The countdown to the 2020 Summer Games has begun. On July 23, 2021, about 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will gather at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, for the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Here are a few contestants to keep an eye on at the world's most prestigious sporting event.
On July 8, 2021, Zaila Avant-garde outspelled 11 finalists to clinch the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee title. The 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, is the first African American and only the second Black winner in the national competition's 93-year history. The first was Jody-Anne Maxwell from Jamaica, who won in 1998 at the age of 12. Avant-garde is also Louisiana's first spelling bee champion!
This year's US Independence Day celebrations promise to be extra special due to the arrival of a second, smaller Statue of Liberty from France. The bronze replica, nicknamed "Little Sister," is expected to reach New York City in time for the Fourth of July festivities. The statue will be displayed on Ellis Island – across the water from the original Statue of Liberty, which sits on Liberty Island — from July 1 through 5, 2021. It will then be moved to the French Embassy in Washington, DC, where it will remain until 2031.
Since being introduced to chess at the tender age of six, Tanitoluwa "Tani" Adewumi has had one goal. He wants to become the world's youngest-ever Grandmaster — the highest title a chess player can achieve. The record is currently held by Russian chess player Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin, who qualified for the title in 2002 at the age of 12 years and seven months.
A collection of 1,000 prehistoric structures dubbed mustatils — the plural form of the Arabic term for rectangles — scattered across 124,274 miles (200,000 kilometers) in northwest Saudi Arabia may be the world's oldest monuments. A team of archeologists from the University of Western Australia (UWA) reached this conclusion after radiocarbon dating of charcoal found inside the courtyards indicated they were constructed in 5,000 BC — or about 2,000 years before the Egyptian pyramids or monuments like Stonehenge in southern England.
British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has made it his mission to use his talent to conserve our ecosystems by creating underwater museums. Over the years, the environmentalist has submerged over 850 massive artworks in numerous site-specific "sculpture parks" worldwide. On February 1, 2021, Taylor unveiled his latest endeavor — The Underwater Museum of Cannes.
On Saturday, April 17, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II bade her final farewell to Prince Philip— her husband of over 70 years. The solemn 50-minute service was limited to just 30 senior royals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest inside the Royal Vault at St. George’s Chapel alongside the remains of 24 other royals, including three kings of England.
When 36-year-old Andy Duran decided to return to his favorite high school hobby — skateboarding — in January 2021, the only obstacle he expected to encounter was his own ability to get back into the sport after the long hiatus. However, the 340-pound skateboarder from Oakland, California, soon realized that was the least of his problems.