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Real Madrid vs Sociedad Prediction: La Liga Match on 01.03.2021
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It’s the first day of March and La Liga champions Real Madrid return to league action following their midweek Champions League exploits. The home team are involved in a battle with city rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona to retain their crown and it’s a fight that is sure to go right down to the wire. We are entering a vital stage of the season. Can Real Madrid find the form needed to win the title? A competitive match is expected on Monday evening in Madrid after these teams played out a tense draw in their most recent meeting back in September. That game ended goalless, but it did extend Madrid’s unbeaten run against Sociedad to two games. Will that run continue? Madrid three off the pace Real Madrid entered round 25 of the La Liga season with stats showing 16 wins and four draws against four defeats, scoring 42 goals while conceding just 19. The 52 points gained leaves them three off the pace set by Atletico Madrid who also have a game in hand. Real have done well to fight their way back into it but know there’s now no room for error as the race gets serious. Confidence is high in the home dressing room after Blancos put together an eye-catching four-game winning run, moving them five points ahead of Barcelona in third place. The locals were last seen in domestic action beating Real Valladolid 1-0 away from home, claiming an important three points thanks to a goal from Casemiro on 65 minutes. More of the same is needed here. Sociedad have won their last three Sociedad are performing above expectations so far and sit fifth in the table with a strong chance of improving and grabbing a place in the top-four. Champions League football next season is a possibility if they can continue their form and that’s something the squad must keep in mind as the challenges continue to come at them thick and fast. The visitors arrive in town on the back of an impressive unbeaten run, drawing two and winning three of their last five games. Sociedad have also picked up each of the last nine points available to them in the league so face Madrid without fear. If they can get something out of this match it will seriously improve their chances of finishing in the top-four. Real Madrid vs Sociedad prediction Both teams find themselves in a fantastic position but that comes with pressure and the players know they must continue their impressive form until the end of the season. A slip up here could have a huge impact on their chances of winning the title or finishing in the top-four. That should make this a nervy game but both clubs are scoring for fun at the minute so armchair fans hope to see a few goals. La Liga odds Real Madrid are 2.14 to win with Sociedad priced at 4.2 with 22bet and the draw 2.71. Make sure to bet on Real Madrid vs Sociedad with 22Bet! The post Real Madrid vs Sociedad Prediction: La Liga Match on 01.03.2021 appeared first on 22bet.
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ออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่น 2021: สิ่งที่น่าจับตามองในคืนวันอังคาร
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Rod Laver Arena | 23:00 ของวันอังคาร Andre Rublev พบกับ Daniil Medvedev Andre Rublev และ Daniil Medvedev คว้าแชมป์ ATP Cup ให้กับรัสเซียเมื่อต้นเดือนนี้และไม่มีผู้เล่นคนใดแพ้แม้แต่นัดเดียว ในการประชุมสามครั้งระหว่างเอทีพีทัวร์เมดเวเดฟทำประตูได้ทุกครั้งรวมถึงรอบรองชนะเลิศของยูเอสโอเพ่นในเดือนกันยายน นี่อาจเป็นโอกาสของ Rublev ที่จะเอาชนะคู่แข่งที่เป็นมิตรของเขาได้ในที่สุด เขาดูโดดเด่นเป็นพิเศษโดยไม่ทิ้งเซตระหว่างการแข่งขัน การแข่งขันของเขากับ Casper Ruud จบลงหลังจากผ่านไปเพียงสองเซตเมื่อนอร์เวย์ถอนตัวด้วยอาการบาดเจ็บ เมื่อเข้าสู่รอบรองชนะเลิศ Rublev เป็นผู้นำในทั้งเปอร์เซ็นต์ของคะแนนเสิร์ฟแรกและคะแนนเสิร์ฟที่สองซึ่งเป็นสัญญาณว่าคู่ต่อสู้จะทำลายการเสิร์ฟของเขาได้ยากเพียงใด เมดเวเดฟยังเล่นได้ดีนอกเหนือจากการแข่งขันรอบสามที่วุ่นวายและไม่เป็นระเบียบกับฟิลิปคราจิโนวิช ตอนนี้เขาชนะ 18 นัดติดต่อกันโดยการแพ้ครั้งสุดท้ายเกิดขึ้นในเดือนตุลาคมที่ทัวร์นาเมนต์ที่เวียนนา แม้ว่าพื้นผิวที่เร็วจะตรงกับภาพพื้นฐานที่แบนของ Medvedev แต่ท่าทางที่เปิดกว้างของ Rublev ก็มีแนวโน้มที่จะป้องกันและแน่นอนว่าเราจะเห็นจุดที่มีพลวัตและดุดันมากมาย Rod Laver Arena | 03:30 น. ของวันพุธราฟาเอลนาดาลพบกับสเตฟานอสซิตซิปัสราฟาเอลนาดาลผู้เล่นหมายเลข 2 ผ่านรอบ 4 นัดแรกได้อย่างราบรื่นไม่แปลกใจสำหรับผู้เล่นที่มี 20 รายการในแกรนด์สแลม แม้ว่านาดาลจะคว้าแชมป์ออสเตรเลียนโอเพ่นรายการเดียวเมื่อกว่าทศวรรษที่แล้ว แต่เขาก็ผ่านเข้ารอบชิงชนะเลิศในอีก 4 ครั้งนับตั้งแต่นั้นเป็นต้นมาและเป็นทีมเต็งที่ชัดเจนในครึ่งหนึ่งของการเสมอกัน ช็อตเด็ดที่ทรงพลังของนาดาลเหมาะสำหรับสนามดินซึ่งเขาสามารถลากคู่ต่อสู้ด้วยการยิงเข้ามุมที่เคร่งครัด ความสามารถของนาดาลในการใช้ประโยชน์จากจุดอ่อนของคู่ต่อสู้ผ่านการกดดันอย่างไม่หยุดยั้งสามารถทำลายผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่ได้ในช่วงเวลาที่ดีที่สุด Stefanos Tsitsipas ผู้ชนะ ATP รอบชิงชนะเลิศในปี 2019 เป็นการศึกษาเกี่ยวกับความคาดเดาไม่ได้ เมล็ดพันธุ์ที่ห้ามีความสามารถในการเล่นทุกคอร์ท แต่ขาดความสม่ำเสมอในการเล่นเกมหลังจบเกม นักเตะวัย 22 ปีพยายามปรับปรุงด้านนี้ในเกมของเขา แต่ต้องการห้าเซตเพื่อขับไล่ธานาซิค็อกคินาคิสที่ไม่ได้รับตำแหน่งในรอบที่สอง หลังจากผ่านเข้ารอบ 16 ทีม Tsitsipas จะพักผ่อนให้ดีและหวังว่าจะได้เปรียบกับหนึ่งในผู้เล่นที่แข็งแกร่งที่สุดในทัวร์
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Antwerp vs Rangers Prediction: UEFA Europa League Match on 18.02.2021
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Europa League action returns in midweek with the Round of 32 games played on Thursday. Each of the matches are scheduled to be shown live on TV, promising a night of entertainment for armchair fans. In this article, our team of football experts focus on the game in Belgium where local side Royal Antwerp take on Steven Gerrard’s Scottish Premiership champions in-waiting Rangers from 20:00 Antwerp runners up behind Spurs Antwerp finished as runners up in Europa League Group J. Stats of four wins and two defeats gave a dozen points which meant they finished just one behind pool winners Tottenham, two better than LASK in third. Royal scored eight goals in their six previous games but conceded five and that’s something that will concern the new coaching team. In the Belgium First Division A, we find Antwerp in second place trailing leaders Club Bruges who look home and hosed as champions this term. Bruges have 60 points on the board ahead of Antwerp on 47 and Genk on 43. The home team’s main concern between now and the end of the season will be holding their ground and securing Champions League football next term. Gers heading towards 55 Rangers were unbeaten in their Europa League group and finished as winners of what had been billed as a competitive pool. The Gers were pulled from pot four and added to Group D, but they defied the odds to win four games and draw the other two, scoring 13 goals while conceding seven. 14 points placed them two ahead of runners up Benfica and 10 better than Standard Liege in third. As well as their success on the continent we have seen Steven Gerrard’s Rangers dominate Scottish football. The Gers are now within four games of clinching their first title in 10 years. This year’s gong would be a double celebration for Rangers, winning a 55th Scottish championship and ending Celtic’s hopes of clinching a record 10-in-a-row. Antwerp vs Rangers prediction Antwerp are well off the pace domestically and are missing a few key players, including their star striker. Replacing him in attack is a man not long back from injury. Keeping a clean sheet will be Gerrard’s main aim but the visitors will shoot for the first leg lead. Europa League odds Antwerp are 4.04 to win with 22bet offering Rangers at 2.58 and the draw 2.27. Make sure to bet on Antwerp vs Rangers with 22Bet!
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Serie A Team of the Week: Lukaku lays waste to Lazio
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Romelu Lukaku leads the Serie A Team of the Week following his excellent performance for Inter at home to Lazio.Antonio Conte's men secured a vital 3-1 home victory which allowed them to leapfrog Milan into top spot in the table and into pole position to claim the Scudetto.Lukaku (8.4) played a part in all three goals, initially scoring from the penalty spot before earning his second with a flashed right-footed snapshot past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box which was only given after VAR Intervened.His best moment of the match was arguably his assist, though, as he showed devastating pace, power, and determination to barge down the right wing, leaving Marco Parolo for dead before setting up Lautaro Martinez for a tap in.Lorenzo Insigne (7.4) and Domenico Berardi (7.9) join the big Belgian in the front three after scoring for Napoli and Sassuolo respectively. The Napoli man converted from the penalty spot as the Partenopei defeated Juventus 1-0.Another Sassuolo player features in our XI in Manuel Locatelli (7.6), who completed 88/96 attempted passes and had more touches of the ball than any other player in this round of fixtures with 125.Jordan Veretout (7.8) scored two goals from midfield as Roma beat Udinese 3-0 with relative comfort.Making up the midfield three is Fiorentina's Erick Pulgar (7.7), who won an impressive 11/15 duels, albeit in defeat against Sampdoria.One of the most surprising results of the weekend saw Spezia defeat league leaders Milan 2-0. Simone Bastoni (7.7) scored one of the goals and slots in at left-back.Gianluca Mancini (8.1) and veteran defender Kamil Glik (8.0) feature in the centre of our defence.Berat Djimsiti (7.8) had 108 touches of the ball and completed 83/94 attempted passes for Atalanta.Napoli understandably had to weather a storm of sorts against Juve, but had Alex Meret (8.2) in goal to rely on as he made six saves to earn his clean sheet bonus.Serie A TEAM OF THE WEEK .
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Jessica Pegula, daughter of Bills and Sabres owners, pulls off massive Australian Open upset
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Jessica Pegula. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)Packers: 3 moves Green Bay can make thanks to David Bakhtiari by Rucker Haringey Jessica Pegula continues her magical run at the 2021 Australian Open, knocking off the No. 5 player in the world to get to the quarterfinals.Jessica Pegula is one match away from getting to the 2021 Australian Open semifinals. The daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula just pulled off an incredible upset in the fourth round on Sunday, defeating the No. 5 player in the world Elina Svitolina 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals. Pegula faces No. 22 Jennifer Brady on Tuesday.This was the 26-year-old’s first victory over a top-10 opponent, as well as her first trip to a Grand Slam quarterfinal. It will be an All-American quarterfinal between Pegula and Brady on Tuesday.“It’s an opportunity for both of us,” said Pegula after defeating Svitolina on Sunday at Rod Laver. “I’m just happy I’m here. She’s been playing some good tennis, solidifying herself as a top player.”Perhaps the Bills’ success will continue to carry over to Pegula in Australia?The Bills are coming off their best season in Pegula’s lifetime. Buffalo had not hosted a playoff game since before she was born. While the Sabres continue to not do much of anything on the NHL side of things, the Bills were one win away from making their fifth trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. The Bills should be one of the top five teams in the NFL again next season.While Pegula’s remarkable run in Melbourne may be coming to an end soon, being able to knock off the No. 5 player in the sport in such a high-profile event as the Australian Open is a huge accomplishment. Pegula is in her athletic prime and with one more victory over a ranked opponent, she will be one of the last four women’s tennis players remaining in this tournament.Pegula’s run in the 2021 Australian Open has been one of the better stories of the entire event.
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Draymond Green calls out NBA double-standard after Cavaliers sit Drummond
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Draymond Green says there’s a double-standard in the NBA that protects teams but alienates players when trade requests are made public. “At some point, we need to be treated with the same respect and have the same rights that the team can have,” Green said Monday after his Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game in which Andre Drummond was benched while the Cavaliers look for a trade for the star centre. Earlier on Monday both the Cavaliers with Drummond and the Detroit Pistons with Blake Griffin made it publically known that those players would not play another game until a trade can be found. The NBA trade deadline is March 25. After watching Drummond sit on the sidelines Monday, Green called the situation “b— s—” and cited numerous examples of players requesting trades and being portrayed as bad apples for doing so — including the January fallout between James Harden and the Houston Rockets — while teams can seemingly operate at will without criticism for their actions. “…As a player, you’re the worst person in the world when you want a different situation. But a team can say they’re trading you, and that man is to say in shape, he has to stay professional and if not, his career is on the line,” Green said. “At some point, this league has to protect the players from embarrassment like that.”
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Benfica vs Arsenal Prediction: UEFA Europa League Match on 18.02.2021
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Arsenal will be looking to maintain their challenge for European success in midweek, as they look to take control of their round of 32 tie against Benfica in Portugal. Europa League Preview There is no denying that Arsenal are not yet the complete package under Mikel Arteta, but they have saved some of their best performances of the season for this competition. They were dominant throughout the group stage, as they won all six games that they played. The Gunners excelled at both ends of the field throughout those six outings, as they scored 20 goals and conceded just five. In truth, their best route into the Champions League this term would be winning the Europa League, as their chances of a top four finish in the Premier League look incredibly slim. The Gunners have certainly been boosted by the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has finally managed to reach the level of performance that many expect from him. Arsenal’s captain scored an excellent hat-trick in the club’s recent 4-2 win against Leeds United at the Emirates on Sunday. This won’t be an easy fixture for the Gunners, as they will be travelling to a stadium that is daunting for most visitors. Benfica’s place in the knockout stages of this competition never looked to be in doubt, as they comfortably sealed second place with 12 points. They didn’t lose a game during the group stage, but they did record one more draw than Rangers in Group D, which forced them to settle for second spot. Benfica’s league form this season has been worrying, as a Champions League battle already looks to be an uphill challenge. They don’t have any chance of winning the title this term, as they are ten points off unbeaten leaders Sporting Lisbon. Benfica vs Arsenal Head To Head This will be the first time that Arsenal and Benfica have crossed paths since the 1991 European Cup. The two fixtures that were played between the sides in that season were ultimately disappointing for the Gunners, as they didn’t win either. Benfica claimed a famous 3-1 win at Highbury, while the sides played out a 1-1 draw in Portugal. Benfica vs Arsenal Prediction Arsenal have been exceptional in the Europa League so far, while Benfica clearly have defensive issues. The Gunners will consider a draw a positive result from the first leg, but we expect them to score an away goal. Make sure to bet on Benfica vs Arsenal with 22Bet!
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European Golden Shoe 2020/21: Messi on the leaderboard but Lewandowski scores again
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Lionel Messi scored two goals of the highest quality in La Liga this weekend to take his tally to 15 for the season.Both of the Argentine's goals were scored from outside the box in superb fashion, as he helped Barcelona on their way to a 5-1 win against Alaves.Messi may now make our leaderboard, but he is still some way off reaching the runaway leader, Robert Lewandowski.The Bayern striker scored again on Monday in the German side's rearranged Bundesliga match versus Arminia Bielefeld which was moved due to their Club World Cup exploits over the weekend.Lewandowski now has 25 goals and 50 points.His nearest rival for the Golden Shoe is fellow Bundesliga striker Andre Silva, who has now scored 18 for the season.Liverpool may have lost against Leicester, but Mohamed Salah still scored a lovely goal to take his tally to 17.Georgios Giakoumakis of Venlo has scored an impressive 22 goals and is the highest player on our list who doesn't feature within one of Europe's top five leagues.A talented group on 16 goals for the campaign includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Romelu Lukaku, and Luis Suarez.2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS 2020/21 European Golden ShoeA reminder: The five elite leagues - Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 - all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions. For the leagues ranked sixth to 30 in Uefa's coefficients rankings goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outwith the top 30, goals are given a weighting of 1. Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season. 2020/21 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE (Summer Leagues) 2020 European Golden ShoePlayerTeamGoalsPointsKasper JunkerBomo/Glimt2740.5Amahl PellegrinoKristiansund2537.5Philip ZinckernagelBodo/Glimt1928.5Christoffer NymanNorrköping1827Rauno SappinenFlora Tallinn2626Veton BerishaViking1624Astrit SelmaniVerbergs1522.5Mushaga BakengaOdds BK1522.5Moses OgbuMjallby1421Anders ChristiansenMalmo1319.5Leke JamesMolde1219.5Maksim SkavyshBATE Borisov1919This is the 2020/21 European Golden Shoe race. If you want to see the final standing for the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, follow this link. .
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Meet America’s 63rd National Park
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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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Is Tokyo really ready for the Games?
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More than 11,000 athletes, along with coaches and support staff are likely to set their foot in Tokyo for the most-awaited Olympics in the modern era. With the pandemic situation still not eradicated and vaccines are yet to be rolled out globally, can Tokyo really pull off the coup?International travel has been a hassle in the last twelve months, thanks to the Covid-19 virus. In spite of the lingering hazards, the world of sports has taken giant steps to prevail normalcy. Bio-bubbles have been a constant, with fans allowed with a limit in certain areas, while regular testing has been done before tournaments is the primary way to keep the athletes safe. But, what will happen if an athlete is not allowed to take part in the meet due to prior infection of the Covid-19 virus, even though the tests have turned out negative, or if they are not vaccinated prior to an event.That’s exactly what happened to Indian shuttler Sai Praneeth during the Thailand Open, where he was sent back to India citing his reports were ‘unclear,’ even though it was later found that he had already developed antibodies. It’s horrifying to imagine if the same case persists in an event like the 2021 Tokyo Olympics - with more than 11,000 athletes in the village. How many would be sent back?The Yonex Thailand Open marked the return of top-flight badminton this season, with the ranked shuttlers across the globe setting foot on the same land after almost a year. The Indian contingent, on arriving, went through the mandatory tests, during which Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy were detected positive for Covid-19 and sent to quarantine for the same. Miraculously, Prannoy’s sample later returned a negative result. In fact, both of them tested positive on the PCR test but their antibody IgG was positive - which meant that they were previously affected by the virus but are not carrying it right now. While they were allowed to feature in the Toyota Thailand Open, one of their compatriots - Sai Praneeth was denied the same, even though he encountered a similar situation. Now, that was hard to digest for the then world no. 13.Having already played the first tournament and gearing up for the second in Thailand within a couple of weeks, Praneeth was stunned when the organisers summoned him and said that the ‘report was unclear.’ Any layman would clarify regarding the actual inference, so did the Indian, who was informed that he tested negative for antibodies, implying he still carried the virus within himself. Organisers, not taking any further risk, admitted Praneeth to a quarantine hotel and informed he would be hospitalized if any symptoms occur. Not developing any indications, fresh tests were conducted where it showed that the shuttler had antibodies. Enquiring regarding the previous reports, he was astonished to find that he has antibodies detected in those also. As per the quarantine norms, he stayed at the hotel for a few days and asked to go back home. Praneeth missed a major tournament due to false reports. How can the organisers afford to make such errors, or is it too daunting a task to keep track of multiple reports and results within a small span. Organising an event like the Olympics demands systematic monitoring of the athletes inside the village. Is Tokyo really preparing to shoulder the responsibility?The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is clear with their stance of vaccinating Tokyo-bound athletes before the event kicks-off, which is also backed by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. As per reports, Indian shuttlers (Badminton being a popular sport) are set to receive the vaccine from the next month itself, even though a date has not been announced yet. On the other hand, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suge suggested that the vaccine is a ‘clincher’ and won’t be a requirement. According to him, they ‘will prepare for a safe and secure Olympics without making vaccination a precondition.’ So, on what basis are the countries going to allow their athletes to compete in a meet which involves athletes from all over the world? As alarming as it sounds, we are actually set to compromise the lives of thousands - athletes, coaches, support staff, if proper parameters are not maintained before the games get underway. Apparently, the International Olympic Association (IOA) is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to get all the people associated with the Tokyo Olympics vaccinated in order to save the biggest sports spectacle in the world. But, with the host country not on the same page, there is every possibility that the difference in opinion might cause disruption in the build-up to the Games.Whatever the case, for a magnitude of this level, prerequisite conditions must be chalked out at least months prior to the opening ceremony. It’s quite obvious that the athletes would reside in a bubble, but it must be ensured not a single person is carrying the virus, or else, the consequences have to be suffered. It would be unfortunate if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled altogether, but we cannot stage the event even if there’s even the remotest chance of the virus spreading further, a virus which has claimed the lives of millions throughout the world.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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