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Ohio State trustees plan meeting to discuss Urban Meyer investigation

Ohio State trustees plan meeting to discuss Urban Meyer investigation

(CNN) - The Ohio State University Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday to discuss Urban Meyer, the champion football coach who has been on administrative leave.First, trustees were getting a verb ... Continue Reading
John Elway: Colin Kaepernick 'had his chance' with Broncos

John Elway: Colin Kaepernick 'had his chance' with Broncos

(CNN) - The Denver Broncos are in the market for a backup quarterback, but they won't be signing Colin Kaepernick.John Elway, the team's general manager, told reporters Thursday that he tried to s ... Continue Reading
Michael Phelps: 'I'd like to be able to save a life if I can'

Michael Phelps: 'I'd like to be able to save a life if I can'

(CNN) - It was in 2014, following a second drink driving charge and a six-month suspension from USA Swimming, that Michael Phelps started to talk. It wasn't easy at first. The 23-time Olympic gold ... Continue Reading
Carlos Sainz to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren

Carlos Sainz to replace Fernando Alonso at McLaren

(CNN) - Spanish Formula One driver Carlos Sainz will join McLaren from Renault next season to replace countryman Fernando Alonso, who announced his retirement earlier this week. Sainz started his ... Continue Reading
Teaching saddlery: 'Do it for the horses - you have to give them the best

Teaching saddlery: 'Do it for the horses - you have to give them the best"

(CNN) - Horses might be big and powerful, but they are sensitive creatures and won't put up with any old saddle.Just ask the students at London's Capel Manor College, which boasts Europe's first f ... Continue Reading
Sleepless in Berlin: Dina Asher-Smith kept awake by golden success

Sleepless in Berlin: Dina Asher-Smith kept awake by golden success

(CNN) - British athlete Dina Asher-Smith isn't getting much sleep these days.That's what happens when you sprint your way into the history books -- Smith is the first British woman to claim three ... Continue Reading
Tracy Edwards: 'Maiden was either met with antipathy or aggression'

Tracy Edwards: 'Maiden was either met with antipathy or aggression'

(CNN) - In 1989, Tracy Edwards would have recoiled at the thought of being a feminist.

"It was such a dreadful word then," explains the sailor, who that year made history and defied critics by leading the first all-female crew to sail around the world.

Had Edwards not been expelled from school -- for smoking and drinking during a school trip -- she may have never discovered her love of sailing and become the trailblazer she is today.

Unbelievably, it was Edwards' well-traveled mother who suggested she pack her bags and go traveling to get some life experience abroad -- and alone -- after she was left without a degree.

"My mom was an extraordinary woman and she could see very clearly where I was headed and the direction I was carrying on," Edwards tells CNN Sport.

"She realized I needed to go away from where I was and kind of make many mistakes and find my way."

'I didn't realize there were people like me'

It was in Greece where Edwards, aged 17, began working on charter yachts.

"I found my feet and realized that I'd felt contained before and it gave me the freedom to discover what I wanted to do," she says.

"Every boat I worked on had a great skipper who was a mentor and a ragtag bunch of crew members who I realized were like me.

"I didn't realize there were people like me and I felt like I fit in for the first time in my life, that no one really cared about anyone's background or why we were there."

Fast forward 10 years and Edwards noticed the significant lack of women around her at sea. She was a young cook and the only woman on-board South African boat Atlantic Privateer during the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race -- now known as the Volvo Ocean Race.

"Out of the 230 crew in the race, four of us were girls," Edwards remembers. It was at this point that she began asking herself, "I wonder if girls could do it?"

'Nobody had ever seen a bunch of girls working in a boatyard'

It was only then, when Edwards began looking at creating an all-female crew, that she says she had her first real experiences of sexism or misogyny.

"I had never been told before that I couldn't do something -- mostly because I was where I should be -- in the galley," Edwards says as she rolled her eyes.

"But that was the reaction! I think if the reaction hadn't been so strong I'd probably moseyed through it but it made me thing 'whoa, what's going on?'"

After mortgaging her house in 1987, Edwards bought a dilapidated sailing yacht, Prestige, and brought it back to the UK where she, and her crew, began working on it.

"We had no money so we were just a bunch of girls with tools," Edwards laughs. "No hard hats, no health or safety -- flip flops and shorts, wandering around with chainsaws."

She says they were the talk of the boatyard.

"Nobody had ever seen a bunch of girls working in a boatyard so there was a lot of 'do you want help with that love?'" Edwards laughs.

Over six months, Edwards and her team pulled the yacht apart, redesigned it and rebuilt it from scratch.

"The best thing about doing it was we knew every inch of her -- we laid every cable, every pipe, we put every single thing in. We did everything ourselves."

Even after rebuilding what became to be known as Maiden, the all-female crew continued to face sexism within the industry.

"Maiden was either met with antipathy or aggression -- not really much in between," Edwards says. "As we got more successful it got worse -- they did not like that at all."

And successful they were, Maiden finished second in its class during the 1989-90 Whitbread -- winning two of the legs. It was the best result for a British boat in 17 years -- and still remains the best result for an all-female crew.

It was an historic moment that shocked the sailing world. It was also here that she noticed her views on feminism slowly changed.

"I realized that one of my early interviews one of the journalists question me 'are you a feminist' and I go 'oh God - no, no, no.' ... but then later on I noticed I (started) saying 'yes I am because I believe in equality.'"

After the race in 1990, Edwards sold Maiden and the 12 crew members scattered across the globe.

'Bankruptcy was a defining moment in my life'

Though with triumphs, came defeats. Edwards began managing sailing programs and created the Oryx Quest in 2005 -- the first round the world race to start and finish in the Middle East. The race sent Edwards bankrupt, after the Qatari sponsor failed to pay up its £6 million sponsorship.

"Recovering from that is very hard," Edwards said.

"It was something that happened to me that I couldn't prevent. I would have never chosen to go down that route; It was a defining moment in my life.

"It was hard, I left home with nothing at the age of 15 and had done very well for myself by the time I was 36 and then lost it all by the time I was 43. It's a very difficult landscape when you're 43 years old and you think 'I've got to do that again.'

"You realize that when you're younger you have no fear -- you haven't failed yet. You have that overwhelming feeling that 'of course I'm going to succeed.'"

Edwards went on to work for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center and returned to university to complete a psychology degree.

"It's something I'd never have done if I hadn't of been disillusioned with the sailing world. I helped write the 2009 resolution on the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child which is not something I had planned to do!"

Maiden found rotting in the Seychelles

Then, in 2014, Maiden reentered Edwards life -- after she found out it was rotting away in the Seychelles -- an archipelago of islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa.

"She'd been there for two years already -- unbelievable," Edwards says. "This man who left her there didn't tell me."

Members of the public who recognized Maiden as the yacht that sailed into the history books in 1990 contacted Edwards to tell her of the yachts' dilapidated state. It was when a naval officer reached out to her and said they were talking about deep-sixing it that she knew she had to do something, so she turned to crowdfunding and in 2016 repurchased Maiden.

"She was in the water, not lifted out or anything, and they hadn't really looked after her. We beat them down on the price a lot when we got there and thought 'this is actually a wreck, this is no longer a boat.'

"Bringing her back was just awful because we were looking at our work -- our names were still on the lockers, the navigation station was just like I'd walked out and left it -- it had all the old equipment."

Maiden returned to Southampton, on the south coast of England, where a year-long restoration began -- in the very same shed where Edwards and her crew back in 1989 worked on the yacht before the Whitbread race.

Educating girls

Now Edwards begins a new chapter of her life -- this time with "The Maiden Factor" -- a not-for-profit organization that will see Maiden set off on a three-year world tour to raise money and awareness for girls' access to education.

Edwards says it dawned on her when she was completing her degree that she was privileged enough to live in a country where education was available to all.

"I was handed an education on a plate (at 15) and I decided 'no, I already know everything and I'm just going to throw that back in your face.'"

According to UNESCO estimates published in 2016, 130 million girls between the ages of six and 17 are denied an education.

"The whole focus (of The Maiden Factor) is empowerment of women, celebrating where we got to and recognize how to get a bit further forward," Edwards says.

In early August she also walked away with the Lendy Ladies Day trophy at Lendy Cowes Week for her efforts and for championing the role of women in sailing.

Maiden will set sail and begin its three-year world tour on September 22.

"Everything about it feels really good," Edwards says. "Maiden is inspirational, she changed my life and I think most of the crew would probably say the same thing.

"We can inspire other women and girls and get people involve and very visibly demonstrate something no one believed in."

Almost 30 years after she and her crew made history, Edwards says she's only now beginning to appreciate everything she's accomplished.

"For the first time in my life I'm proud of everything we achieved," she says, "and it's taken me a lot time to get there."

Ultra runner Daniel Jung blazes a trail in 200-kilometer challenge

Ultra runner Daniel Jung blazes a trail in 200-kilometer challenge

(CNN) - There's hiking and then there's hiking.For most walkers, the Tyrolean High Altitude Trail takes between 10 and 12 days to complete -- Italian ultra runner Daniel Jung has negotiated it in ... Continue Reading
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray matches coach's salary with MLB deal

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray matches coach's salary with MLB deal

(CNN) - Here's one way to get paid in American college athletics: Go professional in another sport.That's exactly what University of Oklahoma quarterback and Major League Baseball prospect Kyler M ... Continue Reading
Former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith says he kept 2013 arrest secret from head coach Urban Meyer

Former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith says he kept 2013 arrest secret from head coach Urban Meyer

(CNN) - Former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith says he kept a 2013 arrest secret from Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer, according to his attorney.Smith was arrested for operating a vehic ... Continue Reading
Florida police union rescinds ticket discounts amid NFL National Anthem protests

Florida police union rescinds ticket discounts amid NFL National Anthem protests

(CNN) - A Florida police union is urging Miami Dolphins ticket holders to return their tickets after members of the team knelt during the National Anthem to protest police brutality, among other raci ... Continue Reading
NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem as preseason gets in full swing

NFL players kneel, raise fists or sit out National Anthem as preseason gets in full swing

(CNN) - The NFL's warmup games are in full swing -- and the National Anthem protests are back.

Several players on Thursday took a knee, raised a fist or did not take to the field while the anthem was played before a dozen games as the league's first full week of preseason contests kicked off.

The action comes weeks after the league suspended what was supposed to be a new policy barring such demonstrations.

The anthem protests -- meant to draw attention to racial injustice -- have happened with varying participation since 2016, pulling the NFL into a public debate that has seen President Donald Trump call on team owners to stem them.

In Philadelphia, Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel Thursday during the anthem and headed to the team bench ahead of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De'Vante Bausby raised their fists during the song.

"I just think it's important to keep this conversation going, that we don't let it get stagnant," Jenkins said after the game, according to NFL.com. "You know, as we understand it, everybody's kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. ... It's just my personal decision to keep these things at the forefront."

Trump, as he has in the past, took notice.

"The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem," the President tweeted Friday morning. "Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their 'outrage' at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love."

Trump continued: "Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!"

In Miami on Thursday night, Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson knelt during the anthem ahead of their game against Tampa Bay, The Miami Herald reported. Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist during the song, according to WTVJ.

In Jacksonville, several Jaguars -- including Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon -- were not on the field as the anthem played ahead of their game against the New Orleans Saints, The Florida Times-Union reported.

It wasn't immediately clear how many players overall protested during Thursday's 12 NFL preseason games.

Donté Stallworth takes issue with Trump's tweets

Former NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth, a CNN contributor, took issue Friday with Trump's assertion that protesters weren't able to define what outraged them.

"When you look at people who are in prisons today, close to 60% of the prison population are people of color -- these are the things that the players" are protesting, Stallworth told CNN's Kate Bolduan. "They are eloquent and articulate, and they've explicitly said why they are protesting.

"I think that one of the best things that the players have talked about is that they've tried their best to ignore the President and continue to go to their local city halls, continue to meet with governors and attorneys generals, continue to donate hundreds of thousands, and even ... millions of dollars" toward equality causes.

NFL had shelved its new anti-protest policy

The NFL said it won't punish the players who took part in Thursday's protests, noting it had shelved what was supposed to be a new policy on anthem conduct until it reaches an agreement with the NFL Players Association.

In May, team owners, reacting to a public backlash against the protests, issued a policy requiring that all team personnel who decide to be on the field during the song "shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem."

Players would be allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem if they chose -- but if any team personnel did kneel on the field, the team would be fined. The teams then could decide how and whether to punish offending personnel.

But in July, the players association filed a grievance, saying the new policy infringed upon player rights and was enacted without consulting the union.

A week later, the NFL said it would put the policy on hold so it could discuss a solution with the association.

Colin Kaepernick kicked off the protests in 2016

The anthem controversy has been rumbling since 2016 when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.

An increasing number of players joined him, but critics perceived the protests as unpatriotic and disrespectful of the American flag and US military.

The issue came to a head when Trump said in September that NFL owners should tell protesting players, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired. He's fired!"

Soon more players began to kneel during the anthem, and the controversy in the most popular sports league in America became a partisan talking point.

In a tweet, Kaepernick lauded Stills and Wilson, two of the Dolphins who protested Thursday night.

"My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!" the tweet reads.

Kaepernick has not been hired by any NFL team since he became a free agent in 2017. He has filed a grievance against the NFL, saying team owners colluded to deny him a job because of the protests.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to remove a reference to 10 Giants players kneeling in the end zone. The players did this before the anthem was played and may not have been protesting the anthem. It is a common practice by some players to kneel and pray in the end zone before the anthem begins.

Superstar mare Winx retains top spot in world rankings

Superstar mare Winx retains top spot in world rankings

(CNN) - She's the superstar of Australian racing, but Winx is also rated No.1 worldwide after she retained top spot in the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings.Winx is tied with the legenda ... Continue Reading
The return of the greatest team you've never heard of

The return of the greatest team you've never heard of

(CNN) - It is arguably the greatest team you've never heard of.

Undefeated between 1851 and 1983, it successfully defended the oldest trophy in sport no less than 24 times -- a feat often recognized as the longest winning streak in sports history.

That team is the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and this year it has returned to the America's Cup for the first time in 15 years.

The next edition of sailing's most coveted trophy doesn't take place until 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand, but the team has entered this year's TP52 World Championship, considered one of the highlights of the sailing season and an excellent training opportunity for the America's Cup.

The NYYC is the official challenging club of new syndicate American Magic, which will compete in the challenger series for the right to take on defender Team New Zealand in the America's Cup.

CNN Mainsail met some of the team's stars to talk about the impact its return will have on the renowned competition.

"It's very important (the return)," American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson tells CNN. "For [defender] Team New Zealand it gives the event a lot of credibility.

"The club's long tenure in the event and then the 15-year hiatus, bringing the club back into the event in a lot of people's minds legitimizes it."

Hutchinson contacted Dean Barker, an experienced Kiwi sailor who has been involved with the America's Cup since 1995, and asked him to become American Magic's helmsman.

"I was really thrilled to get the call," Barker told CNN. "I've been talking to Terry a lot as things developed after Bermuda (the previous America's Cup) and the fire still burns pretty deeply to be involved.

"To have the chance to be part of a new team like America Magic is very cool. With the people involved, a very strong design group, and as the team assembles it's all looking like it going be a strong contender."

WNBA team's travel nightmare results in forfeit after league ruling

WNBA team's travel nightmare results in forfeit after league ruling

(CNN) - For the first time in WNBA history, there has been a forfeit.

The Las Vegas Aces, who are fighting for one of the league's final playoff spots, declined to play against the Washington Mystics last week, citing safety concerns after traveling for more than 25 hours.

The WNBA announced in a one-sentence statement on Tuesday it considered the move a forfeit "because the Aces failed to appear for the game."

It's the first time a WNBA game has been canceled in the league's 22-year history.

The result is costly for the Aces, who are now 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot after losing to the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday.

"Our entire organization has the utmost respect for the very difficult decision our players made, and we stand with them," Las Vegas head coach Bill Laimbeer said in a statement. "We are disappointed with the league's decision, but our focus is now on winning as many games as we can in our drive for our first playoff appearance."

Aces: Playing was 'too great a risk'

The Aces were scheduled to play at the Mystics on Friday, but flight delays and cancellations turned what is normally a four hour and 30 minute nonstop flight from Las Vegas to Washington into a chaotic trip that lasted more than a day.

Although the team arrived in Washington few hours before tipoff, the players decided they were in no condition to take the court.

Unlike NBA teams, which use private charters, WNBA teams are mandated by the league to fly commercial to create an equal playing field.

On Friday, the Aces released a statement, saying that the decision in not playing "was not made lightly."

"Given the travel issues we faced over the past two days---25+ hours spent in airports and airplanes, in cramped quarters and having not slept in a bed since Wednesday night---and after consulting with Players Association leadership and medical professionals, we concluded that playing tonight's game would put us at too great a risk for injury," the team said.

"Naturally, the issue of player safety is of paramount concern for all involved in the WNBA. This issue is bigger than our team and this one unfortunate set of circumstances, and we look forward to being a part of future discourse in the hope of preventing such incidents in the future."

To try to accommodate the Aces, the WNBA delayed tipoff on Friday by one hour at Capital One Arena. The Aces didn't show up for pregame warmups, however, and Mystics players signed autographs for fans instead. The Mystics also refunded fans with tickets that night, and offered complimentary tickets to another game.

WNBA president Lisa Borders said her office "worked extensively" with the teams "to come up with a workable solution," but had little choice other than to penalize the Aces.

Washington head coach Mike Thibault expressed his disappointment that the Aces "didn't come to compete."

"Every team I've been around in the WNBA or the NBA or the old CBA goes through this," Thibault said, according to the Washington Post. "College teams go through it, and you have an obligation to the fans who paid money to come watch you play. If you're there and in the city and can play, you should show up and play."

In the WNBA, the eight teams with the highest winning percentages, regardless of conference, qualify for the playoffs and are seeded based on their record. The Mystics clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday.

Sachin Tendulkar wants to develop 'good human beings' in new academy

Sachin Tendulkar wants to develop 'good human beings' in new academy

(CNN) - Even now, almost five years after retiring, indian Sachin Tendulkar is still mobbed wherever he goes.Nicknamed "Little Master," he is the highest run scorer in Test cricket history and wid ... Continue Reading
The Open: Could US 'frat house' hold key to Claret Jug?

The Open: Could US 'frat house' hold key to Claret Jug?

CARNOUSTIE (CNN) - Sometimes it's about who you know, and an invite to the elite Carnoustie "frat house" could be the key to unlocking the Open.

Halfway leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner are two of the fraternity sharing lodgings in Scotland this week, alongside defending champion Jordan Spieth, major winners Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner, and fellow American Rickie Fowler.

In the three years the frat house has been running, the winner has twice come from within.

Johnson took the Claret Jug back for the boys at St. Andrews in 2015 and Spieth took his turn at Royal Birkdale last year.

Whatever elixir they are drinking from the historic vessel seems to be working.

The seven occupants own eight major titles between them, with only Kisner and Fowler yet to get off the mark. Their individual PGA Tour career earnings begin at the $15 million of two-time champion Kisner.

Something's clearly rubbed off on Kisner, who was handed the golden ticket for the first time this year, as he pushed the lead to eight under before a double bogey at the last to rejoin Johnson on six under Friday.

Spieth and Fowler both made late runs as the shadows lengthened to get in at three under for the weekend.

'Pants on'

Back at the house, down time involves soccer kickabouts in the garden, meals prepared by the British chef they brought over from the United States, and then movies.

Despite all gunning for the Claret Jug, no topic of conversation is apparently of limits.

"Golf will probably be the tune," adds the 34-year-old Kisner, who is married with two kids.

"Everybody will tell their horror stories and good stories, and we'll laugh and eat a big old meal and sit around and watch something stupid on Netflix. We watched the Russian doping one the other night -- 'Icarus.' That was pretty good."

Kisner insists the illustrious company is "not intimidating at all" and says "everyone is really just chill."

"I learned that everybody's going through the same stuff and trying to shoot the lowest score possible, and everybody puts their pants on the same way I do...probably left leg first," he says in his slow South Carolina drawl.

"So they just won a few more times than I have and probably got a couple more zeros in their bank account."

'Old School-ish'

Spieth is the youngest at 24 with Johnson the elder statesman at 42.

Johnson says it's akin to the college movie "Old School," or at least "Old School-ish."

"I wasn't in a fraternity in college but it kinds of feels like I'm going back to my alma mater and I'm the old guy stepping into the current frat house," said Johnson, who also won the Masters in 2007.

The soccer games can get competitive, with everyone keen to show their athleticism -- all except Dufner, who plays in goal, says Kisner.

Johnson has a "sneaky leg," he says, while Spieth is useful "until he sends it over the goal four houses over and we've got to go knock on the neighbors doors for the soccer ball."

The core of the group, childhood friends Spieth and Thomas, alongside another close PGA Tour pal Smylie Kaufman and occasionally Fowler, have also taken to vacationing together in Cabo San Lucas.

It's a far cry from the rivalries of yesteryear. Imagine Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson going on vacation together in their heyday, or Nick Faldo and Greg Norman sharing a house at Augusta.

It also puts to bed the notion that US Ryder Cup players aren't as united as a team as their European counterparts.

Thomas, Spieth and Fowler are locks to make the US side in Paris in September.

Private jet bill

"It is a very unique group of us," says 25-year-old world No.2 Thomas, who won his breakthrough major at last year's US PGA.

"Obviously we want to beat each other's brains in. I never want to lose to any of my friends, especially my best friends. As weird as it is, it's sometimes harder losing to your close friends than it is to someone you don't even know.

"Then again, last year when I missed the cut I was pulling for Jordan to win. You want to see your friend win if you can't."

Sharing beverages out of the Claret Jug has become a perk of the housemates over the last three years, but one practice that has become lore is that the winner has to pay for a private jet for the crew to fly home.

"I'd be happy to fork that over," admits Johnson.

These not so young Americans are the talk of the town.

Can 'bloodhound' Jordan Spieth 'sniff out' career grand slam at US PGA?

Can 'bloodhound' Jordan Spieth 'sniff out' career grand slam at US PGA?

(CNN) - When Jordan Spieth romped to the Masters title as a 21-year-old in 2015, Sports Illustrated's cover screamed, "The Spieth era begins now."Presumptuous maybe, but the potential was there. H ... Continue Reading
Tokyo 2020 Olympics to introduce facial recognition technology

Tokyo 2020 Olympics to introduce facial recognition technology

(CNN) - The Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee said on Tuesday that it will use facial recognition to improve safety and speed up security lines for participants -- a priority in the face of a record heatw ... Continue Reading
The guru teaching golfers to think like 'assassins'

The guru teaching golfers to think like 'assassins'

(CNN) - He's the secret weapon behind many top sports stars, a Yoda-like master intent on instilling a winning mindset.Dave Alred was the guru guiding the ice-cool kicking of English rugby legend ... Continue Reading

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