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Posts Tagged ‘girl’

saga-sword

Photo:  Svt Nyheter
Saga Vanecek, an 8-year-old Swedish-American girl, pulled a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake in southern Sweden last July, prompting comparisons to Arthurian legends about the Sword in the Stone and the Lady of the Lake.

You never know when wonders will appear. This little girl was not out helping archaeologists on a dig like the 13-year-old boy in this earlier post. She was just dawdling in a lake while her father was calling her to hurry so he could watch the World Cup on television. And then — a miracle.

Jon Henley writes at the Guardian, “An eight-year-old girl has pulled a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake in southern Sweden.

“ ‘I felt something with my hand and at first I thought it was a stick,’ Saga Vanecek told the local Värnamo Nyheter [VN] newspaper. ‘Then it had a handle that looked like it was a sword, and then I lifted it up and shouted: “Daddy, I found a sword!” ‘

“The find, made in July but announced only [in October] for fear it would trigger a summer stampede to the site at Tånnö on the shore of Lake Vidöstern, felt ‘pretty cool and a bit exciting,’ she told the Swedish public broadcaster Sveriges Radio. …

“Her father, Andrew, said in a Facebook post that the sword, estimated by experts from the nearby Jönköping county museum to date to the 5th or 6th century AD, before the Viking era, was still in the remains of its wood and leather scabbard.

“He told VN he had been waiting impatiently for his daughter to come in from the water because the football World Cup final was about to start, but she was busy skimming stones. Then she stooped and held up the ancient weapon.

“Neighbours confirmed to the Swedish-American family, who moved to Sweden from Minnesota last year, that the rusted artefact did indeed look old, and Nevecek called an archaeologist the next day.

“Annie Rosén, from the museum, said: ‘I was on holiday, but when I saw the pictures I went straight away. You cannot imagine such a sword – so well preserved.’

“Another expert at the museum, Mikael Nordström, [said] they were exploring the possibility it could have been a place of sacrifice. … Subsequent searches by museum staff and local council workers uncovered a brooch from roughly the same period but there were no other significant finds.”

More at the Guardian, here. And you can read Saga Vanecek’s own report here.

May 2019 be the year that girls everywhere pull miracles from lakes and stones.

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Maria Toorpakai is the top-ranked female squash player in Pakistan. Toorpakai is coached by retired Canadian squash star Jonathon Power, pictured here.

WBUR’s Only a Game is great at searching out fascinating sports stories that few media channels cover. Here is one about a female squash player bucking the odds in a conservative part of Pakistan, where girls just don’t do this kind of thing.

Karen Given reports, “There are places in this world where games aren’t just games and where sports heroes have the power to be more than just pixels on a television screen.

“One of those places is Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s tribal region. That’s where Maria Toorpakai grew up. Her sport was squash, and her hero was Jonathan Power — a Canadian who, in 1999, became the first North American squash player to become No. 1 in the world.

“From an early age, Toorpakai wasn’t like the other girls.

” ‘When I was two years old, I could see the happiness in boys’ faces and more glow. But most of the women are just no one, you know? …

” ‘I thought maybe it’s the differences because boys have different clothes than girls. So then I took all my girly dresses and I took it to the backyard and I burnt them, and I was four-and-a-half. I saw my father and he didn’t say anything but when I looked at him he just smiled and said, “Well, I guess I have a fifth son now.” ‘

“Toorpakai’s father allowed her to masquerade as a boy and play sports. But when she discovered squash at the age of 12, the family’s secret began to unravel.

” ‘There’s a proper squash academy and he took me there. And he asked what we should do for squash, and my son wants to play squash. The director of the squash academy, he said definitely we will give membership to this kid. You have to bring the birth certificate first. My father got a little nervous.’

“Maria Toorpakai tells her story In Her Own Words. To hear the full story, click [this page] the play button below the headline at the top of the page. Toorpakai’s book is called ‘A Different Kind of Daughter.’ ”

I really recommend becoming familiar with WBUR’s Only a Game, here. It’s syndicated nationally, and non-sports fans love it as much as sports fans.

Longtime host Bill Littlefield is an unusual sports maven. An English professor, he covers football but especially how it hurts athletes, and he has instituted an approach to interviews (like Toorpakai’s) in which a talented interviewer (like Karen Givens) asks probing questions that enable interviewees to tell their own story. The interviewer’s voice doesn’t appear. I love this idea. It sounds so natural.

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