Tag Archives: ‘Grateful’

After death of father, long break, Mikaela Shiffrin grateful just to be racing again

Set for a return to ski racing after 300 days away, Mikaela Shiffrin is looking for the answer to a question she has been asking herself since March.

How will it feel to compete again?

“Hopefully it is a positive experience. And I don’t mean, `hopefully I win,’ but hopefully it is a positive experience to be a ski racer, still, and hopefully that will be the driving force,” Shiffrin said Thursday, two days before the longest break in her decade-long World Cup career is expected to end at a slalom in Levi, Finland.

“It didn’t really feel it was that long of a break,” she said. “This spring, summer, fall, this period since I last raced has been the busiest, most stressful time of my life. … I feel like racing is actually going to be like going on a vacation. Right now, I am just so grateful to be here.”

The two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time overall World Cup champion is approaching her first race since Jan. 26, when she picked up her 66th career win at a super-G in Bulgaria.

Her father, Jeff Shiffrin, suddenly died a week later following an accident at the family’s home in Colorado.

A heartbroken Shiffrin took a five-week break before attempting a comeback at mid-March races in Sweden, having lost her lead in the overall rankings to Federica Brignone and in the slalom standings to Petra Vlhova. However, the event in Sweden was cancelled, as was the remainder of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH | Shiffrin made history with 41st World Cup slalom win:

American Mikaela Shiffrin won her 41st World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland, surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. 1:47

“In February, after several weeks at home, I felt like skiing would be therapeutic,” Shiffrin said. “If possible, I wanted to try to race before the end of the season. But we got to Sweden and we tried, and I was like ready to step into the starting gate. Even if it was cancelled, that was a really big step.”

While the pandemic limited training opportunities, much of her time over the summer went to taking courses on finance, taxes and bookkeeping in order to keep the family business running, a task previously handled by her father.

In October, a second attempt at a comeback also failed, as Shiffrin tweaked her back a week before the season-opening giant slalom in Austria.

“I haven’t got a whole lot of training in,” she said. “I have only been able to train slalom with the back injury. We narrowed the focus down and did one hour at a time.”

Balancing expectations

Having been the dominant force on the women’s World Cup over the last few years, expectations will naturally be high when Shiffrin returns to the start gate. The American herself doesn’t really know what to expect, though.

“I try to keep expectations really low,” she said. “But my standards for the level of skiing that I want to bring are high. I want to ski well, which includes skiing fast.”

While she has racked up 43 career wins in slalom, more than any male or female skier in the history of the sport, records have never been her focus.

“No matter what, if I ski well, if I put in a good effort but it doesn’t go as I hoped, it is hard to be disappointed with that after everything,” Shiffrin said about her approach to Saturday’s race.

Shiffrin held a big lead in both the slalom and overall World Cup standings last season before her break, but she insisted that losing out on those titles didn’t make her angry.

So, Saturday’s return “is not about settling scores.”

“I am incredibly angry, but not about the way last season ended. I am angry that my dad died, I am angry how lonely I feel most days,” she said. “But on the flip side, I am incredibly grateful that I have my mom here with me so often. I have never been a person to be motivated by anger. … If I learned something over the last 300 days, it is that you really have to take what life serves you. It might not taste good, but you have to eat it anyway.”

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CBC | Sports News

Why Dylan McDermott Is ‘More Grateful’ Than Ever for His 2020 Emmy Nomination (Exclusive)

Why Dylan McDermott Is ‘More Grateful’ Than Ever for His 2020 Emmy Nomination (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Katy Perry Talks Pregnancy Weight Gain and How ‘Grateful’ She Is for Her Body

Katy Perry Talks Pregnancy Weight Gain and How ‘Grateful’ She Is for Her Body | Entertainment Tonight

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Brett Caprioni Says He’ll ‘Always Be Grateful’ to Lisa Vanderpump After ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Firing (Exclusive)

Brett Caprioni Says He’ll ‘Always Be Grateful’ to Lisa Vanderpump After ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Firing (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Kawhi Leonard’s impending return has Raptors fans more grateful than hateful

Two nights after Paul George’s hostile treatment in Indiana, it should be nothing but love for his teammate Kawhi Leonard in Toronto. 

Leonard will be presented with his NBA championship ring in a pre-game ceremony Wednesday in a city that appears to be more grateful than hateful toward the enigmatic superstar who left for his hometown L.A. in the off-season.

“It will be great, man, a guy like [Leonard] coming back to a place that he called home for a year, and helped us do some fantastic things,” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry said. “I think it’s going to be an unbelievable night — rather for the first five minutes, and then after that it’s a basketball game.”

It was an unbelievably ugly night for George on Monday. More than two years after he left the Pacers, he’s still Public Enemy No. 1 in Indiana. The ugly jeering threw off Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who told ESPN he was “shocked” and “ill-equipped.”

“It was offensive to me,” Rivers said. “I was unprepared for that.”

The boos failed to throw the 29-year-old George off his game. He scored 36 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lift the Clippers — who were playing without Leonard — to an 11-point win over Indiana.

“That’s Indiana for you,” George told reporters afterward. “You know what, some day I’ll do a ‘tell-all,’ and I’ll tell the leading events of how I left Indiana. And I promise you I’m not the one to boo.”

The story of Leonard’s departure, while heartbreaking for fans, had a much more positive spin. There were tribute videos to the player dubbed King of the North in the wake of his exit. He received a hero’s welcome in a pre-season game in Vancouver. Leonard said he’s been approached by numerous Canadians in California who wanted to say thanks.

Wednesday’s pre-game ceremony at Scotiabank Arena — where two seats behind the broadcast table were going for more than $ 10,000 apiece on the secondary market Tuesday — should prompt a similar outpouring of gratitude.

Raptors coach Nick Nurse expects “an amazing ovation.”

“If they give him one-fifteenth of what they gave us on opening night, it’s still going to be something. It was really amazing the night we got ours,” the coach said.

Lowry said he remains friends with Leonard. They text and joke regularly. There’s something special and lasting, Lowry said, about a group of players who win a championship together.

“It will be good to see him,” Lowry said. “Once he sees [his ring] and puts it on … he’s going to go ‘Wow!’ and then he’s going to be ready to go hoop.”

Lowry had reporters laughing when asked if he learned anything from Leonard last season. Lowry answered yes. Could he provide an example of such learning?

“Nope,” Lowry said. “That’s what I learned from him.”

WATCH | Raptors drop 1st game against Leonard in L.A.:

Toronto lost 98-88 to Los Angeles despite limiting the former NBA Finals MVP to 12 points. 1:50

Leonard had one of his worst games of the season when the Raptors visited L.A., scoring just 12 points on 2-for-11 shooting and coughing up a career-worst nine turnovers in the Clippers’ 99-88 win.

The Raptors were missing both Lowry (fractured thumb) and Serge Ibaka (ankle straight) that night, while OG Anunoby left the game in the first two minutes after Leonard swatted him in the eye.

The Clippers were also shorthanded. George was still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

While Toronto has fared well in slowing down several NBA stars this season, Nurse will have to dig deep into his defensive bag of tricks to stop both Leonard, who’s averaging 25.1 points on 44.7 per cent shooting, and George (23.9 points on 44.6 per cent).

The Raptors managed to cool off red-hot James Harden last week with a halfcourt trap, but Harden happily drew the double team that left numerous Rockets wide open. They punished Toronto to the tune of 19 three-pointers. Ben McLemore had a season-high 28 points, making a career-high eight threes.

Marc Gasol, who was outstanding defensively in Toronto’s 93-92 win in Chicago on Monday, said the Raptors will be all-business in welcoming Leonard. Any pre-game emotions won’t be felt on the Raptors’ side of the floor.

“Obviously we’re going to try to beat them, just like we did in L.A.,” Gasol said. “It’s not going to be emotional because we already got our rings. Hopefully it’s very emotional for him, but for us it’s going to be pretty business-oriented.”

The teams have similar records. The Raptors are 16-7 and 7-3 in their 10 games. The Clippers (18-7) have won eight of their last 10.

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CBC | Sports News

Zendaya Thanks ‘Euphoria’ Fans for Receiving Show With an Open Heart on Finale Night: ‘I’m Forever Grateful’

Zendaya Thanks ‘Euphoria’ Fans for Receiving Show With an Open Heart on Finale Night: ‘I’m Forever Grateful’ | Entertainment Tonight

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Justin Mayo Says He’s ‘Grateful’ for Kardashian-Jenners Saving South Los Angeles Community Center (Exclusive)

Youth activist and philanthropist Justin Mayo is “grateful” for the Kardashian-Jenner family after they saved a South Los Angeles community center from shutting its doors

Mayo is the executive director of the non-profit Red Eye and the Watts Community Empowerment Center, a community safe haven located in  the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. 

The youth center, which offers after-school tutoring, sports programs, music arts and dance theater, is open to neighborhood youth as well as families who reside in the nearby Imperial Courts housing projects. In March, Kris Jenner and her boyfriend Corey Gamble, Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West visited the center to celebrate the grand opening of the state-of-the-art facility featuring brand new laptops, flat-screen TVs, a basketball court and more, thanks to the family’s help.

“That’s what our charity has the honor of doing is often helping connect the up-and-end with the down and out and treating them with the dignity and respect that they deserve,”  Mayo told ET on Thursday. “I’m so grateful beyond measure.” 

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THE Watts Empowerment Center is officially open!!! . THANK YOU to the countless people around America and beyond that contributed… of your TIME, TALENT or TREASURE. This place was built BY and FOR the Community. Countless $ 5 and $ 20 donations enabled this ribbon to be cut! These donations have been made by friends, family, members of the Watts Community, KTLA News, grandmothers in the south, business men out east, mothers in rural America, churches and synagogues around the globe and donors online. It takes a village! In future days sharing video and pics, but just wanted to say THANK YOU! A MASSIVE thank you to Kris, Corey, Kim and Kourtney… your family stepped up when you never had to. Yet you understand that we all have a responsibility and honor to help serve the needs of OUR FELLOW NEIGHBOR and those in OUR OWN BACKYARD. Your heart for humanity and lavish generosity to the children and families in Watts will never be taken lightly. Haters will hate but I have seen your hearts over 8+ years contributing and giving thru our charity RedEye.org. I know of your dedication and steadfast involvement to look out for these little rockstars in Watts. You choose to give them a "voice" even when a culture of Hollywood, a few miles away, has too often overlooked them. Instead of flying over, you came to your neighbor's need, listened, laughed, talked, cried and took action. THANK YOU! I hope others within the sports, entertainment, and music industries, literally minutes away, consider following your lead instead of making another PSA! The kids in Watts definitely need them! Thank you to the City of LA, HACLA, Douglas Guthrie, Ben Besley, Mayor Garcetti and others that enabled us this honor to serve our city. Little did we know when we started to provide weekly mentorship in Watts over 12 years ago that we would have this OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT! Endless possibilities of what could be! THIS IS BUT THE BEGINNING! From the STEM Lab, Culinary Arts Kitchen, Performing Arts Dance/Music Studio, the Basketball Gym, outdoor Sports Field and Skate Park… LOTS of work to be done, further equipment needed, and volunteers to engage. LET'S DO THIS!!! #lovethyneighbor #Watts

A post shared by Justin Mayo (@redeyeinc) on

On Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Mayo sits down with Kris to discuss the WEC’s dire financial needs. She didn’t hesitate to offer up her financial resources and some of her business contacts. 

“I asked Kris, ‘Hey, can you help?’ and it was just a matter of moments before she responded,” Mayo explained. “That’s just who she and her family [are], they often only see them in front of the camera but they do a lot behind [the scenes].”

The realty TV family has supported Mayo in other charity efforts over the years, including the Watts Housing Project and providing meals and Mother’s Day makeovers to the homeless living on skid row, located in Downtown Los Angeles.

Mayo clarified that he’s usually the one reaching out to Kris, not the other way around. “She’s a genius business person,” he pointed out, adding that the family matriarch is constantly brainstorming about how to use her “platform to be a catalyst for change.”

By his own estimation, the Kardashian-Jenners have “invested” around $ 350,000 in financial and product donations, in an effort to make a “local impact” on a community that can “never repay them.” 

“People will get on a private jet to fly to a third world country but won’t even travel to the other side of town,” Mayo said. “It’s no judgment, but it’s like ‘Hey, let’s not overlook our own backyard.’” 

The Chicago native, whose family founded the Mayo Center, moved to Sydney, Australia, after earning his Master’s degree where he worked as a youth communications director before moving back to Bel Air, California. Mayo has been working in Watts for more than a decade and he’s proud to say that the community has “adopted him.” 

“I feel safer [in Watts] than in Beverly Hills and Malibu. The community really shows me what having someone’s back is about,” he said. 

“The reality is these kids deserve a fair chance,”  Mayo said of children in Watts and other underprivileged and low-income areas. “I realize [that] it doesn’t matter if someone is living in a penthouse or on the streets of Skid Row, everyone just wants a real friend and to know that they are loved, seen and heard.” 

In the future, Mayo wants to hire more people in the community to work at the center, especially convicted felons who often have trouble getting work.

“One of the guys [in the community] just got out after being in jail for eight years,” he shared. “We don’t have the money to hire him and I know he has kids, he’s trying to find ways to provide for his family. They aren’t lazy, they aren’t looking for handouts, they just need another chance and we want to give them opportunity and hope. That’s what we strive to do.”


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