luni, 20 ianuarie 2014

Success 2014: Petr Čech, footballer who plays for Chelsea and the Czech Republic as a goalkeeper

Petr Čech is a Czech footballer, who plays for Chelsea and the Czech Republic as a goalkeeper. Čech previously played for Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague, and Rennes. He was voted into the all-star team of Euro 2004 after helping his country reach the semi-finals. Čech also received the individual award of Best Goalkeeper in the 2004–05, 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons of the UEFA Champions League. In addition, he was named in the FIFPro and UEFA Champions League teams of the season in 2006. He is considered to be one of the best and most respected goalkeepers of all time.
Čech holds a number of goalkeeping records, including the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 league appearances. He also holds a Czech professional league record of not conceding a goal in 903 competitive minutes. In addition, he has a club record at his former club Sparta Prague, having gone 928 minutes unbeaten in all competitions in 2001–02, when his unbeaten run in Czech league competition was combined with his performances in the UEFA Champions League. During the 2004–05 season, Čech went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal – a Premier League record, until it was surpassed by Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United on 27 January 2009. Čech also won the Golden Glove in both the 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons as the Premier League goalkeeper with the most clean sheets. As of 11 January 2014, Čech has kept a club record 209 clean sheets for Chelsea in all competitions.

Čech trialled with Chelsea in 2003. Their then-manager, Claudio Ranieri, wanted Čech to be understudy to Carlo Cudicini, and made a transfer bid for Čech in January 2004. Although an initial bid was rejected, Rennes agreed to Čech's move to Chelsea for £7 million in February. Čech signed a five-year contract, to commence in July 2004, becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in Chelsea's history. Čech's was one amongst many British club transfers that came under the spotlight in the 2006 football corruption investigation for being potentially in breach of transfer regulations. The Stevens inquiry report, published in June 2007, found no evidence of illegal payments.

luni, 13 ianuarie 2014

Success 2014: Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the president of South Africa

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, (born 12 April 1942) is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election.
Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC), the governing political party, and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. Zuma is also referred to by his initials JZ and his clan name Msholozi.Zuma became the President of the ANC on 18 December 2007 after defeating incumbent Thabo Mbeki at the ANC conference in Polokwane. He was re-elected as ANC leader at the ANC conference in Manguang on 18 December 2012, defeating challenger Kgalema Motlanthe by a large majority. Zuma was also a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), briefly serving on the party's Politburo until he left the party in 1990. On 20 September 2008, Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. The recall came after South African High Court Judge Christopher Nicholson ruled that Mbeki had improperly interfered with the operations of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption.
Zuma has faced significant legal challenges. He was charged with rape in 2005, but was acquitted. In addition, he fought a long legal battle over allegations of racketeering and corruption, resulting from his financial advisor Schabir Shaik's conviction for corruption and fraud. On 6 April 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority decided to drop the charges, citing political interference.
He officially announced the death of the anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president, in a press conference on December 5th, 2013.

joi, 9 ianuarie 2014

Success 2014: Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, a former Formula One racing driver from England regarded as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship". An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, OBE FIE (Fellow of the Institute of Engineers) (born 17 September 1929) is a former Formula One racing driver from England. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame his success in a variety of categories placed him among the world's elite—he is regarded by some commentators as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship".

Moss, who raced from 1948 to 1962, won 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One Grands Prix. He would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different makes of car over the course of his racing career, including Lotus, Vanwall, Maserati, Jaguar, Ferrari and Porsche. Like many drivers of the era, he competed in several formulae—very often on the same day.
He retired in 1962 after a crash left him in a coma for a month, as afterwards he felt unable to continue driving at a professional level. In spite of this early retirement he has continued to be the focus of media attention and consequently, a well-known figure.
Moss was one of the first customers of the Cooper Car Company when,using money won from his horse riding events, he put a deposit on a racing car. He eventually managed to persuade his father, who was very much against Stirling becoming a racing driver, wanting him to become a dentist, to allow him to purchase one of the new Cooper 500 cars. He quickly demonstrated his ability with numerous wins, at national and international level, and continued to compete in Formula Three, both in Coopers and Kieft cars long after graduating to the senior categories.
His first major international race victory was in the 1950 RAC Tourist Trophy for sports cars on the Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland. He went on to win the Tourist Trophy six more times: 1951 (Jaguar C-Type), 1955 (Mercedes-Benz 300SLR), 1958 & 1959 (Aston Martin DBR1) and 1960 & 1961 (Ferrari 250 GT).
Moss was a pioneer in the British Formula One racing scene and was second in the Drivers' Championship four times in a row from 1955 to 1958.
Moss was also a competent rally driver and is one of only three people to have won a Coupe d'Or (Gold Cup) for three consecutive penalty-free runs on the Alpine Rally (Coupe des Alpes). In addition, he finished second in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally driving a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 with co-driver John Cooper.
In 1954, he became the first foreign driver to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, sharing the Cunningham team's 1.5-liter O.S.C.A. MT4 with American Bill Lloyd.
Mercedes racing boss Alfred Neubauer approached Moss's manager Ken Gregory in 1953, and showed an interest in Moss's services, but after having seen Moss do well in a mediocre car, Neubauer wanted to see how Moss would do in a better car, and suggested that they buy a Maserati for the 1954 season, which they did. Moss did not get high up in the championship points because of unreliability, but he often qualified alongside the Mercedes frontrunners and performed very well; the best of these performances being at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, where he passed both men who at time were considered to be the two best Formula One drivers at the time- Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes and Alberto Ascari in a Ferrari for the lead. Ascari retired with engine problems, and Moss led until lap 68 until he too developed engine problems, and Fangio went by to take the victory, with Moss pushing his Maserati 250F to the finish line. Neubauer, already impressed having seen Moss test the W196 at Hockenheim, promptly then signed Moss up to drive for the 1955 season.
Moss's first Formula One win was his home race, the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree. He became the first British driver to win the British Grand Prix. His Mercedes-Benz W196 led home a 1–2–3–4 win for the German marque. It was the first race where he finished in front of Fangio, his teammate, friend, mentor, and archrival at Mercedes. It is sometimes debated whether Fangio, one of the all-time great gentlemen of sport, allowed Moss to win in front of his home crowd. Moss himself asked Fangio repeatedly, "Did you let me win?" and Fangio always replied, "No. You were just better than me that day."
One of his best remembered drives was in the 1955 Mille Miglia, which he won in the record time of 10 hours 7 minutes 48 seconds, finishing almost half an hour ahead of teammate Fangio in second place. Moss' navigator in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR #722 (indicating the time of the start) was journalist Denis Jenkinson. As navigator, Jenkinson supported Moss with pace notes in the form of a Roller Map, which listed all the details of the long road trip, then an innovative technique. This assistance helped Moss compete against drivers who had a lot of local knowledge of the route. Jenkinson later wrote extensively about the experience.
Moss won the Nassau Cup at the 1956 and 1957 Bahamas Speed Week. Also in 1957 he won on the longest circuit ever to hold a World Championship Grand Prix, the daunting 25 km (16 mi) Pescara Circuit, again demonstrating his skills at high speed, long distance driving. He beat Fangio, who started on pole, by a little over 3 minutes over the course of a gruelling 3-hour event.
Moss believed the manner in which the battle was fought was as important as the outcome. This sporting attitude cost him the 1958 Formula 1 World Championship. When rival Mike Hawthorn was threatened with a penalty in the Boavista Urban Circuit in Porto, Portugal, Moss defended Hawthorn's actions. Hawthorn was accused of reversing in the track after spinning and stalling his car on an uphill section of the track. Moss himself shouted the suggestion to Hawthorn that he steer downhill, against traffic, to bump-start the car, which Hawthorn did. Moss's quick thinking and then gracious defence of Hawthorn before the stewards preserved Hawthorn's 6 points for his second-place finish (behind Moss). Hawthorn went on to beat Moss for the title by one point even though he won only one race that year to Moss's four, making Hawthorn Britain's first World Champion.
Moss was as gifted at the wheel of a sports car as he was in a Grand Prix car. In addition to the Tourist Trophy, Sebring 12 hours and Mille Miglia victories described above for three consecutive years (1958–1960) he won the gruelling 1,000 km (620 mi) race at Germany's Nürburgring, the first two years in an Aston Martin (in which he won almost single-handedly) and the third in the memorable Tipo 61 "birdcage" Maserati, co-driving with the American driverDan Gurney. The pair lost nearly six minutes when an oil hose blew off, but in miserable conditions they regained the time and won going away.
In the 1960 Formula One season, Moss took the top step of the podium at Monaco, winning in Rob Walker's Coventry-Climax-powered Lotus 18.[7] Moss had a huge accident at the Burnenville sweep during practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and was severely injured in what was to be one of the darkest weekends in the history of Formula One. He missed 3 races and did not race for most of that year. He recovered sufficiently to return to competition late in the year and won the season-ending US Grand Prix at Riverside, California.
For the 1961 F1 season, which was run under the new 1.5-litre rules, Enzo Ferrari rolled out his state-of-the-art "sharknose" Ferrari 156 with an all-new V6 engine.[8] Moss was stuck with an underpowered Climax-engined Lotus, but managed to win the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix by 3.6 seconds (beating the 156s of Richie Ginther, Wolfgang von Trips, and Phil Hill),[8] and later also the partially wet 1961 German Grand Prix. Some observers have noted that, while taking nothing away from Moss's superlative performances in those races, there were other factors at play. At Monaco, the tight circuit negated the horsepower advantage of the powerful but heavy and ill-handling Ferraris; and at the Nürburgring, Moss and manager Ken Gregory made a risky but inspired decision to fit rain tyres on the Lotus after a pre-race shower had soaked the track. Had the skies cleared and the track dried, the decision would have been disastrous for Moss. When rain returned, Moss was able to drive away from Hill and Trips (while nursing rapidly deteriorating tyres) to take the win.
In 1962, Moss was badly injured in a crash at Goodwood in a Lotus in the Glover Trophy. The accident put him in a coma for one month and partially paralysed the left side of his body for six months. He recovered but decided to retire from racing after a private test session in a Lotus 19 the next year. During this session, he lapped a few tenths slower than before, and did not feel he had the command of the car to which he was accustomed. Many racing and medical observers have speculated that Moss simply tried to return too soon – that another six months of recovery and training would have allowed him to regain most of the physical acuity that distinguished him.
Away from driving, in 1962 he acted as a colour commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports for Formula One and NASCAR races. He eventually left ABC in 1980 when he made a brief driving comeback in the British Touring Car Championship with Audi, alongside Martin Brundle. Previous to this he also competed in the 1974 World Cup Rally in a Mercedes-Benz but retired from the event in the Algerian Sahara, he shared a Holden Torana with Jack Brabham in the 1976 Bathurst 1000 which was rammed from behind on the grid and eventually retired with engine failure, and a Volkswagen Golf GTI with Denny Hulme in the 1979 Benson & Hedges 500 at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand.