Picking toysToys for the gift bagsNow that we know what they are, let’s talk about putting them together. The first step in coordinating the gifts is deciding on the actual present part. My personal favorites from that recent trip were goggles, sunglasses, pool toys, glow sticks, puzzles, coloring books, stickers, and games. Most kids I know aren’t too thrilled with new clothes as a gift, but sometimes Disney themed t-shirts or pajamas work wonders for getting children excited to dress for the parks or get ready for bed. You could even make or buy mouse ears that represent their favorite character. The key is to prepare useful items that will be fun during the trip and will pack away easily. This is not the time to buy that 3,000 piece Lego set and expect your child to keep it in the box the entire trip because you don’t want to lose any pieces in the hotel.Shopping for these souvenirs in advance presents a great opportunity to save some cash. Target, Walmart, dollar stores, party stores, Etsy, and even Amazon are just a few of the places you can find inexpensive Disney inspired gifts. For official Disney Parks merchandise, the Disney Store and Shop Disney Parks app offer discounts on occasion as well, making it easy to save money on things you might buy at the parks anyway. You can also save by including some snacks or candies with the gifts. Personally I like to throw Frozen or Star Wars themed fruit snacks into the bag. The kids can munch on that in the parks rather than splurging on an overpriced bag of Goofy’s Candy Co. character gummies. Disney packaged graham crackers, cookies, and other candies also found their way into the gifts at a much lower price than buying them at Walt Disney World.WrappingOnce you finish selecting the presents, your next consideration should be gift bags. Like the gifts, the wrapping must fit easily in a suitcase. Depending on the size of the gifts, small white paper lunch bags decorated with Disney characters and the child’s name work well and are relatively inexpensive. When I did this, I drew characters and wrote each child’s name on a bag for each day. You could just as easily purchase a Disney gift bag for each kid and re-use it each day. Another option is to make your bag out of the gift itself. For example, if part of the gift is a Disney beach towel, lay that down, pile the gifts for the day on top, then pull up the ends of the towel to make a bundle and wrap a ribbon around it. A princess purse or pirate pouch could be used in a similar manner to hold any smaller treats. For one last idea, letting the kids decorate their own bags can build anticipation for the trip and give them something to do during some downtime as well. Might as well score that quiet time when you can!Place t-shirt/towel down flatSet gifts on topPull edges in and tie with ribbonPutting it all together With the presents purchased and the bags prepared, the last thing to do is decide on an order for the gifts and write out the letters. Think about your own family and vacation style and plan accordingly. If swimming is an essential part of your vacation, items like googles or water toys should come early in the trip, so they can be used all week. Games or puzzles can be gifted on resort or relaxation days. Activity books work well for the last morning, so that kids have something to do on the flight or drive home. Once the order and itinerary are finalized, the letters can be created as described above.Note from Mickey on the last day of the tripFrom my recent experience visiting Walt Disney World with children, Tinker Bell gifts were a fun way to get them out of bed each day. While they had a blast at the parks, the immediate promise of something positive and amusing to them was more effective at waking them up than the thought of being at the parks in another hour or two. They made lots of friends at the pool with their toys, so I never once heard an “I’m bored”. And while it didn’t solve all the sibling squabbles, I think it was a great way to keep that reminder to be on their best behavior in the back of their mind. Plus, because they already had snacks and toys at the ready, they didn’t even really ask for much at the parks. We had a great time, and it was a low cost way to add some extra Disney magic to the trip. As much as I’d love to have a personalized gift from Disney Floral and Gifts delivered every day, it’s just not in the budget, and this was a perfect alternative.Have you tried this with any of the kids in your traveling party? Would you? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Share This!Tinker Bell GiftsImagine with me, if you will, a parent’s paradise in Walt Disney World. No, not that one where you ditch the kids and head over to the Adventurers Club at Pleasure Island (RIP). The other one. The one where the kids wake up bright and early, brimming with excitement to start their day. No whining about getting up early for rope drop, no nagging for that $16 autograph pen from the gift shop, and absolutely no fighting between siblings. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to aim high! So let’s talk about how Tinker Bell gifts can not only encourage good behavior but also add an extra touch of Disney magic while simultaneously helping you save money on souvenirs.Note from Tinker BellWhat are they?For those who haven’t heard of them, Tinker Bell gifts are small presents you leave in the room for the kids in your group. They can be left overnight for discovery in the morning (like a Disney version of Santa), or if you can find a way to sneak back into the room without the kids noticing, you can leave them as a surprise for when they return from the parks. Typically, the gifts are accompanied by a note explaining the gift and who gave it.Though they are called Tinker Bell gifts by most people, if you think the child(ren) in your party would be more excited about a letter from Rey (Star Wars) thanking them for their help with the Resistance than a note from Tinker Bell, then this is the time to get creative. Personally, I like to leave a note that includes four things: a quick mention of the fun from the prior day, an itinerary for the current day, an explanation of the gift, and a reminder to be well behaved. On a recent trip with younger relatives of mine, each note was written by a different character and tied into whatever the kids would be doing at the parks that day.
10 October 2013With India and Australia set for summer tours of South Africa, a feast of cricket awaits Proteas fans, and this week’s launch of the Momentum Cricket App promises to add to their experience of the game.The app, which is available for free download, is the first cricket app designed specifically for South African fans.It is available on iOS (Apple iPhone and iPad) and features unique interactive capability. An Android version (compatible to Samsung and Sony) is currently in development and will also be made available for free.Real-time, live coverageIt is the first app to specifically integrate South African data and functionality and will provide live, real-time scoring for All SA ODIs, all SA T20s, all SA test matches, all Momentum One Day Cup matches, all SA women’s ODIs and all SA women’s T20s.Match details and the fixture lists of all Proteas men, women and Momentum One-Day Cup matches will also be available.Extra features include comprehensive stats plus profiles of both national teams and franchise players.Tickets and tweetingHandy interactive features include the ability to buy tickets easily and safely through the app, plus easy Twitter integration, to tweet directly through the application, find and follow players and officials, or even post score updates directly through screenshots of the score.The South African cricket fraternity is very active on Twitter, and the app will help those not yet hooked up to tweet easily.SuperbruPopular fan website Superbru has also been integrated into the app, and fans will be able to submit their Superbru picks directly through the application.Momentum, which sponsors the Proteas’ one-day internationals as well as the Momentum One-Day Cup, used a team of in-house specialists to develop the app over the course of six months.SAinfo reporter and Cricket South Africa
All Nippon Airways A380 All Nippon Airways has unveiled its striking new in-flight product for its A380s for the Tokyo Honolulu route.The hard product was impressive enough when ANA unveiled its “Flying Honu” sea turtle-liveried Airbus A380 earlier this year: first class suites, staggered fully flat business class seats, premium economy and spacious economy seats. But the Japanese carrier, often at the forefront of passenger experience, is bringing even more to the literal and figurative table with a remarkable range of soft products.First class gets a luxury hotel tie-in. Image – ANAFirst class passengers will enjoy meals from Michelin-starred chef Ryo Takatsuka, head chef at the restaurant Noe at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina in Hawai’i. This is certainly smart linkage of in-air and on-ground hospitality guest experience. But it’s not just in the pointy end: Australian casual dining group Bills is creating menus for economy on the outbound flight from Japan, which come with a drink voucher for bills’ Waikiki location.Premium economy will see upgraded meals. Image – ANAPremium economy, too, will see an upgraded meal offering compared with economy class for the first time on ANA, which promises that it will be offering “ a superior menu in comparison to the one served in Economy Class. As before, a choice from both International and Japanese culinary traditions will be available for flights to and from Japan.”Special soft product items appear throughout the cabin. Image – ANAThroughout the aircraft, a special Blue Hawai’i cocktail (and it’s certainly blue) will be on offer departing Japan, with crew wearing special Flying Honu aprons with tropical flowers, and towards the back of the plane, there are three separate designs of Flying Honu paper cups.READ: The World’s Best Airlines for 2019When it comes time to sleep, “In First Class, passengers will be able to wrap up in a comforter from Japan’s famous Tokyo Nishikawa Sangyo. Travelers can rest their heads on pillows made out of premium Hungarian white duck down. They will also receive a 100 percent organic cotton loungewear and a blanket made by the renowned Japanese producer Tenerita, the only Japanese company that obtained the Global Organic Textile Standard certification,” ANA explains.The-first-class-amenity-kit-comes-in-a-tropical-seaside-palette.-Image-ANA.jpgBusiness class passengers will get “sheets, loungewear, as well as a comforter and pillow set from Japan’s well-known high-technology bedding company Maruhachi. The pillow is designed so that one side is soft and airy, while the other side is more structured so that it provides more neck support.”And in ANA COUCHii, which appears to be the Recaro/Air New Zealand-designed Skycouch with the swing-up footrest construct, there’s a special bed sheet, pillow and blanket set.Amenity kits, too, are spruced up: ANA is working with British luggage maker Globe-Trotter in first class, though the kits themselves are a little too close to Formia’s work for Qatar Airways’ first class to be truly revolutionary. In business, it’s Fred Segal, and both business and premium economy passengers get a special ANA Hawaii tote bag. There’s also a special bag for kids, plus inflatable Flying Honu A380s and a truly adorable silverware set.Kids-too-get-a-special-giveaway.-Image-ANA.jpgThe context, as often with Japan, is fascinating. Japanese travelers are used to Joyful Trains, the uniquely-liveried tourist rolling stock on a particular (often scenic) route, with special services on board — including sake tasting tours, seaside viewing trains, or even a bullet train with a footbath on board.That experience is reading across to ANA’s Hawai’i services: a special livery, with special services, on a particular route. It’s a fascinating glimpse into what a carrier willing to invest in a premium leisure product on a holiday route can do.Naturally-special-inflight-shopping-items-will-also-be-offered.-Image-ANA.jpgThe first A380 will offer three roundtrips a week starting 24 May, increasing to ten roundtrips when the second aircraft arrives in July. The airline plans to start sales in January 2019 for both the first class and “COUCHii” Skycouch product.
Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces While it may not seem like a dangerous profession, the safety of real estate agents is often at risk. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2017 Member Safety Survey, 44% of female agents and one in four male agents have experienced a situation in the past year that made them fear for their safety or the safety of their personal information.An agent’s job entails meeting strangers and showing properties alone in remote locations. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many real estate professionals feel unsafe while on the job.Technology, however, plays a crucial role in helping to keep agents safe when they’re on location visiting properties with strangers. Numerous apps and wearables are available for their protection.Here’s a look at six technologies agents can use to help keep them safe.1. Bsafe provides a sense of securityReal estate agents often travel alone. With the Bsafe app, they can get peace of mind everywhere they go.The app allows agents to assign emergency contacts as guardians. If there’s an emergency, they can send an SOS signal to all guardians by pressing a button or saying a key phrase. When agents activate the SOS, Bsafe streams live video and audio to guardians and also stores the recording. Their friends and family will know their exact location and what’s happening.Agents can sign up for an annual premium subscription of Bsafe for $72 per year.2. V.ALRT wearable button offers discrete protectionV.ALRT is an ergonomically designed device that real estate agents can carry discreetly in their pocket or handbag or wear as a bracelet or pendant. Once they press the button, V.ALRT sends personalized texts to three emergency contacts indicating that help is needed, followed by phone calls. Emergency contacts will also receive the agent’s location.Agents can purchase the V.ALRT wearable help button for $39.99. They can access all of the features available without any monthly service fees.3. SafeShowings protects all parties at riskReal estate agents aren’t the only ones at risk. Homeowners and clients also need protection during property showings. SafeShowings is an app that deters criminal activity by capturing and validating the identity of people that agents bring into a home.Agents can start by registering their information, entering emergency contacts, and create a showing. SafeShowings requires them to capture an image of the client’s driver’s license. If agents do not press the button to end a showing, the app notifies all emergency contacts. It also calls 911 with the exact location and time and captures the perpetrator’s driver’s license.Agents can get the SafeShowings app for a monthly subscription of $4.50.4. Silent Beacon provides protection for freeSilent Beacon is an app that equips agents with a panic button on their smartphone. Once they hit the button, the app sends alerts to emergency contacts in the form of a call, email, or text message. Silent Beacon provides the agent’s real-time location to contacts within five seconds.Agents can also reach 911 directly through the app without having to speak with call center representatives and ask them to direct them to emergency centers.The Silent Beacon emergency alert app is free, and there are no mandatory monthly fees.5. KATANA Safety dispatches emergency servicesThe KATANA Safety system consists of an app as well as a device that attaches to a smartphone. When agents encounter a dangerous situation, they can choose to trigger a piercing audible alarm via wristband activation or red tab or push a discrete, silent panic button. This alerts the 24/7 response center, which contacts the appropriate emergency services with the agent’s GPS location.The KATANA Safety Arc device is $149, and the KATANA Safety app with a monthly subscription to the 24/7 call center is $9.99.6. Trust Stamp verifies the identity of potential clientsIt’s essential for real estate professionals to establish the identity and trustworthiness of a stranger before meeting them or providing access to their client’s home or property. With Trust Stamp, agents can verify a stranger’s identity by inviting potential clients via text or email to create a profile.To create a profile, clients need to take a photo of themselves, submit a picture of their government-issued identification, and provide a link to one social media account. They can then share their profile with the agent.Once potential clients share their profile, agents can see their name, photo, and a green, amber, or red safety indicator which communicates their level of trustworthiness. The app treats all data with bank-level security and deletes the client’s data from the system once agents review the profile.Trust Stamp is free for agents who have a membership with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).Putting safety firstReal estate agents shouldn’t have to feel unsafe at open houses or property showings. However, the reality is that anything can happen and they should take preventive measures to protect themselves. The good news is that agents can choose from various technologies, such as apps and wearables, to help ease their minds and keep them safe while on the job.Image source Adrian Fisher is the CEO and founder of PropertySimple, a real estate technology software that allows agents to build their personal brand online. Adrian FisherCEO and Founder What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Follow the Puck Tags:#AI trends and real estate#real estate How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture
On Saturday, April 1, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter (“September”, the Friends theme song), artist, performer, co-author of Broadway’s award-winning The Color Purple, “the most interesting woman you’ve never heard of” (The Washington Post), and native Detroiter Allee Willis will host The Detroit Party honoring Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit’s 25th Anniversary at Willis Wonderland, her historic Los Angeles home, the original MGM Party House.Co-hosting alongside Willis is Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Academy Award-winning and nominated performer Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie, Nashville, Kennedy Center honoree) and Grammy and Golden Globe-winning songwriter Lamont Dozier (Holland-Dozier-Holland – Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame).Willis, a renowned impresario of inspired parties and events-as-performance art, will treat guests to an unforgettable evening of soul food, sing-alongs, live auctions from the Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch including massive amounts of vintage Detroit memorabilia, performances by the Mosaic Singers, and a special sneak peak of Willis’ upcoming Detroit record/micro-documentary “The D”, featuring 5,000 Detroiters, more people in history than have ever been on a record before.The Host Committee for The Detroit Party includes a “who’s who” of Detroiters in LA, including Motown greats such as original Supreme Mary Wilson, original Miracle Claudette Robinson and songwriter Valerie Simpson — and other famous entertainment industry Detroiters such as music producer Don Was and Actress-Comedian Sandra Bernhard.General admission, VIP, and sponsorship packages are available with proceeds going back to Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.Host committee and ticket information can be found here.Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an internationally-acclaimed Creative Youth Development organization making comprehensive theatre and vocal music training accessible to Detroit teens from more than 50 different schools annually. Mosaic’s impact goes far beyond performing. 95% of Mosaic performers have graduated from high school and gone on to college — far above the percentages for youth nationally from similar backgrounds.Mosaic’s young artists have become cultural ambassadors for Detroit, performing in Africa, Asia, Europe and 30 states and provinces throughout the U.S. and Canada, including performances at The White House, The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall. Mosaic’s vocal ensemble, the Mosaic Singers, have opened for legends Aretha Franklin, Al Green, The Temptations, and Harry Belafonte, and have performed with Sweet Honey in the Rock, on tour with Josh Groban and on an acoustic album with rock legends Foreigner. Mosaic alumni have been nominated for Tony and Emmy Awards, with an alumnus recently performing on Broadway in The Color Purple musical co-authored by Willis. Mosaic is featured in Willis’ upcoming Detroit record/micro-documentary “The D”.Willis, who has received a “Spirit of Detroit” award and an official “Testimonial Resolution” from the City Council for her work on behalf of Detroit to date, has worked closely with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit for years – including collaborating with Mosaic on her upcoming Detroit record/micro-documentary “The D”.
APTN National NewsThey feel like they’re living on Alcatraz.The people of Shoal Lake First Nation have been living on a man made island for 100 years.That’s when the city of Winnipeg chose Shoal Lake as its water source.Ironically, the reserve has been under a boil water advisory for two decades.But that’s just one of the struggles they endure with life at the other end of the pipe.APTN’s Dennis Ward recently spent several days in the community.This week, he’ll be profiling the First Nation community that politicians turned into an island.
OSU senior goalie Katie Frederick (1) during a game against Hofstra on March 27 in Hempstead, New York.Credit: Courtesy of OSUKatie Frederick, a senior goaltender for the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team, has been called hard-working, determined and very talented.Among her other qualities, patience might just be an understatement. After three seasons in a backup role, at last the net belongs to Frederick, and she has not squandered the opportunity. So far, she has helped guide the Buckeyes to a 9-1 record, currently placing them at No. 15 in the Inside Lacrosse poll. Frederick’s prolonged wait wasn’t necessarily her fault, though. It was more of a matter of who was ahead of her on the depth chart, which was Tori Descenza, one of the best, if not the best, netminders the program has ever seen. From 2012-2015, Descenza was nothing short of a brick wall. She holds the program career records for saves (569) and wins (43), while also ranking fourth all-time in goals-against average (9.62).However, Frederick did not hold any hard feelings toward the woman she eventually succeeded. In fact, the relationship between the two is part of the reason why Frederick has been so successful this season. “Having her the past three years really helped me along the way; she kind of took me under her wing my freshman year,” Frederick said. “I think being able to compete with her every single day at practice has helped me get to where I am today.”Descenza wasn’t the only mentor Frederick had soon after arriving in Columbus. OSU’s coach, Alexis Venechanos, wasn’t too shabby between the pipes during her time at Maryland.The 2003 Terrapin graduate won two national championships, posting a 23-0 record her first year as a starter in 2001, and was the recipient of the Ensign C. Markland Kelly Award, given to the nation’s top goaltender, as a senior. The coach said she has been nothing but proud of the work ethic Frederick has put forth in both her lone year as a collegiate starter and her time waiting in the wings.“She is just rising to the occasion,” Venechanos said. “That’s a credit to her mentally, physically and emotionally. You have to come and bring it every day, and I think she did that when she wasn’t playing. Now, it’s that additional excitement.”Frederick had played in eight games prior to this season, but Venechanos classified the goalie’s excitement about her current role as through the roof.“She’s been waiting for three years,” Venechanos said. “It’s like a kid in a candy shop.”Even her teammates knew that this was going to be a special season for the player who wears No. 1.“This is her time,” said senior midfielder Olivia DiCarlantonio. “Everyone is working for her and she’s our backbone back there. She sees the field. She’s our eyes, she’s our mouth and she’s leading us to victories.”Frederick and the rest of the Buckeye defense have been doing just that.After 10 games, the Scarlet and Gray are giving up an average of 8.40 goals per game, while only surrendering 10 goals or more twice.They have allowed fewer than 10 goals in seven straight games with Frederick in charge on the back end, as she has a 9-1 record with a 7.76 goals against average and a .469 save percentage.With an arduous schedule ahead, including games against No. 1 Maryland, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 9 Penn State, the Buckeyes can take solace in the fact that they have a strong last line of defense, which, after three seasons, is finally anchored by Frederick. “I just wanted to make the most of this year as a team and individually,” Frederick said. “I waited three years for this opportunity, so to be able to go out and be successful with my teammates is really special.” OSU is set to conclude its three-game road trip with a trek up to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. The Buckeyes will be looking to make their winning streak eight games. Faceoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
OSU coach Urban Meyer enters Ohio Stadium prior to kickoff of the Buckeyes 30-27 double-overtime win against Michigan. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorThe No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes held No. 3 Michigan to a field goal in the second overtime. The Wolverines took a 27-24 lead. All OSU needed was a touchdown and one of the greatest installments of the century-long rivalry would be finished.On a third-and-9, junior H-back Curtis Samuel took a swing pass and outran nearly the entire Michigan defense to gain eight yards after sprinting from one side of the field to the other in one of the day’s most improbable plays. Samuel was within a yard of the first-down marker, which prompted OSU coach Urban Meyer to make an improbable call.He had his troops hurry to the line to snap the ball before the Michigan defense got set, but Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh called a timeout. Meyer had more time to think about it.Should he decide to kick a field goal and play for a third overtime, or should he roll the dice with Samuel and his leader, redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett? OSU was well within field-goal range, but with a kicker who had already missed two field goals earlier in the game, Meyer thought of an old saying given to him by his athletic director at Florida, Jeremy Foley.“If you can’t get that far, you’re not a championship team,” Meyer said.Barrett kept the ball and fell right at the 15-yard line — first down. On the next play, Samuel ran left for 15 yards and the game-winning score. OSU won 30-27 in a double-overtime marathon.Meyer put his will in a team that he believes is of championship caliber. He also said he is able to make those calls because of his quarterback. However, at first, Barrett didn’t know if he made the first down when he hit the ground, although it was confirmed after review.“When I got hit, I wasn’t 100 percent certain, to be honest with you,” Barrett said. “I looked at it. But when I fell, I fell on top of people. So I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be.”Meyer has always been one of the few coaches in college football who like to gamble on fourth down. But never had he done it in a situation like that. On Saturday, he did it twice in do-or-die scenarios.The OSU offense had struggled to move the ball for nearly the entire game. In the fourth quarter, something changed. Whether it was better execution by the Scarlet and Gray or a defensive lapse by Michigan (when it had been so sound), OSU and Meyer saw a grand opportunity to strike in a big way and retake the lead.OSU was on the Michigan 13-yard line with 8:32 remaining in the game down 17-14, facing a pivotal fourth-and-1. All the Buckeyes needed was a field goal to tie the game, but with the way the offense had trended through three quarters, Meyer couldn’t rely on them getting another shot at winning. He went for it.Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber took an inside handoff and ran it over freshman guard Michael Jordan for 4 yards and a first down.The fourth-down gambles even began earlier than that, when Meyer called a fake punt deep in OSU territory and senior punter Cameron Johnston was tackled short of the line. So when Meyer elected to risk the entire season on a fourth-and-short, maybe it wasn’t so surprising. At least not to Barrett.“I mean, honestly, when it’s fourth and short, I feel like we can go for it every time,” he said. “We are in those situations countless times before the season starts, and spring ball. And then when it comes to the season that’s what we do; we take risks and we have a great offensive line to go out and get those first downs.”OSU’s defense had provided the spark for the offense on numerous occasions in “The Game.” Meyer simply tried to ignite that spark with a few risky, but calculated and confident, decisions. Meyer’s fourth-down judgment was another element that made another historic chapter in the the greatest rivalry in sports.“That’s why you run a fake punt. That’s why we were trying to get the ball downfield and we just weren’t hitting them,” Meyer said. “That is one of the classic games of this rivalry that will forever be, because I know this rivalry as well as anybody. That game is right in there. I’m not saying it’s the greatest, because that’s disrespectful for the other players that have played in it. But that’s an instant classic between two great teams.”
Former Buckeye hockey player Ryan Kesler scored an empty-net goal to seal Team USA’s 5-3 victory over Canada Sunday night. In his first and only season with the Buckeyes, Kesler had 11 goals and 20 assists, leading the Buckeyes to a third place finish in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In 2003, Kesler was the No. 23 draft pick overall selected by the Vancouver Canucks. Kesler promised a victory over the Canadians and came through with one of the most memorable victories in USA Hockey history. Junior guard Evan Turner earned his sixth Big Ten Player of the Week award after averaging 24.5 points against Purdue and Michigan State last week. This marks the ninth time in his career that he has received the honor. Turner had 29 points and seven rebounds in Wednesday’s 70-67 loss to Purdue. Turner leads the conference in scoring with 19.5 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game. Ohio State pitcher Alex Wimmers earned his fifth career Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Week honor. In the Buckeyes’ season-opening win over North Florida, the Cincinnati native had nine strikeouts. Wimmers is a possible contender for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the best collegiate baseball player in the country. Wimmers was a 2009 All-American and Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Year and was a 2010 preseason All-American. Junior track star Letecia Wright was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week. Wright broke two personal records. Wright ran the 60-meter hurdles in 8.23 seconds, the fastest time in the Big Ten. She followed the hurdle performance with a 7.52 second sprint in the 60-meter dash, the fourth best in the conference. After struggling through several injuries in the indoor season, Wright is preparing for the Big Ten Indoor Championships Feb. 27 and 28.
Ohio State senior diver Bianca Alvarez has her sights set on an NCAA title after winning two Big Ten titles this season. Alvarez and her teammates will be competing at an NCAA Zone Diving meet Thursday and Friday to qualify to compete in the women’s NCAA Championship. As her last year of eligibility comes to an end, Alvarez said she is happy to have won Big Ten titles along with placing second and third twice in previous years. “It feels great, obviously, especially being my last year in collegiate diving,” said Alvarez. “(It) really is a nice way to finish up my last Big Ten championship. I mean it’s been a goal of mine since the beginning. I know I’ve always been capable of it, but it was really nice to finally come to the meet and put my performance.” Alvarez won titles in the 1- and 3-meter diving events with 360.65 and 410.65, respectively. Fellow diver sophomore Cheyenne Cousineau won a Big Ten title competing in the 10-meter platform with 326.10. Senior Kristen Asman has also been a strong contender in the past. Asman placed fifth and ninth in the 3- and 1-meter diving competitions, respectively, and ninth in the 10-meter platform competition. Alvarez wasn’t always a diver; she started out as a gymnast. And she said her carefree, “fearless” nature is part of what has helped her excel at diving. “I was willing to do anything my coach said despite worrying about hitting the board or doing belly flops,” Alvarez said. “So I guess my progression was pretty rapid. I was able to start competing at the national level after three years of diving.” After coming to OSU, Alvarez worked with diving coach Vince Panzano, who she credits for helping her develop a more positive outlook. “I had a really bad attitude in the sense that I was very unwilling to accept adversity,” Alvarez said. “He’s just taught me how to be a student of the sport.” Cousineau said Alvarez plays a big role in her life, as a friend and teammate. “Having Bianca as a teammate is amazing,” Cousineau said. “Just to be able to see her work ethic, to be able to train together and support each other through it is great.” Cousineau said she hopes all of her teammates finish the season strong. “I’d like to see all of us make it to NCAAs,” Cousineau said. “We’re all capable of making it to NCAAs this year. “ Though swimming and diving are two different sports, they operate under the same program and each contributes to the success of the other at meets. “It’s swimming and diving. You’ve got two different disciplines that both score points for the same outcome,” said Bill Dorenkott, women’s swimming coach. Dorenkott said he often sees the diving team practicing during the swimming team’s practice time. “We may have one of the top three diving traditions in the world,” Dorenkott said. “And Bianca, for her five years at Ohio State, has been a big part of leading that program.” Dorenkott said Alvarez has made an impact on the program. “The most telling thing when a person is part of a team or a program or an organization is did they leave things better than they found them and will they be missed,” Dorenkott said. “I can’t speak to if she left things better than she found them because I don’t coach her on a daily basis, Vince Panzano does, but I can guarantee she’ll be missed.” After NCAAs, Alvarez has plans to qualify for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team and later pursue a master’s degree in medical sciences. Eventually, she hopes to attend the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami located in her hometown, Miami, Fla. “My ideal perfect plan would be to qualify for the Olympic games … and when I return, start graduate school,” Alvarez said. “That’s like my dream.” Dorenkott said the Buckeyes’ efforts will pay off. “We’re going to be outstanding next week at Auburn,” Dorenkott said. The 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship will be held March 15–17 in Auburn, Ala.