Fiona Kolbinger, a 24-year-old with little experience in competitive cycling, took the world by surprise when she became the first female to win the ultra-endurance Transcontinental Race on August 6, 2019. The cancer researcher from Germany outrode 225 men and 39 women to complete the approximately 2,485 miles (4,000 km) race from Bulgaria to France in 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes. Even more impressive, Kolbinger crossed the finish line almost 11 hours ahead of the second-place winner, Ben Davies of the United Kingdom.
From July 26 to July 28, 2019, New York's Arthur Ashe Stadium hosted the biggest video game competition of all time — the Fortnite World Cup. The event, witnessed by a live audience of over 23,000 and more than 2 million fans online, was the culmination of a 10-week qualification process that whittled down the approximately 40 million hopefuls to the final 200 competitors. In a true testament to the game's universal appeal, the contestants hailed from 34 countries and ranged in age from 13 to 24.
The US women's national soccer team's quest for the 2019 FIFA World Cup began on June 11, 2019, with a resounding 13-0 win over Thailand. In addition to being the largest margin of victory ever in a women’s World Cup match, the score also set a new record for the most goals in a single World Cup game — for both men and women. The team's incredible journey ended almost a month later on July 7, 2019, with a thrilling 2-0 victory against the Netherlands.
Most people would find it hard to label a computer infected with six of the worst-known viruses, which combined have cost the world $95 billion, as art. However, Chinese digital artist Guo O Dong strongly believes his malware loaded "Persistence of Chaos"— a Samsung NC10, which runs on Windows XP — is a masterpiece. What's more, the creator claims to have sold the "artwork" to an anonymous buyer for an astounding $1.345 million in an online auction on May 25, 2019.
Reaching the summit of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, is every climber's dream. However, despite improvements in equipment and weather forecasting systems, the treacherous trek continues to claim a few lives annually. But with eleven deaths already reported this year, the 2019 season has been the deadliest since 2014, when fourteen Sherpas, who act as guides and help carry the climbers' gear, lost their lives after an icefall ledge collapsed.
On Thursday, May 30, 2019, US President Donald Trump announced plans to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican imports by June 10, 2019. He also warned of the possibility of increasing the tax to 25 percent if Mexico does not take immediate action "to dramatically reduce" the number of migrants that illegally cross the border into the United States daily.
The exponential growth in skyscrapers worldwide, most of which feature large glass panes to highlight the breathtaking views, has led to a high demand for window washers. Though the specialized job, which earns workers as much as $35 an hour, can be lucrative, dangling alongside multi-story structures is dangerous, and accidents are not uncommon. However, if Israel-based start-up Skyline Technologies has its way, the dangerous chore may soon be assigned to Ozmo, an intelligent window cleaning robot, with humans supervising from the safety of the ground.
For most people, completing the "Explorers Grand Slam," which requires climbing the Seven Summits — the highest mountain in each of the seven continents — and reaching the North and South Poles, would be achievement enough. However, not for American explorer and adventurer Victor Vescovo, who completed the challenge in 2017. Since December 2018, the 54-year-old former US naval officer has been on a new quest — to become the first person to take a manned submersible to the deepest-known point in each of the world's five oceans.