The lifeguard on the edge of the pool looked worried.Michael Cheng was splashing and flailing about, struggling to keep his head above water. He hadn’t been in a pool in years, which was fine because he didn’t know how to swim anyway. But he gamely, gradually made his way down a 25-yard lane at the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) with a makeshift doggy paddle. By the time he reached the end, he was exhausted. His heart was pounding.“I just did what I could instinctively do,” he said. “It was honestly one of the scariest moments of my life.”Cheng, a junior in Quincy House concentrating in history and mathematics, was in the walk-on program for the Harvard lightweight crew team. But to officially join the team and take a boat on the Charles River, he needed to pass a swimming test. So he decided to just jump into the deep end, physically and metaphorically, a move that turned out to prove oddly comforting in a world unmoored by COVID-19.Cheng had set a deadline for himself: a few days before Thanksgiving, when facilities would begin shutting down through winter break and perhaps even stay closed. He had to teach himself because, due to COVID restrictions, the MAC was no longer offering swim lessons.Additionally, Cheng was in deep with his academic load, taking seven courses, including two graduate-level classes, and attending socially distanced rowing practices for up to two hours per day.At any event, swimming, so far, was off to a rough start.After he got to the end, the lifeguard sidled over and politely hinted he might try the smaller, shallower pool. There, Cheng spent the rest of the hour he’d reserved trying to get used to being in the water and wondering how he would become a skilled enough to pass the test. He would need to be able to jump or dive into deep water, surface, and swim 100 yards while demonstrating rhythmic breathing, and then tread water for two minutes. Most importantly, the swimmer must demonstrate not just competence but confidence in the water.Cheng possessed neither, but that didn’t discourage him. He saw the challenge as another opportunity to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. And that was an ability in which he had confidence.,“I’ve learned that it’s precisely in uncomfortable spaces where you grow the most,” he said.The son of Chinese immigrants, Cheng felt out of place when he arrived at Harvard two years ago from Pennsylvania. He found the social and academic environment overwhelming and self-doubt engulfed him. “I felt very fortunate, but I’m the first person in my entire family to go to an institution like this,” Cheng said. “My first year was very shaky. I just didn’t feel like I belonged here.”Cheng shed that self-doubt by immersing himself in the opportunities and resources around him, including academic coaching, travel abroad, internships, and House life.He traveled to about a dozen different countries pre-COVID, including spending a summer in Buenos Aires interning for the ministry of urban development, and doing solar panel research in Taiwan last January. He discovered special interests in history, computer science and, this past semester, genetics.Among the seven classes he took in the fall, which included graduate classes in computer science and modern Asian history, was one on ancient human DNA taught by David Reich. This spring Cheng will work as an undergraduate researcher in Reich’s lab.“He not only was an active participant in the class but also attended my [virtual] office hours almost every week,” said Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and professor of human evolutionary biology at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “What I find so striking about Michael is his wide-ranging mind and curiosity about topics ranging from history to philosophy to sociology and biology.” “With the online semester, [swimming] was something that was special every day, that I looked forward to. … A lot of it was just about giving myself permission to go for it.” — Michael Cheng Cheng’s academic coach at the Academic Resource Center also found his all-in effort in everything he does exceptional.“Within the Harvard community, a lot of folks are good at something and we, kind of, stick to that thing,” said Sadé Abraham, M.Ed, A.M. ’18. “Michael’s accomplishments are a testament to how we can pivot, reframe, and still find joy amid the many challenges of this time.”It was that same confidence in unfamiliar endeavors that made Cheng do a double-take when a friend, Samuel Detmer ’20, introduced him to the rowing machine at the Quincy House gym last spring (just before the campus evacuation). Detmer suggested he try out for the team in the fall, and Cheng found himself in the pool when he returned to campus in September.At the end of that first day, the aquatics director at the MAC, Colleen Cleary, emailed him a series of swimming tutorial videos and Cheng did some of his own research. He studied the material religiously in his room, breaking down the movements in the video frame-by-frame and mimicking the strokes. He read books on swimming like “Total Immersion” and spent minutes just imagining being in the water.Every morning at 7, he could be found in the small pool for an hour, practicing what he saw or read. The lifeguards offered pointers when they could. He tried the breaststroke, but couldn’t figure it out so he switched to freestyle.“The first three to four weeks, I literally had nothing resembling an actual swim stroke,” Cheng said.By late October, something clicked. He could swim across the small pool (about 10 yards) without stopping and soon after he was doing laps.The lifeguards, witnessing his transformation into a swimmer while dealing with the difficulties of operating under COVID restrictions, took note of his progress and found themselves rooting for his success.“Watching his journey of self-teach swimming made the strangeness and the frustration of ‘We’re operating in such a limited capacity [and] these hours are really difficult’ worth it,” Cleary said. “Just to watch that little success story happen … it was just a nice silver lining.”They let Cheng know when he was finally really ready for the bigger pool.“I was almost as scared as that first day,” Cheng said. “But then I swam one lap, took a little break and swam another lap and then another.”The rest happened fast. Less than two weeks from Thanksgiving, he learned to tread water and kept refining his stroke and gaining confidence. A few days before the holiday, he took the test and passed. He learned he made the lightweight crew team around that same time.“It was really personally meaningful,” Cheng said. “It just validated coming in basically every day for an uncertain goal without that much guidance.”And in a semester defined by COVID, the experience in the pool provided him an unexpected anchor.“With the online semester, it was something that was special every day, that I looked forward to,” Cheng said. “It’s small but the fact that I was able to do it does make me believe that I can get through and do anything, and that’s the message of last semester for me — whether it’s writing a 30-page paper or getting involved with ancient DNA research, or taking graduate classes, or just being able to pick up rowing.“A lot of it was just about giving myself permission to go for it.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hempstead town officials approved Tuesday long-awaited plans to renovate the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale—one month after the aging arena’s anchor tenant, the New York Islanders, began moving to Brooklyn.The conceptual master plan for the property had been submitted to the town last month by Nassau Events Center, a subsidiary of Forest City Ratner Companies, which previously lured Long Island’s lone professional sports team to the developer’s new Barclays Center in Prospect Heights.“We look forward to beginning construction in the near future so that we can bring all Long Island residents the reimagined venue they truly deserve,” said Bruce Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner, which signed a 34-year lease with the county.Renovations are scheduled to begin in August after Billy Joel plays the venue’s last concert while the facility is under management of SMG. Renovating the 416,000-square-foot arena and developing 188,000-square-feet of surrounding property is the first phase of a planned $260-million redevelopment of the 91-area site.Aside from new restaurants, hotels, parking garages, a movie theater and other unspecified entertainment on the land surrounding the coliseum, two Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center facilities have been proposed for the site.The plan follows years of failed attempts to redevelop the property by outgoing Islanders owner Charles Wang, who had proposed a multi-billion-dollar mixed-use development at the site before Hempstead officials told him to scale it back, essentially killing what was known as The Lighthouse Project. Nassau County voters later rejected a proposal to borrow $400 million to renovate the coliseum.Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said that Ratner’s plan “provides for balanced and sustainable development.”The board was able to expedite the approval process since Ratner made his site plans fit the requirements of the Mitchel Field Mixed Use District, which the town had created while considering the Lighthouse Project in 2011.
BANGKOK – Thailand on Sunday reported 15new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the total number of casessince its outbreak in January to 2,922 cases and 51 deaths. Two other new cases were reported fromthe southern province of Yala, where the authorities are aggressively testingthe population because of high infection rates there, said TaweesinWisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 SituationAdministration. (Reuters) Of the new cases, four were linked toprevious cases, another four had no known links, while five new patients arearrivals from overseas who have been under state quarantine. Buddhist novice monks wearing face shields and protective face masks attend a lesson at Wat Molilokayaram monastic educational institute during coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand on April 22, 2020. REUTERS
West Indies won the toss and sent New Zealand in to bat in the second One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at Hagley Oval on Saturday.Chris Gayle, who has struggled with an undisclosed illness in recent days, has been replaced by Kyle Hope, while Sheldon Cottrell has come in for the injured Kesrick Williams, in the two changes to the Windies XI.New Zealand, meanwhile, have replaced the rested duo of captain Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, with Neil Broom and Matt Henry.TEAMS:NEW ZEALAND – Tom Latham (captain), George Worker, Colin Munro, Neil Broom, Ross Taylor, T Latham, Henry Nicholls, Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.WINDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Kyle Hope, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Ronsford Beaton, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel.
From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, SBC has you covered. This edition looks at the sale of AC Milan, a new MLS team and a bizarre transfer deal from Turkey.____________________Becks launches plans for Miami expansionFormer England captain, David Beckham has launched his plan to form a Major League Soccer side in Miami.The team, which will be formed after Beckham utilised an option in his 2014 contract with LA Galaxy allowing him buy an MLS expansion franchise will play its home games in front of a 25,000 seater stadium.The former Manchester United player optimistically stated: “I’m excited to bring this great team to this great city – it has been a hell of a journey, I promise you the team we will bring into the league will be the best team.”The MLS is continually expanding with Los Angeles FC’s presence bringing the total number of teams to 23. Additionally, Nashville will also gain an extra franchise later in the year. Beckham’s plans won’t come without challenges, the 42 year old’s franchise will be the first Miami based football side since the unsuccessful Miami Fusion went under in 2001. 21st Club to oversee Evolution of Aussie top flight The Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced a partnership with 21st Club, a leading international football management software developer and consultancy business. 21st Club will support all 10 Hyundai A-League clubs in the management of their salary cap requirements and provide support in strategic squad planning. The partnership will see 21st Club adapt Evolution – their platform that helps clubs manage their player costs, strategically plan the player pipeline and analyse the impact of future scenarios, in addition to rationalising processes across the clubs – to better support the league to monitor compliance with regulations. Questions to answer over Milan sale? A daily Italian newspaper has reported that former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi is facing questions over his sale of AC Milan to Chinese entrepreneur, Li Yonghong, for €740 million last April.The questions, which related to possible money laundering in the lucrative sale last year prompted senior Milan public prosecutor, Francesco Greco to hastily issue a statement outlining that there was no enquiry of this nature “at the moment.” The accusations come amid a backdrop of a Serie A revival for Milan, under the tenure of iconic manager Gennaro Gattuso, as well as an impending Italian election, in which Berlusconi is unable to run after a 2013 conviction for tax fraud. Uncertainty at the top of Italian football Turmoil at the top of Italian football continues as the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), further postponed the election of a new Italian Football Federation President (FIGC) by three months.In a statement to the Italian media, CONI president Giovanni Malago stated: “I hope that there is an awareness on the part of the three candidates so that the election does not take place, I wish it as do 90 percent of Italians.“For now the assembly is convened. But the candidates have acknowledged the difficulties and are considering with their supporters the path to take.”He added: “none of the candidates can count on the vast majority that everyone considers indispensable for the revival of Italian football and there is the risk that the new president does not even have a simple majority in the Federal Council.”Cryptospor: Turkish youngster is new kid on the Blockchain A Turkish club has completed the country’s first ever transfer using Bitcoin, broadcaster CNN Turk reported on Tuesday.Harunustaspor, a local amateur league club, reportedly signed 22-year old Omer Faruk Kiroglu for 2000 liras (£377.6) worth of Bitcoin and 2500 liras in cash, for a sum total of 4500 liras.Club chairman Haldun Sehit declared that the move was the first of its kind by a sports club in Turkey and worldwide. “We did it to make a name for ourselves in the country and the world. We are proud of this,” he was quoted as saying._________________The Betting industry’s relationship with Football and its wider stakeholders will be discussed at the ‘Betting on Football 2018’ (#bofcon2018) conference. Click on the below banner for more information… StumbleUpon Submit Marek Suchar: “As esports betting grows, we will no longer speak about it as one sport” June 18, 2020 Related Articles LiveScore adds new leagues to streaming offering August 12, 2020 Share GVC responds to ‘press speculation’ on former Turkish business July 30, 2020 Share