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Archive for the ‘Awards & Accolades’ Category

Meb Keflezighi has won the Men’s New York Marathon which was run this Sunday, 1st of November 2009. At a time when the Marathon circuit is completely dominated by African athletes, Meb’s victory has come as a pleasant news for the host nation whose Alberto Salazar won the New York Marathon way back in 1982. Alberto Salazar won 3 straight New York Marathons in 1980, 1981 and 1982.

This was the first major Marathon title for the 34 year old American athlete who won the silver medal in Olympics 2004. He was close to winning the Marathon title in 2004 and 2005 when he stood 2nd and 3rd.

Meb completed the Marathon in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of 4-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya who stood 2nd and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco who stood 3rd. Another American, Ryan Hall stood 4th.

Keflezighi, who was born in the East African Nation of Eritrea received US Citizenship in 1998. 2 years ago, Meb suffered severe dehydration which threatened of ending his athletics career. However, he recovered with time and got back to training hard again and finally brought glory to his country by winning this Sunday.

The Women’s New York Marathon was won by Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia followed by Russia’s 41 year old Ludmila Petrova who stood 2nd.

In the Wheeler Races, 3-time defending champion Kurt Fearnley of Australia won the race for the 4th time. Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland won her fifth title in the Women’s Wheeler Race.

Sister Alphonsa

Alphonsa Muttathupandathu or Sister Alphonsa

October 12 was a proud moment for the Indian Church, having a history of 2000 years, when Sister Alphonsa became the first India woman to be awarded Sainthood. On October 12, at 2:40pm, Kerala nun Sister Alphonsa was declared Saint Alphonsa when she was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City becoming the first Indian woman to be anointed.

The ceremony was attended by over 25000 people of Indian origin some of whom carried the Indian Flag to show their pride. A big delegation from India headed by Union Labor Minister Oscar Fernandes was also present to attend the prestigious ceremony.

Very few people outside Kerala would have known Sister Alphonsa before she was chosen in 2007 to be anointed as a Saint. Its after more than 100 years of her birth that she has been declared a Saint by Pope Benedict XVI and has become the first Indian woman and the second Indian Roman Catholic to be conferred this honor after Gonzalo Garcia, who was declared a Saint in 1862.

Sister Alphonsa was born in the year 1910 in Bharanganam village in Kottayam district of Kerala. Her mother passed away when she was very young and she overcame her sufferings and pain by finding solace in spirituality. Sister Alphonsa spent her entire life helping and serving the people of that region and promoting good values. She is also believed to have been associated with many miraculous incidents two of which were officially put up to the Pope. Sister Alphonsa passed away at a young age of 36 years in 1946. While conferring Sainthood on Sister Alphonsa, Pope Benedict XVI read our passages from the Bible and also excerpts from Sister Alphonsa’s biography.

The ceremony in Vatican City completed the canonization process which started more than 50 years ago. Along with Sister Alphonsa, Pope Benedict XVI conferred Sainthood on Maria Bernarda Butler of Switzerland, Father Gaetano Errico of Italy and Narcisa de Jesus Marlillo Moran of Ecuador.

Ironically for the Indian Christian community, such a proud moment comes at a time when many Indian states like Orissa and Karnataka are dealing with incidents of serious violence against Christians. This has drawn severe international critism over the past few weeks. Pope Benedict XVI also referred to this during the ceremony when he said “my prayers are with Christians (in India) in these difficult times”.

Other stories related to Saint Alphonsa:

ABOUT THE NOBEL PRIZE

Since the year 1901, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to extraordinary achievers in the fields of literature, physiology or medicine, physics, chemistry and peace. These awards are administered by an international association called The Nobel Foundation based in Stockholm, Sweden. Any individual who is awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize receives a Medal, a Personal Diploma and a Cash Prize.

The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Foundation

The foundations of The Nobel Prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his will and left a large part of his wealth to the establishment of The Nobel Prize.

Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel was born on 21st October, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. His father Immanuel Nobel was an engineer by profession and built bridges and buildings in Sweden. However, Alfred’s interest stretched far and wide beyond engineering. By the time he was 17 years old, Alfred had a command over a number of languages including English, Russian and French and had developed keep interest in English poetry and drama. Apart from literature, Alfred Nobel was a great chemist and his work on nitroglycerine to develop and ultimately patent the dynamite and the detonator is particularly noteworthy. Together the dynamite and the detonator helped in reducing costs of blasting, drilling, tunnel construction etc. to a great extent during that time. Alfred was also involved in social and peace promoting issues and was open about his views that were considered radical during those days.

NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS OF 2008

Continuing the tradition of honoring outstanding achievement in the fields of Physiology or Medicine, Literature, Physics, Chemistry and Peace, the following are The Nobel Prize winners of 2008:

Physiology or Medicine:

  1. Harald zur Hausen (1/2 of the prize), German, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.
  2. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (1/4 of the prize), French, Regulation of Retrovirul Infection Unit, Virology Department, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
  3. Luc Montagnier (1/4 of the prize), French, World Foundation for Aids Research and Prevention, Paris, France.
Harald zur Hausen

Harald zur Hausen

Francoise-Barre-Sinoussi

Francoise-Barre-Sinoussi

Luc Montagnier

Luc Montagnier

Harald zur Hausen received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier received the Nobel Prize for their discovery of human immunodeficiency virus.

Physics:

  1. Yoichiro Nambu (1/2 of the prize), American, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
  2. Makoto Kobayashi (1/4 of the prize), Japanese, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba, Japan.
  3. Toshihide Maskawa (1/4 of the prize), Japanese, Kyoto Sangyo University; Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics (YITP), Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
Yoichiro Nambu

Yoichiro Nambu

Makoto Kobayashi

Makoto Kobayashi

Toshihide Maskawa

Toshihide Maskawa

Yoichiro Nambu received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics. Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature.

Chemistry:

  1. Osamu Shimomura (1/3 of the prize), American, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA, USA.
  2. Martin Chalfie (1/3 of the prize), American, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
  3. Roger Y. Tsien (1/3 of the prize), American, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.
Osamu Shimomura

Osamu Shimomura

Martin Chalfie

Martin Chalfie

Roger Y. Tsien

Roger Y. Tsien

Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien received the Nobel Prize for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.

Literature:

  1. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, French.
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio received the Nobel Prize because of his work as the author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.

Peace:

  1. Martti Ahtisaari, Finnish
Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Ahtisaari

Martti Ahtisaari received the Nobel Prize for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts.