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March 18th, 2011

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"If everyone's got nothing, everyone's got the same," Isao Nagai, 62, said, standing in a cold junior high school gym in Ofunato. About 150 survivors huddled under blankets. Some dozed, others talked or read the newspaper. "There's a comfort we get from each other. It's simple. We've all got nothing. Not half or some. Nothing."

Kinuyo Kojima, whose house in Ofunato was washed away, agreed.

But, the 65-year-old woman said, "We live like animals." The stench of backed-up toilets has made some retch, and they complain of constipation from the diet of rice and little or nothing else.

"You should have seen us when we got a piece of chicken yesterday," Kojima said Thursday. "We were so excited over a tiny piece of meat. It had been so long."

www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/japan-earthquake-2011-elderly-hard-hit_n_837117.html
 


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Julia Mancuso won the Downhill during world cup alpine skiing finals.  She has pledged to give half of her winnings to the charity skiers helping japan that she helped found with two Japanese skiers and her friend the British skier Chemmy Alcott. The goal is to raise at least $100,000.00.  The funds will be dispersed to various Japanese charities working with earthquake victims chosen by Japanese skier Akira Sasaki . 

Julia had this to say after her win:

"I worked really close with a Japanese skier the last four years. She’s helped me go to the Olympics. She emailed a week ago asking to give back and help. I’ve pledged to give half of my winnings today and I hope other people can jump on board. Please check out our website, http://skiershelpingjapan.com/ to see how you can help."

Julia has hopes for more wins and more gifts to Japan. Unfortunately both the men and women's Super G was canceled due to weather, as was the men's Giant Slalom.   Let's hope the women's Giant Slalom and both men and women's Slalom can be run and the winners of those events  will be generous.

The cancellation of the Giant Slalom was sad because the American skier Ted Liggety was a favorite after already winning the season Globe in that event for the third year. He too  had pledged to give half his winnings. Maybe they will expand the giving for winnings outside of Finals to give Ted a chance?

If you would like to join these skiers you can.  Fan gifts are welcome, just page down to the bottom of the donations page.  Gifts are made through paypal and will be paid in Yen.  The starting  level of 1000 Yen is less than $13.00. Almost anyone can take part.

For a nice happy break watch Julia Mancuso's winning run in the downhill, as always she is best in the tough conditions. 

For the American coverage at Universal sports hit this link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1pHL-dM4Y8



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Here are the runs of all top three women in the Downhill at World Cup Finals. American Julia Mancuso won while Swiss skier Laura Gut and Austiran skier Elizabeth Goergl came in third. All three runs are shown here. Julia's is the last. Listen to the announcers go wild at her run.

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