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As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.

Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You.

Brazil wins gold in soccer; US grabs more track medals

By JOSH HOFFNER, Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil won the medal it wanted the most Saturday, claiming its first Olympic gold in soccer and providing a lift to a beleaguered nation in the process.

Neymar scored the clinching goal for Brazil with a nifty penalty kick in a victory that touched off celebrations all across the soccer-obsessed nation. The win boosted the spirits of a country that has been dealing with a recession, political turmoil, health scares and rampant crime — not to mention the lingering effects of a 7-1 rout against Germany in the 2014 World Cup.

“Beloved nation, the gold is ours,” Brazilian goalie Weverton said.

The soccer championship headlined a golden day in the Rio Olympics, featuring a full slate of track and field, the future of boxing on display in a medal bout and a Hall of Fame golfer pulling off an impressive comeback. The U.S. women’s basketball team handily beat Spain 101-72 for a sixth straight title ; the American women have not lost an Olympic contest since 1992.

Brazil’s run to gold in soccer was far from easy, struggling in the first round under the intense pressure of a nation that desperately wanted an Olympic gold. In the final, Neymar not only clinched the win in penalty kicks but scored the team’s lone goal in regulation. Brazil won 1-1 (5-4 shootout).

Neymar did it before an electric crowd that featured nine-time gold medalist Usain Bolt. When Neymar scored his first goal, he emulated Bolt’s “To the World” pose.

The Germany-Brazil soccer featured nearly entirely different rosters from the 2014 World Cup that marked a low point for Brazilian sports. Olympic soccer features under-23 teams while the World Cup is for the top national squad. But the match still had huge significance for Brazil, which had never won gold.

Unlike Neymar’s squad, the U.S. women’s basketball team breezed through the tournament — make that six straight tournaments. It was the final Olympic game for Tamika Catchings, who is retiring after the WNBA season. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi have also hinted that this might be their Olympic finale, too.

Two talented young boxers who could wind up being the future stars of the sport faced off in the bantamweight gold medal bout. Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba won in a split decision over American Shakur Stevenson in an entertaining match in front of a fired-up, pro-Cuban crowd.

Seven medal events are being held in track and field. At the age of 37, Ruth Beitia of Spain won her first major championship with a gold in high jump. Caster Semenya of South Africa won the Olympic title in the 800 meters with no one close to challenging her. Mo Farah of Britain became the first runner in 40 years to win back-to-back long-distance doubles at the Olympics by taking gold in the men’s 5,000 meters.

And the Americans had another exceptional night at the track. The U.S. 4×400 relay teams, led by Allyson Felix for the women and LaShawn Merritt for the men, won to give the country 31 track and field medals. The U.S. medal haul also included Matthew Centrowitz winning the 1,500-meters — the first American to take gold in the event in more than 100 years.

Other highlights from Day 15 the Rio de Janeiro Games:

WATER POLO WIN : Serbia and Croatia have a long history — and that now includes a medal match in Olympic water polo. Serbia beat Croatia 11-7 to win the country’s first Olympic gold in men’s water polo.

GOLD IN GOLF : Inbee Park hasn’t won all year on the LPGA. She has been recovering from ligament damage in her thumb and didn’t play in the last two majors. But on Saturday, the seven-time major winner took command with a 5-under 66 and won a gold medal.

TRIATHLON WINNER : Coming into the Rio Games, the U.S. had never won an Olympic triathlon gold medal. Gwen Jorgensen changed that, easily winning over the 2012 gold medalist. Jorgensen was an All-American track athlete and swimmer at the University of Wisconsin and had settled into her first job as an accountant in Milwaukee before deciding to take up triathlon. To win gold, Jorgensen ran 6.2 miles, swam a mile in the ocean and cycled 24 miles in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 16 seconds.

BADMINTON DUEL : Chen Long of China and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia are considered by many to be the best players of their era in badminton. They faced each other in the gold medal match, and Lee — the world’s No. 1 player — won again

10 ways to avoid food poisoning

Just like terrorists, deadly bacteria and toxins are waiting to harm us. These invisible, tasteless microbes may be hiding in your macaroni salad, spaghetti or cassava cake. So, keep these tips in mind:

1.  Avoid or limit eating mayonnaise and milk-based foods. Especially during the hot weather, the first foods to get spoiled are those with milk, mayonnaise, and cheese. If you can’t avoid the temptation, just take in a small scoop and just in case it’s bacteria-infested, you’ll still survive to tell the tale.

2. Use your senses. First, the nose knows. If it smells funny, fishy or foul, then don’t eat it. Second, use you taste buds. If the seafood pancit canton tastes like a familiar eight-legged vermin, then spit it out. Cockroaches have a way of getting themselves cooked. Third, seeing is believing. Look inside vegetable leaves and overripe mangoes for those white, crawly maggots. And make sure those dark spots on the meat are black pepper and not vermin eggs.

3. Avoid poorly-cooked meat. For some people, ordering a rare steak makes them feel sophisticated. But there’s nothing special in having beef tapeworms living in your gut similar to aliens. There are some regions where beef tapeworms, pork tapeworms, and fish tapeworms are endemic. And despite what others say, the parasites in the kilawin and sushi cannot be killed by vinegar or wasabe. So, the next time you order your steak, say “well done.”

4. Choose very hot items over cold foods. Studies show that Chinese people have less incidence of stomach disorders compared to the Japanese. Experts think this is because the Chinese like their tea, rice, and food piping hot, unlike the Japanese who have their cold sushi and sashimi. Hot chicken soup warms the stomach. Be careful with reheated food, too.

5. Choose dry over wet foods. Wet food items spoil faster than dry ones. Limit eating the uncooked sauces, like bagoong, gravy, and taco sauces. Fried chicken, fried pork chop, and grilled fish take a long time to spoil. Incidentally, these are the perfect items to bring to your summer outings. As mentioned, food items with milky sauces and those exposed to the hot weather spoil quickly.

6. Take a few safe dishes only. You have been in this situation before. A friend invites you to his humble home where a caterer has prepared eight dishes. Suddenly, you notice a few flies feasting on the dinuguan and waiters pouring soup in plastic gallons. So, how can you be courteous while avoiding an upset stomach? Answer: Play the percentages. In a food poisoning outbreak, there is usually just one spoiled food. Given eight suspicious delicacies, just take in more of the safer items and avoid the doubtful items. For fillers, plain rice is much safer than fried rice.

7. Order vegetables in safe places only. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and healthy fiber, but the problem lies in food preparation. The infamous Typhoid Mary, so named because she carried the typhoid bacteria in her stools, actually killed her employers by insisting on preparing vegetable salads with poorly-washed hands. Typhoid, parasites, and other microbes are very prevalent in the country.

8. Only bottled or canned drinks, please. Drinking tap water may be dangerous. So, to be safe, use bottled, boiled, and purified drinks only. And since ice is made out of tap water, use a straw or drink straight from the can instead. For sago and gulaman lovers, are they using clean water?

9. Avoid or limit street food. For queck-queck, fishball, and “dirty” ice cream lovers, be careful with these foods. The sauces are a haven for bacteria: the mouth-watering bagoong for the green mango, and the recycled fish ball sauce where everybody dips in delight. Although I must admit, I do enjoy a hot taho every now and then.

Ideally, all food handlers must pass stringent tests for their blood, urine, and stool, but who would shoulder the additional costs? Hence, choose where and from whom you buy your food. And unless it’s a well-known fast-food chain, or a respected restaurant, be forewarned.

10. Eat home-cooked meals. Mother/wife knows best. Eating at home is, of course, the safest if you take a few precautions, too. Like refrigerating left-over meals as soon as possible and discarding them in a few days. Finally, remember the basic rule: Wash your hands before and after eating.

So, be safe and avoid food poisoning. Clean food items may cost a bit more, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.