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The unacknowledged & underrated aspect of Olympics: Sisterhood of sportsmanship; still alive

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This year, the Rio Olympics 2016 has displayed many proud incidents that have captured the true Olympian spirit, especially that aspect of this world famous sports event, which goes unacknowledged and underrated. That is the undying sisterhood of sportsmanship.

Rio Olympics has shown us two very such incidents that have proved that the Olympics Games are not only about countries competing each other for medals, rather something much more dynamic than that. It is about people uniting with each other and helping each other in the times of crisis, even if that needed sacrificing a position in the competition.

To begin with, the selfie that created a lot of stir in the media. Yes, the brief moment of unity, where the gymnasts, Lee Eun-ju of South Korea and Hong Un-jong of the North took a quick selfie together smiling, at the time of training prior the beginning of the Games.

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While North and South Korea are technically facing a lot of tension in recent months with each, with latest missile launches from Pyongyang; these two women have truly captured the Olympic spirit.

The political scientist Ian Bremmer also tweeted, “This is why we do the Olympics.”

Meanwhile few take it with a cynical point of view, most of them hailed it as one of the most iconic photo of the Olympics Games.

Now moving on to one of the greatest acts of not only sportsmanship but sisterhood got displayed on the running 5000m track, where Kiwi and American runners help each other all through till the end, after they collided with each other.

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Nikki Hamblin, of New Zealand, and Abbey D’Agostino, of the US, collided at the time of a preliminary warmup for the women’s 5,000-meter race at the Olympics Rio games. Instead of attempting to catch up, D’Agostino chose to help the fallen Hamblin to get up her feet. Hamblin later returned the kindness when D’Agostino collapsed in the race later on.

Both the women crossed the finish line together and hugged each other once the race was finished. It was one of the most touching moments of the Olympics. D’Agostino had torn her ACL and meniscus and both the women had lost their chances to win a position in the game, but their heart touching act of sportsmanship have made them win a rare honorary award, the Pierre de Coubertin medal.

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This medal has been named in honor of the French founder of the modern Olympic Games. Inaugurated in 1964, since then only 17 have been granted worldwide.  Out of which 16 have been awarded to men. The only time when the Pierre de Coubertin medal was awarded to a woman was in the 2007 to Elena Novikova-Belova, a former Soviet fencer and four-time Olympic champion in foil competitions.

How a trip to Singapore made me taste true safety and freedom

How a trip to Singapore made me taste true safety and freedom

Myself being a Delhi girl, have always faced a life full of inhibitions and fear. This fact isn’t hidden that the city has its terror on over the inhabitants, especially over the women. We women over here are taught to remain cynical, to remain over cautious while moving outside, and to get back home as early as possible if you want to stay safe.

Many people in Delhi have not held themselves back to set examples through their heinous crimes as to what degree our city is unsafe. Through the infamous Nirbhaya case and many other cases that happen every minute, not only within the city but other various parts of our Mother India as well.

Recently I made a trip to two countries of South East Asia, Malaysia and Singapore. Although it was merely a holiday trip to just another two parts of the world, but going there and experiencing the countries closely was a different stuff altogether. Reaching there I came across a fact (initially I didn’t bother to do a research over these places) that Singapore is currently the safest country in the world, leaving behind Qatar to the second position.

I was not aware how exactly being in the ‘safest country’ would feel like until I experienced it hands on. The day our travelling group reached Singapore, we were informed that as it’s a safe place you can always roam around in the nights safely, do your shopping freely whole night. For that matter of fact, there was also a mall in Singapore, the Mohammad Mustafa mall that remained open 24X7 for those who want to go for shopping overnight.

mustafa mall

Initially we were reluctant with this thought of going around at night until we were impelled to do so. Our itinerary was set in a way that we were given time to do all our personal shopping after the dinner that is after 10. So we 4 women planned to give it a shot; after the dinner we walked down to the mall. While moving on roads I came across scenarios that made me dumbstruck. The scene there on roads, at the shopping complex and inside the mall was nothing like you would see in eerie hours of Delhi.

The place was full of lively people, moving in and out of the mall. The place looked just as it looks while you are at a Delhi shopping complex at the evening time. People were sitting and chit chatting with each other; Inside the mall families, men, women doing their shopping for their daily household grocery stuffs in full throttle. What an amazing sight and sense it was! The sense of safety that I was having standing right there is beyond imagination.

After the shopping we hired a taxi and got back to our hotel which we were staying. The taxi experience too was totally amazing. The taxi driver was pretty sincere to ensure that we reach our destination safely and in the shortest time. After this experience, as long as we were in Singapore, we made sure to hit the mall at nights and complete our shopping wish lists.

This sense of safety wasn’t confined to one mall or place; rather it was spread all over the Singapore. The other shopping malls I visited around there too echoed that freedom of conduct in public. Here by freedom, I don’t only mean freedom by laws but the freedom people gave to each other to remain and carry themselves the way they want to.

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Truly, Singapore gave me the taste of what living freely can be, that too by remaining safe and without the dirty looks that you may get over here for being you. Yes, there were rules within the country, rather a bit more than ours, but that what makes Singapore a beautiful, ordered, safe and good place to stay.