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Filmmaker and elite marathon runner, Alexi Pappas wants to make sure ‘the complete person is happening’

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In marathon running — a different beast compared to competing on the track — she has a relatively new event to train for, and away from the roads and trails her filmmaking career is also taking a step into the unknown with a “top secret” TV project in the works.

“Trying something in a television world is almost like moving from the track to the marathon — it’s like the same sport but a different event,” Pappas tells CNN Sport.

“It’s like we’re learning new rules and that’s what’s fun about the running and the creative worlds — you can try new mediums and new events … similar muscles but different.”

Pappas’ wide-sweeping interests have seen her become something of a cult figure in running circles and beyond having been identified by Runner’s World as an influential personality among a “new boom” of athletes helping to make running “bigger and better.”
Alexi Pappas competes in the 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She has gradually developed into a role model for young athletes. On her social media pages — where photos are captioned with pithy poems and quirky observations — Pappas gives guidance to followers who come to her for advice on running, injuries, diet or body image.

Her desire and willingness to be a role model can be partly explained by her mother’s suicide when she was four years old.

“That impacted me in two major ways,” says Pappas. “The first was that I felt I didn’t matter enough for her to stay and the second was that I suddenly had this huge vacuum in the female role model department and I needed to fill the gap of: what am I becoming and what can I look up to?

“I latched onto athletes, I latched onto anything to imitate and I really absorbed and ran with anything I saw that I liked, or what I didn’t like I would steer away from.

“When somebody is looking up to me now, I’m very aware of just how much that can matter and just how much people need those mentors sometimes.”

READ: ‘Uncertainties’ surround next year’s Olympics, says Tokyo governor
Pappas is finalizing her memoir in essays, “Bravey,” which is to be released in January next year and grapples with her experience of mentorship.

The title originates from a poem she wrote on social media and has turned into a term of endearment she uses to describe her followers; her message is that “it’s okay to be confused or to need help … it’s okay to not feel great all the time.

“Most of all, you’re trying to give someone the gift of confidence, right?” Pappas continues.

“That’s the toughest thing to give yourself and it’s the one thing I think we can give each other and that’s the one thing I’m trying to do.”

READ: Here’s what we’re missing from Tokyo 2020

Juggling training, writing and filming for a new TV show is nothing new for Pappas, who at the age of 30 has already accumulated a showreel of accomplishments on and off the running track.

Alongside her partner Jeremy Teicher, she co-wrote and co-directed “Tracktown” in 2017, an indie sports drama depicting a talented runner, played by Pappas, who prepares for Olympics trials.

That premiered the year after Pappas had competed at the Olympics herself, setting a Greek national record of 31:36 in the 10,000m in Rio in 2016.

Alexi Pappas and partner Jeremy Teicher attend the IFC Films Spirit Awards Party in Santa Monica, California, earlier this year.Alexi Pappas and partner Jeremy Teicher attend the IFC Films Spirit Awards Party in Santa Monica, California, earlier this year.

Last year saw the release of “Olympic Dreams,” Pappas and Teicher’s second film set during the 2018 Winter Olympics — the first fictional movie ever shot in an Olympic village. It also stars Pappas, as well as American actor, writer and comedian Nick Kroll and freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy.

Having turned down Masters offers for English and creative writing programs at some of the top schools in the US to pursue a running career, Pappas has made a conscious decision to embrace her double life.

“When people give the advice of ‘do one thing right now,’ what they’re really saying is give a 100% to this goal that’s perfectly worthy and I buy into that, I think that’s true,” she says.

“But your 100% might look different to mine and I think for me, my 100% is feeling like the complete person is happening.

“Honestly, I think it’s helped me to have these other pursuits because it makes running this precious time in the day that I really value … I think I’ve made the most of my time because there’s two things asking for my time.”

Alexi Pappas and Gus Kenworthy dispay their Olympic ring tattoos during the premiere of "Olympic Dreams" at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.Alexi Pappas and Gus Kenworthy dispay their Olympic ring tattoos during the premiere of "Olympic Dreams" at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
READ: IOC pledges to work with athletes on relaxing Olympic protest policy
This week would have marked the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics where Pappas was hoping to toe the start line of the marathon in Sapporo.

Having competed on the track for most of her career, she says switching to marathon running — an event inspired by Pheidippides, who is credited with running 26.2 miles to deliver news of the ancient Greeks’ victory over the Persians — was always in her blood.

“To join that tradition felt like a rite of passage and something that I was genuinely curious about,” says Pappas.

“Being Greek, it’s also one of those traditions that’s deeply rooted in my background and I think everyone runs a marathon out of curiosity for what their mind or bodies might be able to do.

“It feels like a different sport to track running, it feels like a completely different system, a different mentality.”

Pappas competes at the Rio Olympics in 2016.Pappas competes at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Having run a personal best of 2:34.26 in Houston, Texas, earlier this year, Pappas is now faced with a raceless schedule and no definitive goals to train towards.

“In distance running in particular, fitness is like a pencil,” says Pappas.

“You sharpen yourself to a point for the race, called peaking, and it’s something you time very carefully with the coach.

“If you stay sharp for too long, you’ll break — if you think about the tip of a pencil. With these races around the world still an uncertainty, my goal now is to stay fit and healthy without over-sharpening myself now before I know exactly when I’ll be able to race.”

She adds, too, that creative pursuits have always “sheltered me a little bit from overtraining.”

The first barrier for Pappas is to break the Greek national record for the marathon — a time she was 46 seconds shy of in Houston — and then achieve the qualification time for Tokyo, which has recently dropped to 2:29.30 ahead of next year’s event.

“For marathoners I think this Olympic shift has been particularly impactful because there’s only so many marathons you can run in a year and so the whole fall has been taken off the table for good reason,” says Pappas.

“Training safely, doing my gym workout at home, only running with my quarantine pod — there’s only certain runners that I’m running with right now — that’s been the mentality during coronavirus.”

With racing on pause, Pappas can enjoy the benefits of having what she calls a “spectrum of life going on.”

It could even be a taste of what lies ahead when she eventually chooses to hang up her running shoes.

“The cliff at the end of athletics can feel really daunting,” says Pappas.

“That cliff doesn’t feel like it will be a cliff for me — I’m not so afraid of it because I know there’s this career I’m growing at the same time.”

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Delhi government will prepare 5,000 health assistants in view of the third wave of corona

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen shortage of medical and paramedical staff.

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Arvind Kejriwal speaking with media in his office in Delhi

In an important announcement today, the Delhi government said that it will prepare 5,000 health assistants as a precaution in the wake of the third wave of corona. Under this ambitious project of Delhi Government, Indraprastha University will start training the youth gradually.

Talking about this project, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “In the first and second wave of corona we have seen a shortage of medical and paramedical staff. So the government has an ambitious plan, under which 5000 health assistants will be prepared.”

Also Read: Kim Jong Un has said Food situation is under tense

Describing the outline of the project, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Indraprastha (IP) University will train 5000 youth sequentially for every 2 weeks. After that they will be given basic training in 9 premier medical institutes of Delhi.

Clearing doubts about the usefulness of health assistants prepared after just two weeks of training and training, Kejriwal said that these health assistants will work as assistants to doctor-nurse. They will be given basic training in nursing, paramedics, life saving, first aid and home care. Online applications for this can be filled from tomorrow, Thursday, June 17. The training will start from June 28. For this the qualification is 12th pass and age limit is more than 18 years.

This plan of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is prima facie looking very futuristic, but the reality will be known only after its implementation. It is to be known that with this announcement of Kejriwal, his critics have started to satire on this plan.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop.

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Notorious Chadar gang arrested in more than 100 incidents

The Crime Branch of Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police has arrested a gang of ‘Ghodasahans’ alias Chadar who have been dodging the police in different states of the country for the past several years. The gang used to be able to break the shutters of the shop with the sheets horizontally, the gang has more than a hundred crime cases registered in different states.

This gang of Ghodasahan village of East Champaranya in Bihar state is infamous all over the country. In the dark of night, the gang comes in large numbers and lays blankets in front of the shop. Other members break the shutters of the shop and burn the goods inside within a few minutes. They mainly stole watches, mobiles, and electronic items. They used to leave after stealing in the night. They used to sell stolen goods in Nepal. The gang had no means of communication, which made it difficult for the police to nab them. Meera Bhaidar Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate Crime Branch had received information about the gang. The police had received information that some gang members would come to rob the petrol pump. Under this, the police have arrested 10 members of the gang by laying a trap. Various weapons brought for loot and goods worth 1.5 lakh were seized from them.

Also Read: China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Big success for MBVV Police:

With the help of Crime Branch Unit 2 officers and a team of police personnel, the Unit 3 team disguised as the petrol pump and laid a trap on Tuesday morning. Seven accused, who came to carry out the robbery, were caught by the gang, while three accused were caught running towards the Tulinj police station area in shorts and vests. One accused is still absconding in this case. Police arrested 10 accused 1) Naeem Hadith Devan 48 years old, 2) Vikram Kumar Premchand Prasad 25 years old, 3) Naeem Munna Dewan 25 years old, Suheb Ahmed 45 years old, Vijaykumar Mahato 25 years old, Aslam Sai 27 years old, Dharmendra Shahani 29 years old, Vikeshkumar Paswan 19-year-old, Rohikumar Paswan 19-year-old, Omnath Kumar Saha 24-year-old have recovered Rs 70,000 in cash and two knives. The 10 accused have been sent to 11-day police custody after being produced in the Vasai Court under police protection.

Recovered from:

After disclosing the case of Virar, Nalasopara, Dindoshi 3 police stations, mobile phone and cash amount of Rs 1 lakh 64 thousand 810 recovered. The gang had registered more than 100 cases of robbery and theft in various states of the country including Vasai Virar. He used to rake theft in the dark of night, and after some time he used to steal away. Crime Branch Police Inspector Pramod Badakh told that he used to sell stolen goods in Nepal as well. Arresting this gang was a big challenge. However, after a thorough investigation by our police, the gang has been caught red-handed, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Mahesh Patil said.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency news helpline feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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International

China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in the historic mission

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

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China

China launched a spacecraft on Thursday carrying three astronauts to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national.

A Long March 2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-12, or “Divine Vessel”, bound for the space station module Tianhe blasted off at 9:22 a.m. Beijing time (0122 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu province.

Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

The astronauts Nie Haisheng, 56, Liu Boming, 54, and Tang Hongbo, 45, are to work and stay on Tianhe, the living quarters of the future space station, for three months. The men will also be monitored for how they fare in space physically and psychologically for an extended period of time. An upcoming mission to the space station will last six months.

“This will be the first crewed flight in the space station (construction) phase, and I’m lucky to be able to have the ‘first baton’,” Nie told reporters in Jiuquan a day before the launch.

The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming speak before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China’s first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The veteran astronaut has been hailed by his team as a bastion of stability and a teacher figure who constantly challenges others with tough questions. “As long as we have him in our hearts, we have nothing to fear,” fellow astronaut Wang Yaping, who is part of the Shenzhou-12 backup team, told state media previously.

“In our crew, elder brother Nie is like the needle that stills the sea,” she said.

Liu Boming, like Nie, was from the first batch of astronauts selected in the 1990s for China’s space programme. Known for his intellect, Liu is often addressed by his colleagues as “Little Zhuge”, the renowned military strategist who lived in China two millennia ago.

On the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, Liu famously used a crowbar to pry open the hatch after it refused to open.

Former air force pilot Tang Hongbo, 45, was from a later batch of astronauts, and trained for more than a decade before being selected for his first spaceflight on Shenzhou-12.

“I’ve waited for 11 years, and finally I’m ready, and I can contribute my strength,” Tang told reporters on Wednesday.

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