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d Watson before the game. Watson was offic

Сообщение lxt1217 » 15 авг 2018, 06:21

Boiled down to its very essence, mixed martial arts is a battle of wills. When the octagon door shuts, two fighters compete to see who can impose theirs, while simultaneously breaking their opponents. All the technical gifts in the world will only take you so far if you dont have the mental strength to weather the storm when things go south. However, the source of an athletes fortitude is always unique to the individual. For Randa Markos, her attitude towards fighting is both tragic and inspirational. Following a childhood characterized by abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father, the Iraqi-Canadians mantra is clearly stated: "If my father couldnt break me, no one can." During an interview in downtown Toronto, Markos said she hopes to be an example for people who are forced to live in violent households. "There were many times where I thought, I want to end my life. Its only me going through this, but there are a lot of people like that," said Markos. "I wish I could go back and tell myself, Dont worry; its going to get better. Lifes not always going to be this way." "Thats the message I want to give out to everyone. Thats why I want to tell my story. Its why I am who I am today, because of the way I was raised. But I took it and turned it into a positive." Markos will be featured on The Ultimate Fighter: Pettis vs. Melendez, which debuts Sept. 10. The upcoming season of the popular reality series features a cast of womens strawweight fighters. The winner will be crowned the inaugural UFC 115-pound champion. Though she now has the opportunity to make her dream of winning UFC gold a reality, her road to the worlds largest MMA organization was filled with hardships. FLEEING THE MIDDLE EAST Born in Iraq, Markos was only three years old when her family fled the country in the late 80s, during its conflict with Iran. A solider in the Iraqi military, Markos father feared for his life when the members of his unit were killed. After arriving in Turkey, the family was held at gunpoint and imprisoned because they didnt have proper identification. Markos was too young to remember most of the ordeal, but has clear memories of the sweltering room where she was detained. As she and her siblings grew up — she has two brothers and a sister — her parents began telling stories of their struggle to make it to Canada. "Theres one that my mom told me that really shocked me — Ill never forget it," Markos began. "When we were trying to escape from the Middle East, we ended up being held hostage with seven other young men in their early 20s. They started taking care of me, my sister and my mom, getting us food and clothing. "When they called us all out ... they only called out the men. They didnt call us. So my mom thought they were going to kill us, or send us back to (Iraq). So she was freaking out. She kept saying, Why didnt you call my name? They were like, Just be quiet. Then they took all the men, lined them all up in front of her and shot them all." Following their brush with death, Markos family was released after her parents pleaded their intention to move to Canada, where they would eventually settle down in Windsor, Ont. NEW LIFE IN CANADA Though they had now left a war zone behind, Markos mother and siblings were not free from violence and terror. Harbouring guilt from the deaths of his fellow soldiers, Markos father found solace in the bottle. Struggling with his own personal demons, he began to physically lash out at his loved ones. "Because he was in the army and how he was brought up, it kind of mentally messed him up," Markos said. "You know, witnessing everyone he was with just die in front of him. He was a very attached kind of person. He would stay behind and, though the people were dead, he would hold them and bury them. "So mentally, it really triggered something. When we came to Canada, he became really abusive. He got into alcohol. All of our memories, every Christmas was ruined, every holiday was ruined. That was our whole childhood." As a result of the regular violence at home, Markos often considered running away, but always opted to stay for the sake of her mother — even if it meant fearing for her own life. "One time, I really thought he was going to kill me," Markos said. "It was 1 a.m. and I think he had just gambled (and lost) a bunch of money. He just wanted to take it out on someone and I was awake. He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me into the hallway. I thought then that my life was over — this is it. My brother came up behind him and bashed him over the head with a hairdryer, then he finally let go." After years of suffering both physical and mental abuse, Markos finally began to stand up to her father. Initially, this meant calling the police so he could spend the night in jail. However, she was soon forced to resort to physical retaliation. Markos vividly remembers the first time she fought back. "The first time I ever stood up to him, he was about to attack my mom," she said. "I grabbed a chair and pinned him up against the wall. He was like, What the hell? What are you doing? I just said, Dont ever touch her again. You just went insane. He was shocked. My brothers and my sister were shocked, too, because nobody had ever stood up to him. He hated my guts ever since then, but I didnt care. I just kept doing it." FINDING AN ESCAPE With her home life in turmoil, Markos soon discovered a constructive outlet for all her negative energy — high school wrestling. Not only was it an opportunity to apply her mind to one of the worlds oldest martial arts, it offered the kind of warm and accepting atmosphere lacking in her home life. Of course, in order to make practice she also had to lie to her father, telling him she had joined the volleyball team. "When I got there, it just felt like such a family environment," Markos said. "No matter what was going on in my house, I would go into the gym, leave everything at the door and just be happy for an hour or two hours. My coaches were like father figures to me. Everyone else were like brothers and sisters. "We just had so much fun learning and getting better at wrestling, especially at competitions. When you did well, you would feel good about yourself — you accomplished something. It just felt good. It was nice to have somewhere to go when everything else was so messed up." As fate would have it, Markos would also meet her future husband, Jeff Thomas, on her wrestling team. Friends during high school, they bumped into each other years later at the Tim Hortons where Markos worked. The two began dating soon after. "(My first impression was) just that I didnt want to lose to her," said Thomas, who admitted Markos would eventually get the better of him on the mat. "Our coach always said, Oh, you better not lose to a girl, and joke around. She was really good, too. It was hard. We were probably in the same weight class and I would try not to lose to her. "I always had a crush on her through wrestling. It never really came out until after, when we met a couple years after high school. We started talking and I told her I had a crush on her the whole time, but didnt know how to approach her." INTRODUCTION TO MMA Following high school, Markos was left without an avenue to continue wrestling.This understandably left a void in her life. Wrestling had helped her through so many rough patches, but it was now no longer an option. It wasnt until she had begun dating Thomas that she was introduced to Brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing and MMA. After seeing him compete in person, she knew shed found a new passion. "I first got into jiu jitsu and it reminded me of wrestling so much," Markos said. "When I finished off wrestling, I wasnt satisfied with how far I took it. I wanted to get out of Windsor and continue with it, see how far I could take it, but I wasnt allowed to leave the city. "When I saw jiu jitsu, it was so similar ... to wrestling. I thought, Lets see how far I can take this sport. Thats when I got into it. My coaches were like, Man, you can take this pretty far. So then I watched him fight and was like, Thats what Im going to do." It didnt take long for Markos to set her sight on the big time. Initially, she aimed to land a fight in Invicta FC, but admitted a UFC contract was always her long-term goal. However, getting noticed proved more difficult than she anticipated. TURNING PRO After assembling an impressive 7-1 amateur record in MMA, Markos decided to go pro in order to secure more fights after a number of opponents fell through. However, this did little to help the problem. It wasnt until she netted a submission win over Allanna Jones in late 2012 in her professional debut that consistent bout offers came across her plate. After going 4-1 as a professional, she now has the opportunity to showcase her skills to a wide audience as a cast member on TUF. Markos said she hopes to use the UFC platform to spread a positive message to those who are struggling with abuse. "It would be nice to hear, I went through the same thing. I took your advice, made it into a positive thing for myself and followed my dreams," said Markos. "Thats want I want to hear, especially from women. I was raised in a family where doing what I do was completely embarrassing and disgusting. You know, Im a woman and Im doing that when I should be getting married and having kids. Were just as good as anybody else. "Just because were Middle Eastern doesnt mean that our options are limited. We have all the options in the world. We just have to step outside of the box theyve created for us and follow our dreams." FAMILY LIFE TODAY Markos dad now lives by himself, away from the rest of his family. While her siblings have opted to essentially distance themselves from their father, she still visits him regularly. Though hes never shown contrition for his actions — and Markos has never forgiven him — she refuses to turn her back on her roots. Shes worked hard to make a better life for herself, but sometimes negative influences can yield positive results. "I dont forgive him for the things that hes done, but hes still my father," Markos said. "Hes been through a lot of stuff in his life. Youve got to be a pretty strong person to overcome all that stuff and come out of it normal. "We stopped him from continuing what he was doing. We got him out of our house and to allow us to live a normal life. Thats all we wanted, but we still care about him. We still love him. My family doesnt really visit him, but I want him to know that we still care about him, even though hes made some bad decisions and done some bad stuff. Hes still my dad." 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DENVER -- Phil Kessel keeps scoring and the Toronto Maple Leafs keep on winning. That four-game skid in early January seems as if its a long time ago. Kessel scored twice, James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist and the Maple Leafs beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win. Nazem Kadri also scored and James Reimer stopped 35 shots for Toronto. Kessel has been one of the hottest players in the league over the past 12 days, and it came at the right time for his team. The Maple Leafs were struggling when Kessel started scoring. He has six goals and eight assists during Torontos winning streak. "With Phil, if he continues to get chances, hes got a history behind him and he knows how to score goals," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. The Maple Leafs are on their longest winning streak in eight years after losing four in a row. Toronto has climbed to fourth in the Eastern Conference during its win streak. The previous time Toronto won six straight was Dec. 23, 2005-Jan. 2, 2006. "Theres a lot more life in the room," defenceman Dion Phaneuf said. "Weve got a confidence in our dressing room that we feel good about ourselves." Kessel was playing for the University of Minnesota during Torontos previous six-game winning streak, but now hes leading the way for the Leafs ahead of the Sochi Olympics next month, where he will be part of Team USA once again. "Were winning, thats the most important thing," Kessel said. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals for the Avalanche, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 19 saves in relief of Semyon Varlamov. "We lost the game in the second period," MacKinnon said. "Their goalie made some good saves for them. Weve been playing well of late, but we cant let this game get us down too much." Colorado generated more early chances but Toronto scored first. Phaneuf sent a puck from his own end off the backboards and Kessel, who got behind the Avalanche defence, put a soft shot past Varlamov 3:56 iinto the game.dddddddddddd "Dion made a good play, I kind of whiffed on it but it went in," Kessel said. The Avalanche failed to capitalize on two early power plays, and the Maple Leafs made it 2-0 on their first try on van Riemsdyks 20th goal at 17:41. Kadri redirected Jake Gardiners shot from the point 2:55 into the second period, giving Toronto a 3-0 lead and chasing Varlamov. Varlamov allowed three goals on 10 shots. "I think Varly was just a bit tired," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I almost took him out after the first period. I didnt see in him the same energy that hes shown since the start of the year. When he gave up that third goal theres no need to push that." Giguere came in and Kessel made it 4-0 with his second of the night and team-leading 26th of the season. He nearly had his second hat trick of the season, but was denied by Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the third. Kessel finished with eight shots on goal. "I had a bunch tonight," Kessel said. "I missed some good chances." Giguere settled down, and the Avalanche finally got on the board when MacKinnon scored on a 2-on-1 break with P.A. Parenteau at 18:35 of the second period. Colorado turned up the pressure in the third and scored again on MacKinnons high wrist shot at 5:07. It was his 17th goal of the season. Colorado pulled Giguere for an extra skater with 2:56 remaining, but Jay McClement scored into the empty net to seal the win. "We played a decent enough of a hockey game to give ourselves a chance," Carlyle said. "The home teams going to come with a push and we withstood that." NOTES: Toronto RW Joffrey Lupul had two assists. ... Kessel extended his point streak to seven games. ... The Avalanche honoured referee Brad Watson before the game. Watson was officiating in his 1,000th NHL game. ... Colorado activated Parenteau and D Nate Guenin from the injured list. Parenteau missed 10 games with a sprained left knee and Guenin was out for seven games with an ankle injury. Cheap Canadiens Jerseys Cheap Predators Jerseys Cheap Devils Jerseys Cheap Islanders Jerseys Cheap Rangers Jerseys Cheap Senators Jerseys Cheap Flyers Jerseys Cheap Penguins Jerseys Cheap Sharks Jerseys Cheap Blues Jerseys Cheap Lightning Jerseys Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys Cheap Canucks Jerseys Cheap Golden Knights Jerseys Cheap Capitals Jerseys Cheap Winnipeg Jets Jerseys ' ' '
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