Things That Matter

Umm… Human Body Parts Washed Up At Brazil’s Olympic Beach Volleyball Site

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are set to start August 5, and with all eyes falling on Brazil, there seem to be more and more problems bubbling to the surface. Perhaps it’s the increased international coverage on the city of more than 6 million people, or maybe things are just getting bad enough for the world to notice. Either way, the country is going through a very tumultuous time, and as they ready for the games, the world hopes that things will go OK as tourists, athletes and media converge in Rio.

Just a few days ago, human body parts washed up on the shore of Copacabana Beach.

Credit: @andresenior / Twitter

The human remains, which have yet to be identified, washed up on the same shore that will be holding the Beach Volleyball competition. The mangled body parts have so far been identified as belonging to a young adult, possibly a woman.

Yeah. Some random human remains are just washing up near future Olympic venues.

giphy-10
Credit: The Monkees / NBC / allreactions / Tumblr

But that isn’t the only thing that has happened on Copacabana Beach before the Olympic Games.

Last month, the organization Rio da Paz staged a protest against Brazil’s growing and violent rape culture on the same beach.

Credit: @womenadvocates / Twitter

Protesters scattered 420 pairs of women’s underwear along the iconic Copacabana Beach and installed photos of women with red hands over their mouths. The protest was bringing attention to the silence associated with rape culture in Brazil. Every year, there are average 50,000 sexual assault incidents against women in Brazil that go vastly unreported.

The water in Rio de Janeiro is still questionable.

Credit: @rodmaia / Twitter

There have been conflicting reports on the viability of water sports taking place in the waters around Rio, but who wants to risk it? Clearly not the U.S. team, which has created special suits for the athletes competing in sailing, rowing and canoeing. The unisuits have been treated with an antimicrobial that will limit the exposure to bacteria in the water. The suits are really all that stand between the U.S. teams and some pretty gnarly illnesses.

Some police officers and firefighters say they don’t have resources to do their jobs.

Credit: @JoeVOrgill / Twitter

Recently, the above photo, which was taken at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport, went viral. The sign is being held up by police officers and firefighters who are protesting the working conditions and pay rate of emergency service professionals. Some police stations don’t even have toilet paper or fuel for their cars, not to mention stations without running water.

And it isn’t just the police and firefighters. Locals are warning tourists about the lack of medical care available.

Credit: @Cecillia / Tiago Bla / Twitter

Someone left this warning on a highway ramp, which reads, “Welcome, we don’t have hospitals!” They actually do have hospitals, but not all of them are safe. Recently, armed men stormed Souza Aguiar Hospital, one of the five Rio hospitals designated to treat tourists at the Olympics, to free a drug lord.

The Zika virus is still around, and there’s fear of a global crisis.

Credit: @greg_folkers / Twitter

Dr. Amir Attaran, faculty of medicine and faculty of law at the University of Ottawa, wrote a report calling for the Olympics to either be cancelled or postponed over fear that the disease could become a global crisis. The argument he laid out is that Rio de Janeiro, once thought to be minimally impacted by Zika, is actually one of the hardest hit states in Brazil. With an estimated 500,000 people descending onto the city from all over the world, Attaran believes the chances of a global outbreak increase significantly.

“Putting sentimentality aside, clearly the Rio 2016 Games must not proceed.” Dr. Attaran wrote.

Even some of Brazil’s top and most admired athletes are telling people to stay home.

Credit: @rivaldooficial / Instagram

Like Brazilian soccer legend Rivaldo Ferreira, who posted to social media to warn of the violence against women and children that is gripping Rio de Janeiro. In the post above, Rivaldo shares the story of a 17-year-old girl that was murdered in Rio de Janeiro by a group of men. Again, the violence against women in Brazil is seldom talked about.

And, not to mention, even the Olympic flame has seen the contempt of Brazilians. Like this man.

Credit: @MailOnline / Twitter

That’s right. If they aren’t killing a chained jaguar for trying to attack a soldier during a torch lighting ceremony, someone is trying to douse the flame with water. Seriously.


READ: Video Of Teen’s Gang Rape Uploaded To Social Media Sparks Outrage In Brazil

Share this story with all your friends by tapping that share button below!

These Latino Athletes Have Delivered The Most Iconic Moments In Sports History

Entertainment

These Latino Athletes Have Delivered The Most Iconic Moments In Sports History

sabatinigaby / nairoquintanaoficial / Instagram

Latin American and U.S. Latino athletes have given the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world countless moments of joy, pride, and hope. Latin American sportswomen and men usually come from disadvantaged backgrounds so their stories of pride and success inspire us even more. It would be almost impossible to enumerate all the triumphs achieved by Latin American athletes, but we are listing some of the most memorable ones. Sí se puede!

When Diego Armando Maradona scored the infamous but glorious goal known as “La mano de Dios” (“The hand of God”)
June 22, 1986, Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, in a quarterfinals game against bitter rivals England

Credit: romanzosportivo / Instagram

This has got to be the single most controversial moment in World Cup history. Argentina was facing England in the quarterfinals and Maradona jumped to hit the ball with his head. But thing is, he actually hit it with his hand and the ball penetrated the net. The English were of course appalled, but this event remains one of the most memorable in the long history of joy and drama of the Argentinian national team. We got to also remember that there was some bad blood between Argentina and England at the time, a product of the Falklands War. 

When Ana Gabriela Guevara excelled in an Olympic event that was uncharted territory for Latina athletes
2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece

Credit: efemerides_de_famosos / Instagram

Ana Gabriela Guevara, who is now a very controversial politician, gained notoriety for scoring a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She competed in 400m, a test that Mexican track athletes don’t generally excel. But she proved that she is one of a kind. 

When Mexican boxing legend Julio César Chávez pulled off a miracle and knocked out Meldrick Taylor in the last few seconds of their championship unification fight
March 17, 1990, Las Vegas, Nevada

Credit: jcchavez115 / Instagram

In a rare encounter, the world’s two best boxers met for a unification fight. Both were unbeaten and Chávez was heralded as a national hero in his native Mexico. The fight was as tough as it gets, with both boxers sustaining enormous amounts of punishment. With 17 seconds left on the clock and behind in the scorecards Julio César connected with a massive right hand. The contest was stopped with two seconds left: a boxing miracle of the highest order.

When Fernando Valenzuela became a baseball hero and an icon of Mexican-American pride and excellence
1981-1986

Credit: 5browncrew / Instagram

Fernando “El Toro” Valenzuela became an icon of Latino sportsmanship after an excellent 1981 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was one of the first Mexicans to break into the mainstream in the United States. He inspired and continues to inspire, millions of paisanos. He was an All-Star in each season of his incredible 1981-1986 run. 

When Gabriela Sabatini demonstrated that Latinas can excel in the tennis court
US Open, 1990, Womens’ Tennis champion!

Credit: sabatinigaby / Instagram

Tennis is a perilous sport for Latin Americans because it is mostly dominated by the United States and Europe. But Sabatini showed that Latino girls can be ace too! She won the U.S. Open in 1990, defeating the German Stefi Graf. Una dama del deporte blanco en toda la extensión de la palabra.

When Colombian dynamo Nairo Quintana reached the stars on his bike
Since 2012

Credit: nairoquintanaoficial / Instagram

Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas is perhaps the greatest Colombian cyclist of all time. That is a big claim considering the long and glorious history of the sport in Colombia. Quintana is known for his sustained attacks during steep hills: when most of his adversaries struggle, he has his best performance. He was won multiple stages of the Tour de France and the Giro di Italia. 

When Felipe “Tibio” Muñoz swam toward a gold medal and got a whole country celebrating after some pretty traumatizing events
1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City

Credit: mexico_68_el_tibio_munoz. Digital image. El Grafico

Prior to the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexicans had experienced a traumatizing event when the army attacked a group of students and civilians who were protesting at the Tlatelolco Square. The country was split emotionally and politically. But then came “El Tibio” and at least for a brief moment, the country was united behind a young man who swam his way to a gold medal. The memory of his accomplishment is still brought up today when thinking of the greatest sporting moments in Latin American history. 

When Ecuadorian athlete Jefferson Perez won an Olympic gold medal in the Atlanta Olympic Games
Atlanta Olympic Games, 1996

Credit: jeffersonperezq / Instagram

Ecuador doesn’t have a strong Olympic team, and medals have been few and far in between. That is why Jefferson Perez is a standout in the sporting history of this proud South American nation. During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Perez did the unthinkable. As Rihannon Walker writes in The Undefeated: “Ecuador’s Jefferson Pérez, Russia’s Ilya Markov and Mexico’s Bernardo Segura struggled to find separation from one another as they neared the finish of the 20-kilometer walk at the 1996 Olympics. Then Pérez began to take advantage of having the youngest legs of the trio and powered himself into the lead. As a crowd of 85,000 waited to see who would be the first to appear at Olympic Stadium, Pérez made a dramatic solo entrance and finished in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 7 seconds to become the youngest gold medalist in the 20-km event at 22. His victory also secured Ecuador’s first Olympic medal.” Just wow, a moment to remember forever. 

When Teófilo Stevenson reigned supreme in amateur boxing. Viva Cuba!
1972, 1975, and 1980 Olympic Games in Munich, Montreal, and Moscow

Credit: saintmax55 / Instagram

In the 1970s Muhammad Ali was the greatest name in heavyweight boxing, but he was perhaps not the best. Many believe that amateur legend Teofilo Stevenson of Cuba would have beat the great Ali. But, alas, Cuban boxers were not allowed to turn professional and a fight between the two never materialized. Stevenson’s amateur career extended 20 years, from 1969 to 1986. He won a total of three gold medals, un logro extraordinario

When “Las espectaculares morenas del Caribe” Cuban female volleyball team captured the world’s imagination and won three consecutive Olympic gold medals
Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

Credit: AAuFzt9. Digital image. MSN. 

This group of amazing Cuban ladies totally dominated volleyball for three Olympic Games, and then won the bronze in their fourth attempt. Puro Cuba! 

When Costa Rican swimmer Claudia Poll surprised everyone and became a national icon
Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games

Credit: AAuFGZl. Digital image. MSN

This amazing woman was born in Nicaragua but later became a Costa Rican citizen. She won a gold medal in the Atlanta Games (a big year for Latino athletes!) and is considered the greatest sports figure in the history of the Central American nation. She also won two bronze medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. A true force of nature.

READ: 11 Unusual Sports You Can Find In Latin America

An Abuelito Makes Dolls With Vitiligo To Build Self-Esteem In Kids With The Skin Condition And If This Isn’t The Sweetest Thing I Don’t Know What is

Culture

An Abuelito Makes Dolls With Vitiligo To Build Self-Esteem In Kids With The Skin Condition And If This Isn’t The Sweetest Thing I Don’t Know What is

JoaoStanganelli / Instagram

Brazilian grandfather João Stanganelli learned to crochet with one goal in mind: to uplift the self-esteem of children with vitiligo. Stanganelli began to show signs of the skin condition when he was 38. Vitiligo causes the loss of skin color in blotches and can affect any part of the body. 

“Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin. The condition is not life-threatening or contagious. It can be stressful or make you feel bad about yourself,” according to the Mayo Clinic. 

While some of the possible symptoms listed are sunburn, susceptibility to skin cancer, eye problems, and hearing loss, professionals also note that one of the most difficult issues is a social stigma which can lead to low self-esteem or other psychological issues. 

Fortunately, abuelo João Stanganelli is out here putting smiles on children’s faces and reminding them that they look absolutely perfect. 

A new beginning

Stanganelli began to show signs of vitiligo when he was 38. However, it wasn’t until last year, at 64, that he began this amazing project. After losing his job in the gastronomy industry due to a heart condition, Stanganelli wanted to keep busy while he was at home. He and his wife Marilena took up crocheting together. At first, it proved to be difficult, causing him to develop calluses on his fingers. But after five days of practice, Stanganelli crocheted his first doll. 

A tiny idea becomes a big one

While he only intended to create something to pass onto his granddaughter, things quickly snowballed.

“I decided to make the doll for my granddaughter, and wanted something that she would remember about her grandfather,” he told Romper.

Stanganelli decided to crochet her a doll that looked like him, one with two skin tones. However, photos of his adorable doll began to circulate – people wanted in. 

A new way to honor children’s differences

Parents of children with vitiligo wanted a doll for their little ones, but they weren’t the only group that wanted to be seen. Others began to request dolls with a wheelchair, hearing aids, blindness, alopecia, and other differences. They wanted their children to see themselves, and it’s not like there were many options on the market. 

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but just take a look at one of the comments on this doll with a wheelchair, “This is so beautiful it just made me cry. My Jenna has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. You truly are so awesome for all you do sir. May God bless you over and over.” 

“These are beautiful. I’ve had vitiligo since my mid-40s. My face, chest, back, neck and some on my arms. It is a, “how did this happen” disease. These are a beautiful way for ppl to converse abt this so others understand. God bless you Joao,” another person wrote.

Difference is beauty

“The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in peoples’ characters,” Stanganelli told CTV News. Kids and parents have told him that the dolls are “helping with their self-esteem.” Just more proof that representation matters, especially to those most vulnerable. 

It’s no secret that kids can be particularly cruel about differences, Stanganelli is providing children with an honorable service — a little taste of what it feels like to be represented just like anybody else. Sometimes the ordinary can you make feel extraordinary. 

“Vitiligo can be life-altering… Some people develop low self-esteem. They may no longer want to hang out with friends. They can develop serious depression. Most people have vitiligo for life, so it’s important to develop coping strategies,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology. 

Redefining beauty

Stanganelli’s dolls come at a time where people with vitiligo are embracing their unique aesthetic rather than covering it up. The Brazilian children’s book Menina Feita de Nuvens, or “the girl made of clouds,” tells the story of a little girl with a superpower: vitiligo. 

Models like Winnie Harlow, Breanne Rice, and Ash Soto have brought vitiligo to the mainstream of fashion. 

“Female models with vitiligo now appear regularly on designer runways and in advertising campaigns, empowering those who once hid behind the makeup to use these tools to enhance their individuality. Women with vitiligo who span the spectrum, including White models with vitiligo and Black models with vitiligo, are expanding the public’s definition of what it means to be attractive,” writes Anna Papachristos for APlus

If you would like to purchase a custom crocheted doll, please reach out to Stanganelli and his wife on Facebook