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Lewis Gordon Pugh astounded world by becoming 1st person to swim at North Pole, to raise global warming awareness

Lewis Gordon Pugh, nicknamed The Polar Bear, is the only person to have completed a long distance swim in each of the five oceans of the world

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Who is Lewis Gordon Pugh?

I am passionate about swimming and I enjoy pushing boundaries. But there's a lot more to it than that. Through my swims I have had a unique perspective on climate change. I have witnessed retreating glaciers, decreasing sea ice, coral bleaching, severe droughts, and the migration of animals to colder climates. It's as a result of these experiences that I am determined to do my bit to raise awareness about the fragility of our environment and to encourage everyone to take action.

But I've not always been in swimming trunks. I studied law at the University of Cape Town and the University of Cambridge, and then went on to work as a maritime lawyer in London. I now spend much of my time public speaking and lobbying world leaders to protect the environment.

Lewis Gordon Pugh

Letter from Lewis Gordon Pugh

Dear Friends

Forget about future generations. This is about us.

For many years, I've been known as a swimmer and an environmentalist. I've used my skills in the water to draw attention to disturbing changes in our oceans. Last year I undertook the first swim at the North Pole to raise awareness about the melting of the Arctic sea ice. It is happening quicker than anyone predicted.  read more »

Economic woes push Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizers to consider canceling the evening award ceremonies

Whistler, B.C., mayor Ken Melamed says residents don't support the proposed cancellation by Olympic organizers of the evening award ceremonies at Whistler Village

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WHISTLER, B.C. - Vancouver 2010 Olympic organizers are considering canceling the evening award ceremonies and giving the medals out at sport venues to save money.

Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport, said that in tough economic times the Vancouver Organizing Committee has to look at its bottom line.

"They are looking at all of their options and that is the right thing to do in today's economic climate . . . They have to prepare for the unknown," he said.

A statue of runner Harry Jerome stands against the Vancouver skyline

But Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed said residents do not support the cancellation.

"We know there are challenges but this would be a huge blow to Whistler," he said.

Whistler is planning to throw a $18.5-million party, slated to run 24 hours a day for the duration of the Olympics, which will include concerts, shows and celebrations.

The party will be held at Whistler Village and at the Celebration Plaza Olympic venue, the construction of which is due to be completed in September.  read more »

Inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia promote sports & culture: 6000 athletes, 71 events, 19 sports

Andi Edinata of Indonesia comes out of the water during the Men's Triathlon on day nine of the 2008 Asian Beach Games at Mertasari Beach on October 26, 2008

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About a month ago in Bali, Indonesia, the inaugural 2008 Asian Beach Games came to its conclusion. Intended to promote sports and culture, the games (held every two years) encourage tourism, support local economies and allow host countries like Indonesia to present a more global face to the world. The 2008 games brought 6,000 athletes to compete in 71 events in 19 sports. Sports included well-known games like beach volleyball and triathlon, and some sports better known to asians, like sepak takraw, kabaddi and pencak silat. The next Asian Beach Games are scheduled to be hosted by Oman in the year 2010.

Indonesian team against Myanmar, Asian Beach Games 2008, Bali, Indonesia

The Indonesian team in action against Myanmar during the men's beach sepaktakraw on day six of the Asian Beach Games at Sanur Beach on October 23, 2008 in Bali, Indonesia.

Dragon Boat Races, 2008 Asian Beach Games, Bali, Indonesia  read more »

Europe loves bikes; biggest facility in Europe started production, to make one million bikes in 2009

a customer of Bicing, Barcelona’s bicycle-sharing program. For a yearly fee of about $30, each user receives an electronic card that can be used to check out and return bicycles from 375 stands scattered about the city

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SERZEDO, Portugal – Recently the biggest bike facility in Europe started its production. That facility is located in Portugal; is operated by a company called RTE and is to produce one million bikes in 2009.

RTE is the parent company of Portuguese bike producer Decanor

RTE’s assembly lines have an average output of 3000 bikes per day, depending on the season and the model. When a new collection is being launched or there is an urgent need for big quantities, RTE can produce 3400 units per day. Otherwise the assembly line only needs to work one 8-hour shift per day. Normally, the total daily production is shipped on the same day to a Decathlon centre of distribution.

In addition to Paris' Velib bike rental program, Barcelona, Seville and Stockholm all have bike rentals available.

Europe loves bikes  read more »

World's first biofuel-powered flying car - Parajet Skycar drives like a car and flies like a plane

Gilo Cardozo’s flying car

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To Timbuktu by flying car: it sounds the most unlikely journey on earth; a sci-fi voyage from the pages of Jules Verne. But this is no fantasy. The car really flies. And the journey will become reality early in the new year when two explorers set off from London in a propeller-powered dune buggy heading for the Sahara.

The seed of this improbable adventure was sown four years ago when Gilo Cardozo, a paramotor manufacturer, had a eureka moment. For those not familiar with paramotors, picture a parachutist with a giant industrial fan strapped to his back, which provides forward motion and boosts lift for the parachute - or wing - during takeoff. Cardozo’s brainwave was to attach a car to the fan. “I started making a paramotor on wheels that you sit on and take off and it suddenly occurred to me, ‘Why not just have a car that does everything?’” recalls Cardozo, whose Wiltshire-based company Parajet built the paramotor that the adventurer Bear Grylls used to fly near Everest last year.

world’s first bio-fuelled flying car  read more »

Extreme adventure & challenge: 23k-mile Vendée Globe, non-stop no-assist round-the-world single-handed yacht race

Marc Thiercelin had to pull out of the Vendée Globe race because of damage to his yacht’s mast

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The French do not lack for creativity, and some of it has been expended over the years to develop sports events. The French were the driving force behind the modern revival of the Olympics. They played a vital role in starting soccer’s World Cup and European Cup, which is now better known as the Champions League, and in Alpine skiing’s World Cup. They also dreamed up the Tour de France and the Vendée Globe yacht race.

all aboard: Ellen MacArthur onboard her BT sponsored boat is anticipating the best Vendee race ever

That last event is surely the most obscure. But in France, the Vendée Globe is a major happening - a quadrennial opportunity for Gallic sea dogs and landlubbers alike to reacquaint themselves with the iceberg-infested dangers of the southern oceans and man’s (and woman’s) capacity for salt-stained, sleep-starved solitude. The concept is brutal if attractively simple: competitors race alone around the South Pole and back in 60-foot monohulls without stopping. There are strict limits on outside assistance once the sailors leave Les Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France.

Vendee Globe route  read more »

Red Bull Air Race - world's largest spectator sporting event: next race begins this weekend in Perth, Australia

British pilot Steve Jones climbs skyward, above the Danube River and the Hungarian Parliament Building, during a qualifying run of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in Budapest August 19, 2008

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The Red Bull Air Race, started in 2003, is a series of air races, held all over the world, where pilots fly specialized aerobatic planes (with top speeds of over 250 mph / 400 kph) through a series of gates, racing the clock, accumulating points toward the championship title. Pilots must also perform specific maneuvers while passing through the gates. The photos shown here are from the most recent two races, in Budapest, Hungary, and Porto, Portugal. The next race in the series is scheduled for November 1st, in Perth, Australia, and video of the event will also be streamed over the web. Last year's Red Bull Air Race World Championship final in Perth attracted 340,000 spectators.

Hungarian pilot Peter Besenyei (bottom), Britain's Nigel Lamb and Paul Bonhomme (top) fly over Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian pilot Peter Besenyei (bottom), Britain's Nigel Lamb and Paul Bonhomme (top) fly over Budapest, Hungary on August 17, 2008 during their "recon flight" prior to the seventh stage of the Red Bull Air Race World Series. Picture taken August 17, 2008.  read more »

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