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February 26, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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February 26, 2014
 

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8B Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Fc00l,;l ari :irude -no" e importc:nl tha n winning Q: Chuck, thank you for your inspiring column last week on Olympic champion snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg. I don't want to take away from his or any other's deserved golden glory, but in a country where sports figures' character is not always -- shall we say -- exemplary, don't you think we-should also commend Olympic champions who truly show gold medal attitudes in the face of defeat? --"Looking Out for Losers" Louisiana A: There are those who are champions on courses of competition. Then there are those who are victors in their caliber of character, too. In our often wayward world, the latter ought to be given not just a gold medal but a golden crown. Being dead last is never fun. I would imagine that it is particularly painful if you've trained like a world champion, traveled halfway around the world and are competing at the Winter Olympics. Roberto Carcelen, of Peru, was racing in a 15-kilometer cross-country skiing event. One unique hurdle he had, however, vas that he was competing with a fractured rib. He had suffered the broken bone days before the J. C-FORCE HEALTH AND FITNESS CHUCK NORRIS i nfo@creators.com Sochi, Russia, games in a training crash. And he ignored the doctor's advice not to compete. Carcelen hadn't come that far to stop at the starting gate. Thrusting his arms back and forth to plant his ski poles in the snow as he competed in the cross-country men's classic must have been like boxing with a broken rib. I can't imagine the pain he must have endured. Carcelen later confirmed: "It was a very ditTmult race for me .... I was in a lot of pain in my right ribs." Carcelen already had made history at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, when he became Peru's first Olympic athlete. Now he was determined to double down the Peruvian pride and simultaneously win the hearts of people all around the world. For Carcelen, racing with his broken rib, finishing was winning. And that's exactly what he was determined to do as he approached the finish line in last place, waving Peru's flag as he did. Dario Cologna, of Switzerland, had ffmished in first and won the gold (his third) with a time of 38 minutes, 29 seconds. Carcelen crossed the fmish line at one hour, six minutes, 28 seconds. The crowd cheered as Carcelen crossed the finish line. But the Olympic goose-bumps moment came when waiting to greet and embrace him at the finish line was none other than Cologna. Dachhiri Sherpa, of Nepal, who finished second-to-last, also was waiting. Now there's some genuine class. They are true Olympic champions. And Olympic-sized kudos in particular go out to Cologna for sticking around and showing gentleman's gold by commending his fellow and rival Olympians. As Jay Busbee at Yahoo Sporth exclaimed, "what a great Olympic moment." Rachel Chase of Peru this Week reported: "For footage of Carcelen's finish, click here. But be warned, it may cause your heart to grow three sizes and/or restore your faith in humanity." Of course, some might say, it's one thing to show true sportsmanship when one wins but quite another when one loses -- which leads me to this story with a gold medal attitude. Justin Wadsworth, Canadian cross-country skiing coach and three-time Olympic champion himself, was dejected and disheartened after all his athletes were defeated early in Olympic competition. But he still mustered up enough gumption to mosey over to the finish line and watch the end of the men's sprint free semifinals, according to the Toronto Star. He noticed Russian skier Anton Gafarov stumbling over the slope on the horizon. He had crashed -- twice -- broken a ski and struggled along with a strip of the material P-Tex, taken from the bottom of his ski, wrapped around his foot like barbed wire bound around a caught horse's hoof. He was already three minutes behind the leaders. He merely was dragging himself through the last couple of hundred meters of the 1.7-kilometer race to the finish line. Wadsworth looked around the crowd, and everyone was just staring at the once-favored Russian skier gimping down a hill he once glided down. Even his own Russian coaches gazed at him When a champion waits to congratulate a last-place wounded competitor, it shows Olympic sportsmanship. But when a champion bends down on his knees to pick up and serve like deer in the headlights of - one who is his rival, it an oncoming car. According to the Star, Wadsworth later explained: "It was like watching an animal stuck in a trap. You can't just sit there and do nothing about it." So he ran onto the course with a spare ski he had carried over for Canadian racer Alex Harvey. Gafarov knew someone was rushing him a replacement ski, but he didn't recognize the face. As Wadsworth knelt to help him, no words were exchanged, for neither man knew the other's language, but the random act of kindness said everything. After a nod of thanks, Gafarov fled off to finish his race. And Wadsworth's only commentary about the entire incident and why he had helped a rival competitor was this: "I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line." The video of Wadsworth jumping to help Gafarov is on YouTube, titled "Sochi 2014: Anton Gafarov and Justin Wadsworth." demonstrates Olympic gold. As inspiring as these Olympic stories are, however, they shouldn't come as a shock. But the fact is, in a world where integrity and servanthood take second place to image and superiority, tales of decency stand out like the Olympic torch in the night sky. And they also remind usof a timeless truth: We all need to have victorious values. Morals before medals, others before ourselves. Our character should be solid gold, not merely gold-plated. The golden rule should be our gold standard. And sportsmanship and kindness should always trump winning or seeing our photo on a box of Wheaties. Write to Chuck Norris (infocreators.mm) with questions a bout health and fitness. Copyright 2014 Chuck Norris Distributed by creators.com Study released on irnpaq:ls conifer removal r00.0000;tore aspen slan s A recent collaborative research project by the University of California, Davis and the U.S. Forest Service found that conifer removal to restore aspen stands can be conducted without degrading aquatic ecosystems. The study, conducted by Bobette E. Jones, Monika Krupa find Kenneth W. Tate, took place from 2003 to 2010 and detected no adverse effects to water quality, temperature or aquatic insects when mechanical equipment was used to restore aspen stands adjacent to streams. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE in December 2013, and it is available at http://bit.ly/112kOD7. Aspen provide many ecological services, including high species and landscape diversity, higher water retention, wildlife habitat and forage for livestock and wildlife. Since aspen provide so many ecological services, there is concern about their decline in the Western U.S. Aspen trees are shade-intolerant and without regular disturbance (fire), conifers eventually shade them out and reduce the ecological services that aspen stands provide. Over 90 percent of aspen stands in forested areas of California have some level of conifer shading. Removing conifers using mechanical equipment to increase sunlight to aspen is an effective technique to restore stands, but there have been concerns with using this approach adjacent to streams. Other scientists lauded the report. "For years aspen stands have declined in vigor and sometimes died because of pressures from encroaching conifers," said Malcolm North, research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station in Davis. "Reluctance to thin out the conifers because of concern for stream water quality has contributed. This study demonstrates that those impacts are negligible." This long-term study was designed to identify if there would be any negative consequences to aquatic ecosystems when using timber harvest techniques. The study evaluated two aspen restoration projects adjacent to perennial mountain streams on the Lassen National Forest. The research began prior to any treatments, with continued data collection occurring two to seven years following treatments. Soil scientists, hydrologists, fish biologists, foresters, ecologists and University of California; Davis specialists identified key aquatic and soil attributes. These traits included stream temperature, water quality, stream shade, overstory tree canopy cover, aquatic insects, soil compaction and soil moisture. UC Davis researchers analyzed the data and found that water quality did not change following timber harvest implementation. In fact, more than 80 percent of all stream water samples analyzed were below the detection limit, with some meeting drinking water standards. The timber harvest treatments did reduce canopy cover, which resulted in an increase of solar radiation reaching the streams, but there was po corresponding, increase in stream temperature. The aquatic insects also confirmed the water quality results, with the highest percentage of pollution tolerant species detected prior to treatment implementation. Finally, soil moisture availability increased in treated aspen stands compared to untreated stands. This demonstrates that restored aspen stands would be more resilient in drought years. Some previous studies ....... indicate that timber harvest activities were found to impair water quality and aquatic ecosystems. The findings of this study, however, concur with recent r research in which partial " harvesting of areas near streams and rivers can be conducted without damage to, aquatic ecosystems. Land managers can use this study to assist their future decisions for restoration activities near stream areas. 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