Pau Gasol visits Toronto

Last night, members of the Spanish Community in Canada welcomed Pau Gasol to Toronto where he will start a 3 game tour with his team, Los Angeles Lakers. The Spanish associations of Toronto offered the basketball player a plaque of the city recognizing his career and his  work as ambassador of Spain and the Spanish culture all over the world. Representatives of the Spanish Community included Javier Yébenes and Paloma Radovski from “Spaniards in Toronto”, Maria Dolores González from “Hispanic Club of Toronto. Gasol also received a basket of Canadian products like Maple Syrup, to have a taste of our roots and our culture.

During the event, the attendees had a chance to chat with the NBA superstar and ask some questions. Gasol was perfectly correct and friendly at all times and when being asked about his recent concussion, he said he is ready to play against the Raptors and that he is fully recovered.

Javi Yebenes y Pau Gasol en Toronto

Once the event ended, Gasol had a workout session and he got authorized by his team to leave the hotel to join for dinner with his friend and Spain team’s teammate Jose Manuel Calderón.

After spending some time with him and talking about people in common and sharing anecdotes, I can say that Gasol is a true ambassador of the Spanish culture and the country around the world, and he represents me out of our borders better than any politician.

Javi Yebenes and Pau Gasol Toronto

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POUND THE ROCK!

Pound The Rock Dwane Casey Javi Yebenes Toronto Raptors
Image of coach Dwane Casey with the 1300 Pound Rock thanks to Raptorswatch.com

A 1,200-pound rock sits just inside the front door to the Toronto Raptors’ dressing room, a reminder of the mentality the coach Dwane Casey is trying to instill in his team… and it seems to be working just fine.

“POUND THE ROCK”

This motto is written on the walls of the team’s practice gym and in the locker room.

The rock and the motto are there to remind the players every time they walk on the court. They are supposed to touch it as they pass by and will leave every huddle with a call to “Pound the Rock!

The meaning of the phrase goes back to Jacob Riis, a social reformer who wrote about the plight of the poor in New York in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Apparently this European reporter had a tireless fight for human rights in the late 1800s in North America and he always shared his philosophy of “not giving up”, he believed that if you try once and you don’t get the results you are looking for, you have to try again, and again, and again, until you find success.

Take a look to this interview to Coach Dwane Casey where he explains the philosophy:

Video from the Toronto Raptors Official Blog

Maybe the results of the Raptors this season are not the best, but I love the attitude on the court and I’m positive next season our team will get far on the post season.

As a coach or a teammate, there’s a story you can learn to motivate your team and achieve your long term goals:

At six-foot four inches tall, John’s presence was intimidating. When he looked at you, his focused stare caused most to look away, as this was a man who clearly had no fear.

John was disciplined. He rose early each day and followed the same routine. He would digest a few passages from the Bible, quickly dress and march to breakfast, where he hurried through scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, toast or pancakes and an often luke warm cup of coffee.

John wasn’t concerned, because he was on a mission. Each day after breakfast, John would ride the bus to the stone quarry, where he would dust off his sledge hammer and begin again where he left yesterday, pounding the rock.

As the sun rose in the morning sky, he would hammer away, each thrust another message to the universe that he would not stop, he would continue to pound the rock. After a brief break for lunch and a cool drink, John would begin again to pound the rock … pound the rock … pound the rock.

As the horn sounded to mark the end of another day, John would wipe the dust from his hammer, climb back on the bus and then hurry through a plate of meat, potatoes and vegetables, a few more passages of the Bible, then off to sleep.

The next day it would begin all over again. Pound the Rock. Pound the Rock. Pound the Rock.

John died last week at the age of 87. He had spent over 60 years in prison for a careless bar fight as a teenager. While John had to pound the rock every day in prison, he chose to do so with passion, his way of finding meaning in life and earning redemption for his careless crime.

What about you? Do you choose to “pound the rock” every day?

John had no choice. You do have a choice. Pound the Rock!

If you liked the post please comment! 🙂

@javiyebenes

Jane’s Journey – A night with Dr. Jane Goodall

“Every day of your life you make an impact and it is your choice to decide which kind of impact you want to make”.

Last night I had the privilege to attend the inaugural Toronto screening of the acclaimed documentary “Jane’s Journey”, and it was one of these moments that change your life. During the time I’ve been working for BOLD Magazine I was lucky enough to meet some of the most important artist, writers and scientists in the world, all of them charismatic, but none of them had an aura like the one Dr. Jane Goodall has.

Photography by Jane Goodall’s Institute of Canada

I always thought that a night at the Ontario Science Centre is a special night, and I always think to myself that lot of Torontonians don’t know what a treasure they have hidden in their own land. I invite all of you to discover what an inspiring and educational place the centre is.

Ontario Science Centre’s CEO, Lesley Lewis, gave a welcoming speech to the audience and introduced them to Andrew Westoll, primatologist and writer. Westoll shared the story of how he met Dr Goodall and expressed his admiration for the scientist. After that, Dr. Jane Goodall walked into the stage and the audience gave her an standing ovation.  The zoologist gave an inspiring speech about the importance of the  conservation of the environment and encouraged every single individual “to respect and protect the nature and the living beings”.

“If you work hard, you don’t give up and you take advantage of the opportunities, you will make your dreams come true”.

Without further ado and thanking the filmmakers and technicians, Dr Goodall gave way to the documentary, “Jane’s Journey”.

Fifty years ago, the young and intrepid Jane Goodall made her childhood dream come true, going to Africa, and she first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. Today, Dr. Goodall is a world-renowned zoologist and one of the best-known scientists of any kind. But that’s not all, she is also UN Messenger of Peace, conservationist, environmental and animal rights activist and she has more than 40 honorary doctorate degrees from universities all over the world.

Over the course of her life she spent 30 years studying the behavior of chimpanzees at Gombe, and she never stopped until an eye opening experience in Chicago, in 1986, pushed her to travel the world to raise environmental awareness and inspire action. Among her groundbreaking discoveries was the fact that humans are not the only animals with the capacity to make and use tools.

After the screening of the moving documentary,  Jane Lawton, Director of the JG Institute of Canada, gave members of the audience of all ages the opportunity to a Q&A with the scientist, and she replied to every single one of them naturally and sharing her knowledge gained through life experience. To end a wonderful evening, the primatologist stayed for more than 1 hour signing books and DVD’s to the guests.

Dr. Goodall is 77 years old and that doesn’t stop her from doing what she thinks is the best for our planet, making people from all over the world conscious about the delicate situation of our fauna and flora and most importantly, giving people hope.

Jane’s Journey Trailer:

Dr. Goodall’s discoveries and work are an inspiration, not just to every animal lover and every women, but also to every scientist and every dreamer.

- Written by Javi Yebenes -

Special thanks to:

PROM 2012: Circus

The Young Patron’s Circle presented its annual themed soiree PROM Circus this past March 31st at the Royal Ontario Museum. The event was co-chaired by Andrea Anders and Nicole Tuschak, along with a committee of Toronto’s top young arts and business leaders. Although museum fund-raising events have a tendency to be a little stuffy, this one was one of the most exquisite-top-notch fund-raising events of the season: live entertainment and dancing, strolling circus performers, fun-fair activities and gourmet carnival fare.

The Gents sported Vintage tuxedos and candy-coloured bow ties while the ladies wore darling dresses fit for a star performer while a few guests opted out for the more traditional tie and suit look and classic prom dresses.

The PROM Circus themed party opened its doors at 8:00 p.m. and began with a exclusive pre-party reception for VIP guests with hors d’oeuvres, an oyster shucking station, open bar and a wine sampling table sponsored by Wine Country Ontario. VIP guests also played for an spectacular necklace from Birks, by guessing the age or weight of a meteorite from out of the ROM’s vaults.

MTV Canada’s Sharlene Chiu and Johnny Hockin hosted the reception and presented an exclusive performance by the astounding illusionist Ray Chance, charming the guests with his tricks and his humour.

At 9:00 p.m. the gates were opened for the main event and VIP guests were joined under the big top by the couture crowd. Guests mixed and mingled with a cocktail in hand while tasting the delicious amuse-bouche prepared by Presidential Gourmet fine caterings. On the main room, there was a wide variety of activities, like a “Baker Street” pie stand, a fortune teller with a crystal ball and a ring toss game, complete with prizes. An incredible aerial performance took place on the dance-floor featuring the music of “Mecano” and guests had their personalized Circus picture taken; while others relaxed at the Moroccanoil lounge.

The PROM: Circus fund raiser was a great  opportunity to discover the spirit of YPC while supporting cutting-edge curatorial research and educational initiatives through the YPC Research Fund.

David Suzuki opens Toronto’s eyes

Last night, some of us had the privilege to attend David Suzuki’s inspiring speech as part of the We Canada Tour accross the country to engage young Canadians and civil society in a dialogue and action for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Earth Summit 2012 or Rio+20.

Aleksandra Nasteska representing We Canada , and Earth Summit engaged the crowd sharing information about the Earth Summit taking place in Rio in July 2012 and Canada’s role in the fight for the conservation of the biosphere. She discussed many issues and that Canadians needs “to work on creating a sustainable planet.” Also, she spoke about the responsibility young people have “standing up and demanding change from the people in power that are exploiting the Earth.” Aleksandra also made it clear that “those who are using up resources, polluting our communities are leaving nothing to future generations”, and “we are not doing anything about it.”

When Dr. Suzuki  was introduced, the audience gave him an standing ovation.  The scientist gave an inspiring speech about the importance of the biosphere and its conservation and encouraged every single individual “to protect our most valuable treasures, the air, the water and the living beings”.

Suzuki mentioned that he wasn’t concerned about the Earth as he stated it was here long before us and will be long after us.  His concern was for the biosphere and the health of all living things on our planet. One of the concerns of Dr. Suzuki was the importance we give in the present to Economy over Ecology and how people can be indifferent to the environment destruction.

“If we back off & give nature a chance maybe she will surprise us”

At the end of the interview, selected members of the audience had the opportunity to a Q&A with David Suzuki. I had the opportunity to ask him about past Earth Summits and that if all the past Environment Summits have failed, “what were the possibilities that the Rio Earth Summit 2012 might be any different?” To which he replied “these summits are necessary, but probably until a terrible catastrophe does take place, we won’t open our eyes and we won’t start facing the ugly truth about our environment’s situation.” Furthermore, that we needed “to raise our voices and and we should make our contribution to achieve biological stability.”

For more information about We Canada click on the link below:

HEIDI KLUM SHINES IN TORONTO

Photography by Laura Leon

Looking spectacular in a Red-hot Michael Kors pantsuit, Heidi Klum was in Toronto to expand her business empire, promoting her new fragrance SHINE. The former Victoria’s Secret “Angel” continues her transformation from supermodel to a business mogul. The launch hosted by none other than BT Dina Pugliese and in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, Klum shared with Dina and the audience that she has fond memories of Canada as her famous Husband had proposed to her on a trip to British Columbia.

SHINE, an effervescent floral oriental fusion and elegantly presented in a luxurious golden box, opens with fresh, juicy notes of mandarin and pear, enhanced with spicy pink peppercorn to invigorate the senses. At its base, warm notes of vanilla, tonka bean and musk create seductive, sensual undertones, making this fragrance wonderfully addictive.

Shine perfectly embodies Heidi’s sparkling vivacity and soft sensuality.

The fashionista confessed to BOLD Magazine her love for Argentina and Mexico, where she married Seal in 2005.

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Photography by Laura Leon

Did you know? Heidi Klum was discovered when she participated in a German modelling contest in 1992, organized by Petramagazine and a New York modeling agency. The competition received 250,000 resumes from girls wishing to participate in the grueling selection process. As the winner of the Model ’92 competition, Heidi appeared in the Petrol catalog and was offered a three-year modeling contract with Metropolitan worth $300,000. However, she rejected the offer in order to finish high school. Less than a year later, she was studying to be a fashion designer when she decided to drop out and pursue a modeling career. Today, Heidi’s net worth is estimated at $70,000,000 US dollars.