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  • the Nominees for the 2017 Laureus World Sports Awards are...

     

    A glittering collection of the world’s greatest Olympic and Paralympic stars from Rio de Janeiro have been nominated for the Laureus World Sports Awards, following a ballot by the world’s media.

    Football is also well represented with Cristiano Ronaldo being involved in three Nominations; both individually and through his teams Portugal and Real Madrid.

    The contest for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award promises to be one of the most competitive ever. Nominees include Rio de Janeiro heroes Usain Bolt, already a three-time Laureus winner, 5k and 10k Olympic champion Mo Farah and tennis gold medal winner Andy Murray. Also shortlisted with Ronaldo are basketball duo Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

    Olympians fill all six Nomination places for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, including Americans Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Allyson Felix, German world tennis No.1 Angelique Kerber, Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson and British cyclist Laura Kenny.

    Michael Phelps, the most successful Olympian ever, heads the Nominees in the Laureus World Comeback of the Year category, after winning another five golds and a silver medal in Rio. Others selected by the media are Spain’s high jumper Ruth Beitia, Argentina’s Davis Cup winner Juan Martin del Potro, British show jumper Nick Skelton, Mauritius triathlete Fabienne St Louis and Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.

     

    In another strong category, Mercedes AMG Petronas are nominated for the third straight year for the Laureus World Team of the Year Award, along with three football teams; European Champions Portugal, Champions League winners Real Madrid and Neymar-inspired Olympic gold medal winners Brazil. American teams Chicago Cubs, winner of their first baseball World Series for 108 years, and NBA Champions Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, are also shortlisted.

    After finishing second in 2014 and 2015, Nico Rosberg finally won the Formula One World Championship last year and has earned nomination for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award. Joining him are Olympic world-record breakers Almaz Ayana and Wayde van Niekerk, and three teams who performed heroically in 2016: English Premier League Champions Leicester City, European Championship quarter-finalists Iceland and Olympic Rugby Sevens gold medal winners Fiji.

     

    The Rio Paralympic Games provide all six Nominees for the highly respected Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award; swimmers Ihar Boki from Belarus and New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe; visually impaired Cuban sprinter Omara Durand, Iran weightlifter Siamand Rahman, Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug and Italian fencer Beatrice Vio.

    The men’s and women’s surfing world champions John John Florence and Tyler Wright are nominated for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award, along with snowboarder Chloe Kim, skateboarder Pedro Barros, mountain biker Rachel Atherton and Estonia’s freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru who at 13 became the youngest ever winner of a gold medal at the Winter X-Games.

     

    The eventual winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on February 14.

    Sporting legends and former Laureus Award winners Novak Djokovic, Tony Hawk, Alessandro Del Piero, Missy Franklin, Dan Carter, Daniel Dias and Sean Fitzpatrick helped us reveal the Nominees with some great videos! Check them out! 

    Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick said “You always know in an Olympic year you are going to see a strong group of Nominees and this year has certainly proved that. What delights me is that we have an amazing mix of some of the greatest names in sport who have been performing at the highest level for as long as a decade, combined with some of the most exciting new faces we have seen for many years. It really is going to be an exceptional Laureus Awards next month.”

    For the first time ever, sports fans will have the chance to make their voices heard in a brand new Best Sporting Moment of the Year Award, which will celebrate the power of sport. More information coming soon.

    While celebrating the greatest sporting successes of the year, the Laureus Awards Ceremony also showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving that sport can change the world. Today Laureus supports more than 100 programmes, in around 40 countries. Our work to transform society is championed by the Laureus World Sports Academy of over 60 legends of sport. They are supported by more than 180 Laureus Ambassadors.

    source:- www.laureus.com

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  • University of Toronto starts class in Ge’ez

    Tens of thousands of ancient Ethiopian manuscripts – maybe more – have collected dust for over a century because they are written in what is now a rarely studied language, Ge'ez. 

    But a new course at the University of Toronto is teaching a new generation of students to understand the ancient Semitic language so that one day they can access this long-lost trove of knowledge. 

    This week, Professor Robert Holmstedt of the department of Near and Middle Eastern civilizations welcomed 25 students and members of Toronto's Ethiopian community to the first day of an introductory course on Ge'ez, which like Latin, is only used in religious services.

    With this course, U of T becomes one of the places in the world where students can learn the fundamentals of Ge'ez. The program came about through several significant donations, including from The Weeknd, the Ethiopian community and the Faculty of Arts & Science.

    Department chair Professor Tim Harrison has said that he hopes, with continued support, U of T will eventually add more courses and be positioned to launch the first Ethiopian studies program in North America.
    Since the subject is so rarely taught, Holmstedt had to invent course materials and revise one of the only Ge'ez textbooks in English, the 40-year-old Introduction to Classical Ethiopic: Ge'ez by Thomas O. Lambdin. Ge'ez is a window into an ancient culture and offers insights into other Semitic languages, he said.

    "I like giving students access to things that 99.5 per cent of the world doesn't have access to," he said. "It's part of advancing our knowledge and the pursuit of truth. This is the very nature of the university. We can't leave this behind." 

    Michael Gervers, a history professor at U of T Scarborough, helped launch the course with a $50,000 donation and a call to Toronto's Ethiopian community to contribute.

    The call was answered and the donation matched by none other than Toronto native and Grammy-award winning artist Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. The Weeknd.

    The campaign for the language course has a $200,000 goal and has received support from the Faculty of Arts & Science and the Bikila Awards organization, a local Ethiopian community group named after Olympic marathoner Adebe Bikila. 

    On Monday, just as he had promised, Gervers sat in on the class, hoping to be one of the first to learn the language at U of T. 

    Although he has been studying ancient Ethiopia for 40 years – he has swung from ropes to explore rock-cut monasteries in Ethiopia and created a database of tens of thousands of photographs of Ethiopian art and culture – Gervers does not know the language.

    Amharic-speaking students helped him with his pronunciation when he was asked to recite a letter of the alphabet. 
    The course's first students included members of the Ethiopian community, students with an interest in Ethiopian culture, medievalists and students in comparative linguistics. 

    Before any of the students can uncover the secrets of ancient Ethiopic texts, they must learn the basics. In their first class, they were introduced to Ethiopic letters and to the present tense of verbs like "to sit."

    Hours of memorization come next. Holmstedt urged his students to carry a ringlet of flashcards so they can learn the alphabet on the go.

    "Walk around campus memorizing words instead of looking at your phone," Holmstedt said. 

    Gervers said he hoped the Ge'ez course would be the first of many classes that would form the basis of an Ethiopian studies program at U of T. He has proposed a graduate-level course in the history of Ethiopia.

    "Ethiopia is usually left out of the curriculum because it's so different," he said. "There is no point of entry through European languages like English, French, Spanish or Italian." 

    The campaign will need additional funding to add further courses in Ge'ez – and even more to kickstart Ethiopian studies.

    For many students in the course, the subject isn't only academic.

    Sahlegebriel Belay Gebreselassie, a third-year undergrad in international relations and political science, has an "intimate personal connection" with the class. 

    "It's a part of learning my history, my language," he said.

    Source: University of Toronto

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