lately has returned to winning.Her resurgence began in earnest at Wimbledon a year ago, when she made it to the semifinals. Then, at the Australian Open in January, Williams reached the final, where she lost to — yes, you guessed it — her sister. Serena is off the tour for the rest of this year because she is pregnant.“I missed her so much before this match. And I was like, ‘I just wish she was here.’ And I was like, ‘I wish she could do this for me,’” Williams said with a laugh. “And I was like, ‘No, this time you have to do it for yourself.’ So here we are.”On Saturday, the 10th-seeded American will participate in her second Grand Slam final of the season, and 16th of her career, this time against 14th-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain.“She knows how to play, especially Wimbledon finals,” Muguruza, the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up and 2016 French Open champion, said about Williams. “It’s going to be, like, a historic final again.”Muguruza overwhelmed 87th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1 in the earlier semifinal.Williams arrived in England a few weeks after being involved in a two-car accident in Florida; not long afterward, a passenger in the other vehicle died. At her initial news conference at Wimbledon, a tearful Williams briefly left the room to compose herself after being asked about the crash.She has tried, coach David Witt said, to “just focus on the tennis.”In the semifinals, it was Konta who had the first chance to nose ahead, a point from serving from the opening set when it was 4-all and Williams was serving down 15-40.Williams erased the first break point with a backhand winner down the line, and the second with a 106 mph (171 kph) second serve that went right at Konta’s body. It was a risky strategy, going for so much pace on a second serve, but it worked. That opened a run in which Williams won 12 of 13 points.“She looks to dictate from the very first ball,” Konta said. “When she puts herself in a position to do that, she plays with a lot of depth, a lot of speed, and you don’t get much of a chance to get your, I guess, grip into the points.”Williams wouldn’t face another break point and, later, produced another impressive second serve — in the second set, at 103 mph (166 kph), it went right at Konta, who jumped out of the way.Konta played quite well, especially early, and finished with more winners, 20 to 19, each greeted by roars from the Centre Court spectators.“They could have really been even more boisterous. I thought the crowd was so fair. And I know that they love Jo, and she gave it her all today,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of pressure. I thought she handled it well. I think my experience just helped a lot.”This was her 10th semifinal in 20 Wimbledon appearances; Konta had never been past the second round at the grass-court tournament before this year.In the other semifinal, Muguruza won 15 of the first 20 points en route to a 5-0 lead. Even though Rybarikova entered having won 18 of her past 19 grass-court matches, mostly at lower-level tournaments, she suddenly looked a lot more like someone whose career record at Wimbledon before last week was 2-9.“Not my best day,” Rybarikova said. “But she didn’t give me much chance to do something.”Muguruza won the point on 19 of 25 trips to the net and had a 22-8 edge in winners.That earned the 23-year-old Muguruza a berth in her third career Grand Slam final, second at the All England Club. She lost to Serena Williams with the title on the line at Wimbledon in 2015, then beat her at Roland Garros last year.“I’ll have to ask Serena for some pointers,” Venus Williams said. “Serena’s always in my corner. And usually it’s her in these finals, so I’m trying my best to represent ‘Williams’ as best as I can.” read more

CW Announces Appointment of New CEO Inge Smidts

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#UnitedStates, January 4, 2018 – Miami, FL – Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W) today announced the appointment of Inge Smidts as Chief Executive Officer.   She is replacing John Reid who announced earlier this month that he will step down from the position of CEO in early 2018. Smidts joins C&W from Liberty Global where she most recently held the position of Chief Marketing Officer.Prior to her role at Liberty Global, Smidts was Senior Vice President – Residential Marketing and a member of the Executive Team at Telenet Group.   While there, she was responsible for Go-to-Market reporting and overseeing the commercial strategy for Telenet’s business.Smidts has significant brand and marketing experience having spent over ten years earlier in her career at Procter & Gamble, where she started as Assistant Brand Manager and was regularly promoted, ultimately to Business Leader for the Benelux Paper business.   Smidts holds a Master of Economics degree from UFSIA in Antwerp and an MBA in Marketing from the IAE in Aix-en-Provence.Balan Nair, incoming President & CEO of Liberty Latin America said, “Inge is a proven executive that has delivered strong results throughout her career.   We are excited that she has agreed to lead C&W and join the Liberty Latin America team next year once the split from Liberty Global is complete.   I also want to thank John Reid for his many contributions to the company and facilitating a smooth transition.”“Inge is a dynamic leader who has successfully driven financial performance and built capable teams,” said Betzalel Kenigsztein, Liberty Latin America’s Chief Operating Officer.   “As we look to the future for C&W, we are confident that Inge is the right leader to help rebuild operations that were damaged by this year’s hurricanes and deliver growth for all our stakeholders.”Smidts commented, “I am excited to take on the role of CEO at C&W and work with the new management team that will lead Liberty Latin America into the future.  The prospects for C&W are bright and I look forward to leveraging my experiences at Liberty Global and Telenet to bring a commercial, marketing and customer-focus that will help deliver results.”John Reid, C&W’s current CEO, will help ensure a seamless leadership transition until Smidts’ tenure begins in February 2018.   Under the new Liberty Latin America management structure effective upon completion of the split-off from Liberty Global, Smidts will report to Betzalel Kenigsztein, Liberty Latin America’s COO.Press Release: C&W Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Minor girl raped in Jashore

first_imgProthom Alo illustrationA nine-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a 53-year-old man at Colony Para in Sharsha upazila in Jashore on Tuesday, reports UNB.The victim’s father filed a case accusing Abdul Hamid Khandaker of rape, said Shukdeb Roy, officer-in-charge of Bagachra police camp.Locals said the victim went to Hamid’s house for playing in the afternoon. At one stage, he took the girl to his room and violated her.Neighbours rushed in hearing the girl’s scream and rescued her but Hamid managed to flee.”We’re trying to arrest the suspect,” the OC said.last_img

Wenger rues lack of efficiency

first_imgA subdued and sombre Arsene Wenger was left to rue Arsenal’s lack of efficiency after his team lost 2-1 at home to Manchester United on Saturday in a game they dominated. ‘We have not dominated many games against United like we did today but we were not efficient enough and made defensive mistakes. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we are very disappointed. We were a bit naive,’ Wenger told a news conference. Wenger’s misery was compounded by injuries to midfielder Jack Wilshere and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who were both forced off in the second half.  ‘Jack has an ankle injury. I don’t know how bad it is yet. Wojciech is not bad,’ he said.Arsenal have slipped to eighth in the EPL table, 15 points behind Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.last_img

Twilio Flex a fullyprogrammable contact center platform is now generally available

first_imgYesterday, Twilio announced the general availability of Flex. Since its preview announcement in March, Flex has been used by thousands of contact center agents including support and sales teams at Lyft, Scorpion, Shopify, and U-Haul. Twilio Flex is a fully-programmable contact center platform that aims to give businesses complete control over customer engagement. It is a cloud-based platform that provides infinite flexibility in your hands. What functionalities does Flex provide to enterprises? Twilio Flex enables enterprises to do the following: Answer user queries using Autopilot Flex provides a conversational AI platform called Autopilot using which businesses can build custom messaging bots, IVRs, and home assistant apps. These bots are trained with the data pulled by Autopilot using Twilio’s natural language processing engine. Companies can deploy those bots across multiple channels including voice, SMS, Chat Alexa, Slack, and Google Assistant. With these bots, enterprises can also respond to frequently asked questions and if the queries become complex the bots can then transfer the conversation to a human agent. Secure phone payment with Twilio Pay With only one line of code, you can activate the Twilio Pay service that provides businesses the tools needed to process payments over the phone. It relies on secure payment methods such as tokenization to ensure that credit card information is securely handled. Provide a true omnichannel experience Flex gives enterprises access to a number of channels out of the box including voice, SMS, email, chat, video, and Facebook Messenger, among others. Also, agents can switch from channel to channel without losing the conversation or context. Customize user interface programmatically Flex user interfaces are designed with customization in mind. Enterprises can customize the customer-facing components like click-to-call or click-to-chat. It also allows adding entirely new channels or integrating new reporting dashboards to display agent performance or customer satisfaction. Integrate any application Enterprises can integrate their third-party business-critical applications with Flex. These applications may include systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), workforce management (WFM), reporting, analytics, or data stores. Analytics and insights for better customer experience It offers real-time event stream, a supervisor desktop, and admin desktop, which gives supervisors and administrators complete visibility and control over interaction data. Using these analytics and insights they will be able to better monitor and manage an agent’s performance. To know more about Twilio Flex, check out their official announcement. Read Next Twilio acquires SendGrid, a leading Email API Platform, to bring email services to its customers Twilio WhatsApp API: A great tool to reach new businesses Building a two-way interactive chatbot with Twilio: A step-by-step guidelast_img read more