Man posthumously awarded Medal of Honor in fight against Al-Qaeda

ABC News

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NASA’s ‘Hidden Figures’ Put Forward for Congressional Gold Medal

U.S. lawmakers have plotted a trajectory towards bestowing the nation’s highest civilian award to four of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” — African American women whose roles as human “computers” helped to open outer space to astronauts in the early 1960s.
Space.com

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How U.S. Bobsledder Won Silver Medal Despite ‘Pretty Painful’ Achilles Tear: ‘I Just Went for It’

The night that U.S. boblsedder Elana Meyers Taylor won her second Olympic silver medal, she walked around afterward, speaking with reporters, without wearing shoes.

The medal around her neck signified her victory, but the cold ground against her feet was its own relief.

As Taylor, 33, later explained, she had raced in the women’s bobsled event at the 2018 Winter Olympics while dealing with a “small tear” in her left achilles tendon that she sustained just days before traveling to South Korea for the Games.

It doesn’t sound bad the way she describes it, until you ask her the kind of hurt she was feeling during the competition and after.

Taylor tells PEOPLE that on Wednesday night, when she earned silver with teammate Lauren Gibbs, the injury had gotten “pretty painful.” It got worse over the course of the two-day, four-race event, she says.

“On a scale from one to 10, it was probably about an eight when I ended the race,” she says. During a sit-down interview on Friday at the Procter & Gamble Family Home (she is sponsored by Pantene), she says the pain is about a six.

Taylor, a native of the Atlanta area, won a silver medal in bobsled at the 2014 Winter Games along with Lauryn Williams and an Olympic bronze four years before that with Erin Pac. She says she damaged her achilles during training in late January in Chula Vista, California, a week before arriving in Korea for the Olympics on Feb. 2.

“I really didn’t think it would be as bad as it was, and then we were treating it and it just wasn’t getting better and then we had training runs and I was like, ‘I can’t push ,’ ” Taylor says. “We tried the first training run to push, and I was like, ‘I can’t do this … I can’t sit in the sled.’ And I pride myself in a pretty high pain tolerance and it was just too bad.”

How did she push through? She had a lot of assistance and, along with her coaches and the medical staff, she adjusted to a new routine that still allowed her to train and compete without overdoing it.

“We had to change our schedule. I had to change the coach I normally walk with,” Taylor says. “We had to adapt everything and people were so willing to help me do whatever I needed to do. It was pretty cool.

Her attitude helped, too.

“I’m the person who’s all in, gonna go full-throttle at something,” she says. “I don’t know if you can be a bobsledder and not have that type of attitude — so yeah, I just went for it.”

Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

Her doctor assured her beforehand that the risks of a more severe injury, though present, were minimal.

“I was like, ‘Okay, so it’s gonna be painful, but we just gotta go after it anyways,’ ” she recalls. “I made that decision and I knew it going in it was gonna hurt, but at the end of the day I was gonna put on a show and we did.”

In contrast to her Olympic silver in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, Taylor says this second-place finish feels like a win.

“In Sochi I really felt like I was going out there and it was all about winning a gold medal, and so that last heat where it slipped away, I was driving not to lose … and I wasn’t happy with my performance,” she says. “Here, I threw down and I went toe-to-toe with the German who won and I really think it was a great performance and I loved every minute of it.”

She continues: “Specifically with the obstacles we had to overcome to get here, the death of my teammate Steve Holcomb and arriving in a wheelchair with my achilles injury, it’s incredible to walk away with any medal.”

There are more years to come, as Taylor says, “I haven’t even touched the surface as where I can be” as a bobsled pilot.

For now, though, she and husband Nic Taylor, a fellow bobsledder, are planning a vacation. She’d also like to start a family in this next Olympic cycle. “I’m gonna let my body heal and recover and figure out what we want to do from there,” she says.

After that it will be back to the track for Taylor, one of the few prominent women of color competing in winter sports and one of bobsled’s most visible U.S. athletes, who has been noted for her recruiting efforts.

“I feel a responsibility to spread my experience and spread the growth of sport also to promote diversity in the winter Olympics, a world that traditionally looks white, you know?” she says, adding, “If one little girl who looks like me picks up a winter sport because she sees me, that’s all anybody could ever ask for.”


PEOPLE.com

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Maryam Mirzakhani, First Woman to Receive the Prestigious Fields Medal, Dies at the Age of 40 After Breast Cancer Battle

Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only woman to receive the Fields Medal – the highest honor in mathematics – has died at age 40 of breast cancer.

The Iranian-born mathematician was a trailblazer, shattering ceilings for women around the world when she was awarded the Fields Medal, which many view at the equivalent to the Noble Prize, in 2014 at age 37, Reuters reports.

Mirzakhani had been a professor at Stanford University since 2008. The university announced her death on their website.

“Maryam is gone far too soon, but her impact will live on for the thousands of women she inspired to pursue math and science,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a statement.

“Maryam was a brilliant mathematical theorist, and also a humble person who accepted honors only with the hope that it might encourage others to follow her path. Her contributions as both a scholar and a role model are significant and enduring, and she will be dearly missed here at Stanford and around the world.”

The university also featured a quote of from the mathematician in a Twitter post, “You have to spend some energy and effort to see the beauty of math.”

 The mathematician came to the U.S. in 1999 to pursue graduate studies at Harvard University. Her research interests included the movement of billiard balls across surfaces and the theoretical study of complex geometric shapes, the Washington Post reported.

“She has a fearless ambition when it comes to mathematics,” her Harvard mentor, Curtis McMullen, a past Fields Medal winner, told Quanta Magazine in 2014.
In 2014, Mirzakhani received the Fields Medal, awarded by the International Congress of Mathematicians, for her work in the symmetry of curved surfaces. The coveted prize is awarded only every four years to honor mathematicians under 40 who make significant inroads in their respective studies.

Universities around the world, as well as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, have been paying tribute to the STEM icon. Iranian president Rouhani said that Mirzakhani’s “doleful passing” has caused “great sorrow,” Al-Jazeera reports.

Rouhani also posted a picture on Instagram of the mathematician – with and without a veil.

Firouz Naderi, a friend of Mirzakhani, and former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, posted a picture with the touching caption, “A beautiful mind.” In another statement, he also called her a genius and a “daughter, a mother and a wife.”

RELATED VIDEO: The Incredible True Story of Henrietta Lacks, the Most Important Woman In Modern Medicine

Born in 1977 and raised in Tehran, Iran, she attended an all-girls high school in Iran, where she gained recognition as a teenager in the 1994 and 1995 competitions of the International Mathematical Olympiad.

“It is fun; it’s like solving a puzzle or connecting the dots in a detective case,” she said in 2014.


PEOPLE.com

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Sterling Silver Antiqued San Juan Los Lagos Medal. Metal Wt- 2g

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