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US intercity passenger train collides with truck, derails

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An Amtrak passenger train de-railed after hitting a pickup truck in Plant City, Florida, in the United States. The driver of the pickup truck was killed on impact. The crash occurred at a marked railroad crossing inside of an industrial area, according to an Amtrak spokesperson.

None of the 133 passengers were seriously hurt, however, the train’s engineer and five passengers were taken to a local hospital after suffering minor injuries. The remaining passengers were taken to a local bowling alley. Although the train’s two locomotives and nine cars de-railed, they remained upright.

Witnesses report the train sounded its horns at the appropriate times. It was reported the pickup truck simply drove in front of the train.

The crash is the second to occur this week with a train; on Monday, a driver in a Pontiac Grand Am deliberately ignored the lights and crossing arms at another railroad crossing in the area, and drove around them, into the path of a different Amtrak train on the same route. The impact caused the car to go airborne. All four people in the car were killed; no one on the train was injured.

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Dalai Lama to receive US Congressional Gold Medal

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso will arrive in the United States on Tuesday and will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush. On Wednesday he will attend a ceremony in his honor where he will be awarded the highest honor in the U.S. for a civilian, the Congressional Gold Medal.

This also marks an historical moment as it is the first time ever that a sitting U.S. President will appear with the Dalai Lama at a public event.

The honor has not gone without protest. China objected, accusing the Dalai Lama of “separatist activities.” China also condemned a meeting with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel calling the meeting a mistake and that relations between the two nations were damaged.

“We would hope that the Chinese leader would get to know the Dalai Lama as the president sees him, as a spiritual leader and someone who wants peace,” said White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino.

The U.S. decided to award the Dalai Lama with the medal due to “his many enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, nonviolence, human rights and religious understanding.”

The Dalai Lama has been living in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959 during a failed revolt against Chinese rule.

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Van Canto’s Stefan Schmidt on a capella metal, Wacken, Nightwish, piracy & more

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

“Five singers, one drummer. No guitars, no bass, no keyboards but nevertheless an unbelievable melodic metal experience.”

That’s how the official website of van Canto describes the band. Hailing from Germany, van Canto are what is called an a capella metal band, the pioneers of this new genre.

The band released their debut, A Storm to Come, in December 2006. Exactly a year later, van Canto announced a global signing to Gun Records/Sony BMG, and their debut was released worldwide on December 14.

Van Canto are now experiencing considerable success. They recently provided support for Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish, as well as receiving a slot at the internationally famous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany. The prestigious event sees them sharing the bill with acts such as Hatebreed, Sonata Arctica, As I Lay Dying, Soilwork, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Lordi and headline act Iron Maiden.

Van Canto’s second album will be recorded across this month and next, with famed producer Charlie Bauerfeind, although no release date has yet been confirmed.

In light of recent events, van Canto member and founder Stefan Schmidt has given the band’s first interview in English, all previous interviews being in German or Italian. Wikinews now exclusively brings you that interview below.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 On the early days
    • 1.2 On the new album
    • 1.3 On Wacken Open Air
    • 1.4 On the future of metal

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Wal-Mart owes back taxes, according to State of Wisconsin

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

According to the state of Wisconsin, Wal-Mart has avoided paying millions of dollars in state taxes by paying rent on 87 Wisconsin properties. The Wisconsin State Department of Revenue call this behavior “abusive and distortion of income.”

Wal-Mart is doing this by setting up one subsidiary to run all its stores and setting up another subsidiary to own its real estate. The operating subsidiary then pays the rental cost to the real estate subsidiary and takes a tax deduction for the rent. This money will, however, end up in the corporation’s own pocket.

As a result of Wal-Mart’s actions, the state tax auditors say that Wal-Mart owes more than $17.7 million in back corporate income taxes, interest and penalties from 1998-2000.

The Wal-Mart corporation claims that they are doing nothing wrong, rather they are taking advantage of an overlap of state and federal tax laws in an effort to reduce their taxes and costs.

PostHeaderIcon Carpet Cleaning Christchurch}

Submitted by: Patrick Greig

As we all know first impression is the last impression. The way you maintain your office and home space and it cleanliness says a significant measure the way you lead your business. An unhygienic, unclean cover is demonstrative of a optimistic state of mind of an office and also home.

Study shows that more homeowners are falling out of good turn with their living digs after a short phase of time. They get fed up, lose attention and possibly want to move to do amazing things but convenient. Many homeowners feel like this when they overlook their home hygiene and avoid getting normal carpet cleaning services or whatever. A home left weary and neglected soon feels less like a house and people want out. Though, with a usual clean, you could actually find out the love for your home again.

YouTube Preview Image

I’m not saying clean it yourself, but if you prefer to engage a rug cleaning service, they can do the hard work for you and you can feel the magic and for sure you would love to walk back into the home and see it in a different light. Stuff will stink fresh, look cleaner and your house will come out brighter and more tempting than before. But “Make sure that you get the carpet dry, preferably in four to six hours,” says McGarvey. “Beyond 24 hours, you run the risk of mold growing.”

Now, the question is why regular carpet cleaning is vital for your home?

You even can’t think to avoid it. No matter how regularly you clean, regular dirt tracked in on a daily basis can quickly make carpets look dirty. Regular vacuuming removes some of this dust, but much of it settles deep into the mound afar from the usual vacuums and home-based carpet cleaning equipments. Sadly those implanted dust particles act like tiny pieces of sand, abrading the string, creating mats and frizzing, and permanently damaging the stack.

In addition to a carpet cleaning service, perhaps you should consider upholstery cleaning too. Upholstery cleaning will brighten up sofas and cushions and add to the fresh, homely appeal that your newly cleaned carpets now have. It protects indoor air quality and makes carpets easier to maintain. When everything is clean, it is remarkable to imagine how it can completely make over a home. By hiring a professional carpet cleaning team, you can get the results you want.

If you need to fall in love with your house again, you should definitely start with a professional carpet cleaning service. So, we are here to help you in cleaning your carpet with the latest equipments. Our team is expert in carpet cleaning. We in christchurch are near you to clean your rug. We believe that customer’s satisfaction is what makes us strong and encourages us to work even harder. Professional carpet cleaning means the business shows up on time with an extremely expert team, disturbs nobody, and does a high-quality professional cleaning. After all, your home is just as special as you are. You can call 08002892011 for more information.

About the Author: I am Patrick Greig. We are one of the best carpet cleaners in Christchurch. Not only carpets, we also provide upholstery services. For any information, you can visit

carpetcaresolutions.co.nz

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=1968356&ca=Home+Management}

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News briefs:May 28, 2010

Wikinews Audio Briefs Credits
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Listen To This Brief

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At least nine missing after Russian military plane crashes into Pacific

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Russian military plane crashed today in the Pacific Ocean. At least nine are missing after the turboprop went down in the Strait of Tartary, which is located in the far east of the country.

The Tupolev Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance/anti-submarine aircraft, which is based on the Tu-95 strategic bomber, was reported by RIA Novosti as carrying “at least nine people” according to an unnamed military source. The BBC asserted that there were eleven on board, but did not attribute the number to anyone.

A Defense Ministry statement said the plane was lost from radar during a training exercise over the strait, which lies between the mainland and Sakhalin. Search and rescue is ongoing for the crew around the reported crash site.

An object that may be the fuselage has been located in water 44 meters (144 feet) deep, according to one report. Russia’s Pacific Fleet has ceased all flights while the accident is investigated.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party incumbent David Christopherson is standing for re-election in the riding of Hamilton Centre.

From 1985-1990, he served as a Hamilton City Councillor for Ward Four. He was elected to Ontario legislature in 1990, defeating a Liberal cabinet minister. Under Bob Rae, Christopherson served as Minister of Correctional Services and Solicitor-General. He did not seek re-election to legislature in 2003, opting to run for mayor of Hamilton. Considered a frontrunner, he lost to Larry Di Ianni.

He returned to politics just months later, changing his focus to federal politics. Christopherson beat Liberal cabinet minister Stan Keyes, the incumbent, serving as NDP critic for cities, community infrastructure, labour and steel policy. He has served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Steel Caucus.

Wikinews contacted David Christopherson, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

First elected in 2004, David Christopherson is the only MP to have represented Hamilton Centre, which was created in 2003 from parts of three other ridings. Only 38 km², small versus other area ridings, its located on the south side of Hamilton Harbour. Alphabetically, Christopherson’s challengers are Anthony Giles (Libertarian), John Livingstone (Green), Lisa Nussey (Marxist-Leninist), Leon O’Connor (Conservative), Ryan Sparrow (Communist), and Helen M. Wilson (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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Gujarat quota protests turn violent

Friday, August 28, 2015

Parts of the Indian state of Gujarat have been under curfew since Tuesday. At least seven are reported dead, with over 100 buses and dozens of police stations burned, after protests over job quotas turned violent in several major cities including Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot.

Each and every issue can be resolved through talks

The violence is thought to have started after a brief attempt by police to arrest protest leader Hardik Patel, 22 or 21. There have been weeks of protests by members of the Patel caste, with the most recent involving an estimated half a million people.

Ahmedabad, the largest city in the state, has seen the closure of public transport, internet access, schools, and businesses. Ahmedabad is being patrolled by 400 military personnel. The national government has deployed several thousand paramilitary personnel to assist the state government.

The Patel caste, who form up to a fifth of the state population, are generally seen as being affluent businesspeople. However, they want their community to be given the status of Other Backward Class, which would result in eligibility for reserved jobs. They feel they are under-represented in higher education and are suffering in a regional economic downturn.

Amongst those calling for an end to the violence was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said “each and every issue can be resolved through talks” during a televised broadcast. He was elected last year and was previously the Chief Minister of Gujarat for more than twelve years. He was in power in Gujurat during sectarian violence in 2002 which resulted in about a thousand deaths.

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Wikinews interviews Australian Glider Amanda Carter

Friday, September 28, 2012

Melbourne, Australia — Monday, following her return from London, Wikinews talked with Amanda Carter, the longest-serving member of Australia’s national wheelchair basketball team (the Gliders).

((Wikinews)) You’re Amanda Carter!

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) And, where were you born?

Amanda Carter: I was born in Melbourne.

((WN)) It says here that you spent your childhood living in Banyule?

Amanda Carter: City of Banyule, but I was West Heidelberg.

((WN)) Okay. And you used to play netball when you were young?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you’re an occupational therapist, and you have a son called Alex?

Amanda Carter: Yes. It says “occupational therapist” on the door even. And I do have a son called Alex. Which is him there [pointing to his picture].

((WN)) Any more children?

Amanda Carter: No, just the one.

((WN)) You began playing basketball in 1991.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you’re a guard.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And that you are a one point player.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) And you used to be a two point player?

Amanda Carter: I used to be a two point player.

((WN)) When were you first selected for the national team?

Amanda Carter: 1992.

((WN)) And that was for Barcelona?

Amanda Carter: It was for a tournament prior to then. Australia had to qualify at a pre-Paralympic tournament in England in about April of 1992 and I was selected for that. And that was my first trip overseas with the Gliders.

((WN)) How did we go?

Amanda Carter: We won that tournament, which qualified us for Barcelona.

((WN)) And what was Barcelona like?

Amanda Carter: Amazing. I guess because it was my first Paralympics. I hadn’t long been in a wheelchair, so all of it was pretty new to me. Barcelona was done very, very well. I guess Australia wasn’t expected to do very well and finished fourth, so it was a good tournament for us.

((WN)) Did you play with a club as well?

Amanda Carter: I did. I played in the men’s league at that point. Which was Dandenong Rangers. It had a different name back then. I can’t remember what they were called back then but eventually it became the Dandenong Rangers.

((WN)) The 1994 World Championships. Where was that at?

Amanda Carter: Good question. Very good question. I think it was in Stoke. ‘Cause 1998 was Sydney, so I’ve got a feeling that it was in Stoke Mandeville in England.

((WN)) Which brings us to 1996.

Amanda Carter: Atlanta!

((WN)) Your team finished fourth.

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) Lost to the Unites States in the bronze medal game in front of a crowd of 5,000.

Amanda Carter: That would have been about right. It was pretty packed.

((WN)) That must have been awesome.

Amanda Carter: It was. It was. I guess also because it was the USA. It was their home crowd and everything, so it was a very packed game.

((WN)) They also have a fondness for the sport.

Amanda Carter: They do. They love basketball. But Atlanta again was done very well. Would have been nice to get the medal, ‘cause I think we sort of had bigger expectations of ourselves at that point, ‘cause we weren’t the new kids on the block at that point but still finished fourth.

((WN)) They kept on saying in London that the Gliders have never won.

Amanda Carter: We’ve never won a gold, no. Not at World’s or Paralympics.

((WN)) So that was Atlanta. Then there was another tournament, the 1998 Gold Cup.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was the World Championships held in Sydney.

((WN)) How did we go in that?

Amanda Carter: Third.

((WN)) But that qualified… no, wait, we didn’t need to qualify…

Amanda Carter: We didn’t need to qualify.

((WN)) You were the second leading scorer in the event, with thirty points scored for the competition.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which was unusual for a low pointer.

((WN)) In basketball, some of the low pointers do pretty well.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, but in those days I guess it was more unusual for a low pointer to be more a scorer.

((WN)) I notice the scores seem lower than the ones in London.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I think over time the women’s game has developed. Girls have got stronger and they’re competing against guys. Training has got better, and all sorts of things. So teams have just got better.

((WN)) How often do the Gliders get together? It seems that you are all scattered all over the country normally.

Amanda Carter: Yes. I mean we’ve got currently three in Perth, four in Melbourne, four in New South Wales, and one in Brisbane out of the twelve that were in London. But the squad is bigger again. We usually get together probably every six or eight weeks.

((WN)) That’s reasonably often.

Amanda Carter: Cost-wise it’s expensive to get us all together. What we sometimes do is tack a camp on to the Women’s League, when we’re mostly all together anyway, no matter where it is, and we might stay a couple of extra days in order to train together. But generally if we come into camp it would be at the AIS.

((WN)) I didn’t see you training in Sydney this time… then you went over to…

Amanda Carter: Perth. And then we stayed in Perth the extra few days.

((WN)) 2000. Sydney. Two Australia wins for the first time against Canada. In the team’s 52–50 win against Canada you scored a lay up with sixteen seconds left in the match.

Amanda Carter: I did! That was pretty memorable actually, ‘cause Canada had a press on, and what I did was, I went forward and then went back, and they didn’t notice me sitting behind. Except Leisl did in my team, who was inbounding the ball, and Leisl hurled a big pass to almost half way to me, which I ran on to and had an open lay up. And the Canadians, you could just see the look on their faces as Leisl hurled this big pass, thinking “but we thought we had them all trapped”, and then they’ve looked and seen that I’m already over half way waiting for this pass on an open lay up. Scariest lay up I’ve ever taken, mind you, because when you know there’s no one on you, and this is the lay up that could win the game, it’s like: “Don’t miss this! Don’t miss this!” And I just thought: “Just training” Ping!

((WN)) That brings us to the 2000 Paralympics. It says you missed the practice game beforehand because of illness, and half the team had some respiratory infection prior to the game.

Amanda Carter: Yeah.

((WN)) You scored twelve points against the Netherlands, the most that you’ve ever scored in an international match.

Amanda Carter: Quite likely, yeah.

((WN)) At one point you made four baskets in a row.

Amanda Carter: I did!

((WN)) The team beat Japan, and went into the gold medal game. You missed the previous days’ training session due to an elbow injury?

Amanda Carter: No, I got the elbow injury during the gold medal game.

((WN)) During the match, you were knocked onto your right side, and…

Amanda Carter: The arm got trapped underneath the wheelchair.

((WN)) Someone just bumped you?

Amanda Carter: Tracey Fergusson from Canada.

((WN)) You were knocked down and you tore the tendons in your elbow, which required an elbow reconstruction…

Amanda Carter: Yes. And multiple surgeries after that.

((WN)) You spent eleven weeks on a CPM machine – what’s a CPM machine?

Amanda Carter: It’s a continuous passive movement machine. You know what they use for the footballers after they’ve had a knee reconstruction? It’s a machine that moves their knee up and down so it doesn’t stiffen. And they start with just a little bit of movement following the surgery and they’re supposed to get up to about 90 degrees before they go home. There was only one or two elbow machines in the country, so they flew one in from Queensland for me to use, to try and get my arm moving.

((WN)) You’re right handed?

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) So, how’s the movement in the right arm today?

Amanda Carter: I still don’t have full movement in it. And I’ve had nine surgeries on it to date.

((WN)) You still can’t fully flex the right hand.

Amanda Carter: I also in 2006 was readmitted back to hospital with another episode of transverse myelitis, which is my original disability, which then left me a C5 incomplete quad, so it then affected my right arm, in addition to the elbow injury. So, I’ve now got weakness in my triceps, biceps, and weakness in my hand on my right side. And that was following the birth of my son.

((WN)) How old is he now?

Amanda Carter: He’s seven. I had him in July 2005, and then was readmitted to hospital in early 2006 with another episode of transverse myelitis.

((WN)) So that recurs, does it?

Amanda Carter: It can. And it has a higher incidence of recurring post pregnancy. And around the age of forty. And I was both, at the same time.

((WN)) So you gave up wheelchair basketball after the 2000 games?

Amanda Carter: I did. I was struggling from… In 2000 I had the first surgery so I literally arrived back in Melbourne and on to an operating table for the ruptured tendons. Spent the next nine months in hospital from that surgery. So I had the surgery and then went to rehab for nine months, inpatient, so it was a big admission, because I also had a complication where I grew heterotopic bone into the elbow, so that was also causing some of the sticking and things. And then went back to a camp probably around 2002, and was selected to go overseas. And at that point got a pressure sore, and decided not to travel, because I thought the risk of travelling with the pressure sore was an additional complication, and at that point APC were also saying that if I was to go overseas, because I had a “pre existing” elbow injury, that they wouldn’t cover me insurance-wise. So I though: “hmmm Do I go overseas? Don’t I go overseas?”

((WN)) Did they cover you from the 2000 injury?

Amanda Carter: Yes. They covered me for that one. But because that had occurred, they then said that they would not cover if my arm got hurt again. And given that the tournament was the Roosevelt Cup in the US, and that we don’t have reciprocal health care rights, the risk was that if I fell, or landed on my arm and got injured, I could end up with a huge medical bill from the US and lose my house. So I decided not to play, and at that point I guess then decided to back off from basketball a little bit at that point. But then, after I had my son, and I had the other episode of transverse myelitis, in 2008, I just happened to come across the coach for the women’s team…

((WN)) Who was that?

Amanda Carter: It was Brendan Stroud at the time, who was coaching the Dandenong Rangers women’s team. I just happened to cross him at Northland, the shopping centre. And he said: “Why don’t you come out and play for Dandenong?” I was looking fit and everything else, so I thought “Okay, I’ll come out to one training session and see how I go.” And from there played in the 2008 Women’s National League. And was voted MVP — most valuable one-pointer, and all-star five. So at that point, in 2009, after that, they went to Beijing, so I watched Beijing from home, because I wasn’t involved in the Gliders program. I just really came back to do women’s league. In 2009, I received some phone calls from the coaching staff, John Trescari, who was coaching the Gliders at that point, who invited me back in to the Glider’s training program, about February, and I said I would come to the one camp and see how I went. And went to the one camp and then got selected to go to Canada. So, since then I’ve been back in the team.

((WN)) Back in the Gliders again.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And of course you got selected for 2012…

Amanda Carter: Yes.

((WN)) My recollection is that you weren’t on the court a great deal, but there was a game when you scored five points?

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Within a couple of minutes.

((WN)) That was against Mexico.

Amanda Carter: Yes. That was a good win, actually, that one.

((WN)) The strange thing was that afterwards the Mexicans were celebrating like they’d won…

Amanda Carter: Oh yeah! It was very strange. I guess one of the things that, like, I am in some ways the backup one pointer in some ways, but what gives me my one point classification, because I used to be a two, is my arm, the damage I received, and the quadriplegia from the transverse myelitis. So despite the fact I probably shoot more accurately that most people in the team, because I’ve just had to learn to shoot, it also slows me down; I’m not the quickest in the team for getting up and down the court, because of having trouble with grip and stuff on my right hand to push. I push reasonably quick! Most people would say I’m reasonably quick, but when you at me in comparison to, say, the other eleven girls in the team, I am not as quick.

((WN)) The speed at which things move is quite astonishing.

Amanda Carter: Yeah, and my ability is more in knowing where people want to get to, so I aim to get there first by taking the most direct route. [laughter]

((WN)) Because you are the more experienced player.

Amanda Carter: Yeah!

((WN)) And now you have another silver medal.

Amanda Carter: Yes. Which is great.

((WN)) We double-checked, and there was nobody else on the team who had been in Sydney, much less Barcelona or Atlanta.

Amanda Carter: I know.

((WN)) Most of the Gliders seem to have come together in 2004, the current roster.

Amanda Carter: Yes, most since 2004, and some since 2008. And of course there are three newbies for 2012.

((WN)) Are you still playing?

Amanda Carter: I’m having a rest at this particular point. Probably because it’s been a long campaign of the training over the four years. I guess more intense over the last eighteen months or so. At the moment I am having a short break just to spend some time with my son. Those sorts of things. ‘Cause he stayed at home rather than come to London.

((WN)) You would have been isolated from him anyway.

Amanda Carter: And that’s the thing. We just decided that if he had come, it would have been harder for him, knowing he’d have five minutes a day or twenty minutes or something like that where he could see me versus he spoke to me for an hour on Skype every day. So, I think it would have been harder to say to Alex: “Look, you can’t come back to the village. You need to go with my friend now” and stuff like that. So he made the decision that he wanted to stay, and have his normal routine of school activities, and just talk to mum on Skype every day.

((WN)) Fair enough.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! But I haven’t decided where to [go] from here.

((WN)) You will continue playing with the club?

Amanda Carter: I ‘ll still keep playing women’s league, but not sure about some of the international stuff. And who knows? I may well still, but at this point I’m just leaving my options open. It’s too early to say which way I’m going to go.

((WN)) Is there anything else you’d like to say about your record? Which is really impressive. I can count the number of Paralympians who were on Team Australia in London who were at the Sydney games on my fingers.

Amanda Carter: Yes!

((WN)) Greg Smith obviously, who was carrying the flag…

Amanda Carter: Libby Kosmala… Liesl Tesch… I’ve got half my hand already covered!

((WN)) What I basically wanted to ask was what sort of changes you’ve seen with the Paralympics over that time — 1992 to 2012.

Amanda Carter: I think the biggest change has been professionalism of Paralympic sports. I think way back in ’92, especially in basketball, I guess, was that there weren’t that many girls and as long as you trained a couple of times a week, and those sorts of things, you could pretty much make the team. It wasn’t as competitive. This campaign, certainly, we’ve had a lot more than the twelve girls who were vying for those twelve positions. The ones who certainly didn’t make the team still trained as hard and everything as the ones who did. And just the level of training has changed. Like, I remember for 2012 I’d still go and train, say, four, five times a week, and that’s mostly shooting and things like that, but now it’s not just about the shooting court skills, it’s very much all the gym sessions, the strength and conditioning. Chair skills, ball skills, shooting, those sorts of things to the point where leading in to London, I was doing twelve sessions a week. So it was a bigger time commitment. So the level of commitment and the skill level of the team has improved enormously over that twenty years. I think you see that in other sports where the records are so much, throwing records, the greater distances, people jump further in long jump. Speeds have improved, not just with technology, but dedication to training and other areas. So I think that’s the big thing. I think also the public’s view of the Paralympics has changed a lot, in that it was seen more as, “oh, isn’t it good that they’re participating” in 1992, where I think the general public understands the professionalism of athletes now in the Paralympics. And that’s probably the biggest change from a public perspective.

((WN)) To me… London… the coverage on TV in Britain, but also here, some countries are ahead of others, but basically it’s being treated like the Olympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah! Yeah. There wasn’t a lot of difference between.

((WN)) Huge crowds…

Amanda Carter: Huge crowds! We played for our silver medal in a sell-out crowd… you couldn’t see a vacant seat around the place.

((WN)) I was looking around the North Greenwich Arena…And that arena! The seats went up and up and up! And as it was filling on the night, you could see that even that top deck had people sitting in it. I guess in 2000 even, to fill stadiums, which we did, we gave APC and school programs, a lot of school kids came to fill seats and things. We didn’t necessarily see that in London. They were paid seats! People had gone out and spent money on tickets to come and see that sport.

((WN)) I saw school groups at the football and the goalball, but not at the basketball.

Amanda Carter: No. Which is a big difference also, that people are willing to come and pay to watch that level of sport.

((WN)) I was very impressed with the standard of play.

Amanda Carter: The standard, over the years, has improved so much. But the good thing is, we’re looking at development. So we’ve got the next rung of girls, and guys, coming through the group. Like, we’ve got girls that weren’t necessarily up to selection for London but will probably be right up there for Rio… Our squad will open, come January, for the first training camp. That will be an invitational to most of the girls who are playing women’s league and those sorts of things, and from there they’ll do testing and stuff, cutting down and they’ll select a side for Osaka for February, but the program will remain open leading into the next world championship, which is in Canada.

((WN)) What’s in Osaka?

Amanda Carter: The Osaka Cup. It’s held every year in February, so that will be the Gliders’ first major tournament…

((WN)) After the Paralympics.

Amanda Carter: Yeah. So everyone’s taking an opportunity now to have a bit of a break.

((WN)) And then after that?

Amanda Carter: It’s the world championships in 2014 in Canada. So that will be what they’re next training to.

((WN)) How many tournaments do they normally play each year?

Amanda Carter: We’ve played a few. And you often play more in a Paralympic year, because you’re looking to see the competition, and the other teams, and those sorts of things, so… This year we did Osaka, which Canada went to, China went to… Japan, and us. We then went to — and we’d previously just been to Korea last November for qualification. We’ve been over to Germany. We’ve been to Manchester. So we’ve had a few tournaments where we’ve travelled. And then we’ve had of course a tournament in Sydney about three weeks before we went to London. And then of course we went to the Netherlands, before we went on to Cardiff in Wales.

((WN)) You played a tournament in the Netherlands?

Amanda Carter: Yes. Of four nations — five nations. We had Mexico at the tournament… GB… Netherlands… us… and there was one other… There were five of us at the tournament. It was a sort of warm up going in to… Canada! Canada it was. Canada was the fifth team. Because Canada stayed on and continued to train in the Netherlands. So they were good teams. Mexico we don’t often get a look at so it was a good chance to get a look at them at tournaments and things like that. And then flew back in to Heathrow and then in to Cardiff to train for the last six days leading in to London.

((WN)) Thank you very much for that.

Amanda Carter: That’s okay!