Connect with us


Olympian Gu competes ‘to inspire young girls’




Gu Ailing, the United States-born Olympic skiing gold medalist, who is also known as Eileen Gu, said that she competed for China to inspire the nation’s young girls to get interested in the sport.

The freestyle skier won three medals at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games in February. She shared her thoughts on Tuesday at an event in New York, where she was among those honored as being among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2022, and she discussed her motivation and the possible roles she may play after the Olympics.

She said that she decided to compete for China in order “to inspire young girls”.

“It was to spread the sport among people who may have never heard of it before, especially those young girls who may not have that kind of representation.” She added that it was “really my sole reason”.

Asked whether she had second thoughts about her decision to represent China in the Olympics, considering the current tension between the US and China, Gu said not at all.

“No, I don’t have any regrets,” she said, because every day on her social media she receives messages from hundreds of young girls worldwide who call her their inspiration.

Gu has 1.6 million followers on Instagram, many of them young girls. They send her messages saying things such as “because of you, you inspired me to break my own boundaries and to try something that I never (knew) was possible before” and that she encouraged them “to be a better person”.

That “positive reinforcement cycle” motivated Gu.

“It’s not like an idol and fan, it’s friends moving together” to celebrate each other’s success, she said.

There are more than 300 million people participating in winter sports in China now, whereas skiing was a minority sport not many years ago.

“Sports are a shared experience transcending gender, age, race, background and culture,” Gu said, adding that they can bring about cultural exchanges, communication and uplift one another, generating a cycle of positivity.

“My biggest goal has always been to leave a positive legacy and to leave the world a little bit better than the way that I found it,” Gu said.

Gu also announced that she would be the ambassador for the US Winter Olympic Games bid in Salt Lake City in 2030. Gu said, “This is a beautiful example of globalism and the capacity that we can use skiing, we can use sports, we can use the winter sports to connect people.”

“Having somebody with Eileen’s fantastic profile worldwide, particularly with the youth, is just a dream come true for us,” Fraser Bullock, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games, told Time.

Gu said she understands that with fame and success comes greater responsibility, and toward one group in particular: young victims of bullying worldwide.

Gu said their voices need to be heard. Otherwise, it is “incredibly detrimental during the formative years of their lives”, she said.

“The biggest form of self-care that I’ve had for myself is to find my voice and to use it for causes that matter to me and to encourage people… to make the world better in their own way,” said Gu.

Another area in which Gu is considering exerting her influence is in gender inequality in sports. Statistics indicate that girls under age 18 are six times more likely than their male counterparts to drop out of sports.

Gu, who was born in San Francisco and will attend Stanford University in the fall, has also had tremendous success in the business world.

She models for some of the world’s biggest fashion, jewelry and makeup brands and is the face of major Chinese businesses such as China Mobile, Anta, Bank of China and JD.


Source: China Daily 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


UN Ocean Conference: Joint effort needed to combat plastic pollution





Twenty-one new governments announced they will join the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment at the UN Ocean Conference on June 27, further boosting the leadership on tackling plastic pollution.

Established in 2018 and led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Commitment has united more than 500 signatories including businesses, governments and other organizations to drive the transition towards a circular economy for plastic, where plastic never becomes waste.

Plastic is everywhere in our lives, but after we use it, it ends up in the ocean. At least 11 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year, according to the UN, making up 80 percent of all marine debris.

Plastic pollution can have a serious impact on the entire marine ecosystem. Plastic entangles animals and is ingested by marine species. More than 800 marine and coastal species are affected by this pollution, according to the UN. Plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish each year.

Workers hang a The UN holds its Oceans Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, June 27-July 1. /VCG

Switching from virgin plastic to recycled plastic is one of the most effective ways to reduce plastic pollution. However, less than 10 percent of the plastic used around the world is recycled, said the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on February 22.

Instead of recycling plastic, more greenhouse gases are emitted each time virgin plastic or single-use plastic is produced, used and disposed. According to projections by UNEP, by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use and disposal, would account for 15 percent of allowed emissions, under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As greenhouse gas emissions increase, the planet will become hotter, and the oceans will also be seriously affected, by phenomena such as sea level rise and ocean temperature rise.

As glaciers melt and sea levels rise, animals are losing their homes. /VCG

Plastic pollution is one of the major global environmental problems, which brings great challenges to global sustainable development. It is estimated that the annual amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean could triple by 2040, according to the UN.

Many countries have issued a number of plastic pollution control policies, and more and more of them have passed some sort of full or partial ban on plastic bags.

India imposed a ban on single-use plastics on items ranging from straws to cigarette packets to combat worsening pollution in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people on July 1. Canada will impose a ban on the manufacture and import of single-use plastics by the end of the year.

China has always attached great importance to the control of plastic pollution. As early as 2007, policies were introduced to restrict the production, sale and use of plastic bags. China pledged to substantially extend its laws to combat plastic bag use, first banning all non-compostable bags in major cities by the end of 2020 and extending the ban to the entire country by 2022.

Plastic pollution is a major global environmental problem. /VCG

It’s urgent for all countries to work together to combat plastic pollution.

In March this year, a historic resolution was adopted by countries at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly. It calls for the convening of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop – by the end of 2024 – an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.

Source: CGTN

Continue Reading


Gov’t does not obstruct freedom of expression: Speaker





Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has stated the administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih does not obstruct freedom of expression. He made the statement in response to a question at the fifth programme of the Ask Speaker series.

Speaking at the programme, Speaker Nasheed said he has not seen President Solih’s administration try to obstruct freedom of speech and expression, and does not believe there are efforts to do so. However, the speaker stated the constitution does not grant freedom of expression without limits and boundaries. He said these boundaries must be respected, especially when it could affect diplomatic relations established with other countries.

During the programme, Speaker Nasheed was also asked if he might contest in the presidential election next year as an independent candidate after leaving the main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). In response to this question, the speaker said he hopes to remain at MDP till his last day and would definitely not be seen in another party. He said MDP has a vision for the future, and will seek ways to resolve internal conflicts and implement its development vision for the country.

During the programme, Speaker Nasheed answered questions on parliamentary work, as well as other political and social matters. The speaker highlighted the important work carried out by the parliament across the last two terms, including several important bills.


Source: psmnews

Continue Reading


US, Taliban discuss foreign reserves, aid for earthquake-hit Afghanistan





US and Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital Doha worked on details to preserve $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank reserves “for the benefit of the Afghan people.”

Talks between the United States and the Taliban continued in Doha earlier this week to discuss earthquake aid, the State Department said, months after the two parties last met in the Qatari capital in March.

The Taliban is seeking a way to unlock some of the country’s foreign reserves — currently frozen by the United States — following a devastating earthquake last month, with the United States looking for assurances the money would go to help the population.

During the meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, the United States reiterated an earlier pledge of $55 million in new assistance for earthquake relief, the State Department said in a statement on Friday.

And “the two sides discussed in detail US actions to preserve $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank reserves for the benefit of the Afghan people,” the statement said, money which the White House said last week the US was “urgently” working to sort out.

Last week’s 5.9-magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan, which killed more than 1,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless, adds urgency to the funding debate.

“The United States expressed condolences for the loss of life and suffering in Afghanistan caused by recent earthquakes,” the State Department said of the meeting, which was led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West.

Fundamental freedoms

The United States raised “concerns regarding increased interference by the Taliban in the delivery of humanitarian assistance” and “concerns regarding transparency in delivery of services,” the statement said of the aid.

According to the State Department, US representatives also pushed the Taliban authorities on women’s rights — a sticking point that led Washington to cancel talks in Doha in March, when the group closed girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan.

“The United States supports the Afghan people’s demands that girls be allowed to return to school and that women be allowed to work, contribute to the country’s economic growth, and move and express themselves freely,” the statement said.

READ MORE: Afghanistan earthquake: Women in urgent need of care, doctors warn

Taliban rule

The Taliban took over in August 2021 after the United States gave up a 20-year military effort.

Washington at the time froze $7 billion in reserves and the international community halted billions in direct aid that Afghanistan and its population of roughly 40 million people had relied on.

The currency has collapsed and the country descended into a serious economic crisis, although some assistance has been restored.

The Taliban are still considered a terrorist group by the United States, which has insisted that any improvement of relations would be dependent on meeting key concerns.

READ MORE: Earthquake survivors in Afghanistan ‘at risk’ of disease outbreak

Source: TRT

Continue Reading