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European Team of the Week: Ilkay Gundogan and Lionel Messi join hat-trick hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
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Every week we pick 22 of the best performing players in Europe’s top five leagues and, with your help, narrow it down to the best XI. Using polls on our Instagram stories, we pit players in each position against each other and let you decide who deserves to make the cut. Follow our Instagram page to get involved. Here’s what our latest European Team of the Week looks like: GK: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) Earned his 12th clean sheet of the season and Villa a point in difficult circumstances. Brighton were well on top and exerted pressure on his goal, but a stunning nine saves kept them at bay. RB: Matthew Lowton (Burnley) Undoubtedly his best performances of the season, excelling at both ends of the pitch. Lowton made three tackles, three interceptions and five clearances in a fine defensive display but really caught the eye in attack with three key passes and one outstanding volley to score at the end of a superb run. CB: Lucas Martinez Quarta (Fiorentina) Solid at the back and certainly didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side. Stood out with 11 defensive actions in a 2-1 defeat to Sampdoria, including five interceptions and he even managed to hit the woodwork at the other end. CB: Diego Carlos (Sevilla) A rock at the back as Sevilla secured a 1-0 victory at home to Huesca. Made a staggering 11 clearances in the process and was good on the ball, boasting a success rate of 92.7 per cent. LB: Ola Aina (Fulham) Perfect ball across for Josh Maja to score the first goal at the end of a fluid Fulham attack. He put in a shift in defence as well. No one made more than his five clearances during the 2-0 win over Everton. CM: Ilkay Gundogan (Man City) The Premier League’s Player of the Month continued in his rich vein of form. He was excellent in midfield and tormented Tottenham with his well-timed runs forward, bagging a brace. He sat Davinson Sanchez down before slotting home for his second goal. CM: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) Dictated the tempo of the game with his exceptional distribution. The German played 107 passes at 94.4-per-cent accuracy. He picked up an assist for the opener and then passed the ball into the back of the net with ease to get himself on the score sheet as well. CM: Nabil Fekir (Real Betis) Took his goal superbly, showing great strength to hold off the defender before checking back onto his weaker right foot and dispatching the finish with aplomb. He posed a constant threat with a game-high five shots in the 2-1 win at Villarreal. FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Vintage Messi, skipping past challenges and scoring from range. He hammered in his first in emphatic fashion, but his second was a thing of beauty, curling a sublime effort into the corner from the edge of the box with minimal back-lift. He even bagged an assist, by setting up Trincao. FW: Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) Reached 300 goals for club and country by scoring a brace in a 3-1 win over Lazio that fired Inter to the top of Serie A. He made no mistake from the spot and then took advantage of some suspect defending for his second. He then showed immense pace and power to assist Lautaro Martinez on the break. FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) Scored his first Premier League hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Leeds and even hit the woodwork. He cut in expertly to score the opener, converted a penalty and then headed home Emile Smith-Rowe’s cross. Know more about Sport360 Application
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ISL 2020-21 | Odisha FC will go with gameplan to get results, asserts Gerald Peyton
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Odisha FC head coach Gerald Peyton has revealed that they are going with a gameplan when they face FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium, this Wednesday evening. The 'Juggernauts', placed at the bottom of the table, have won just one game in the season and collected 9 points from 17 matches so far.Odisha FC’s Interim Head Coach Gerry Peyton is now ready with a gameplan for the home team FC Goa for their next game in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). Attending the Pre-Match Press Conference ahead of the upcoming match against the Gaurs, he said that it is difficult to play matches in quick succession; however, he will want certain players to be fresh and have legs to do well tomorrow.“They have done well because of which they are at the top of the table. I think all the top teams now, like Mumbai yesterday, are showing little bit of nerves. We will go there with a gameplan to do well and get a result,” the 64-year-old professional explained.“I think it’s (playing back-to-back games) very difficult because we only finished last night going through all the details. Now I am starting to prepare for the training today with all the information how we are going to play against Goa. That sort of things – quick succession of games, the physical demands on the players, who is fit and who is not fit, having players fit…. Like last game, I rested Diego (Mauricio) thinking he comes on second half and then I want him fresh for the game against Goa. I want Diego to score two or three goals against Goa. I know I am asking too much, I always ask too much. I want Brad (Inman) fresh and I want certain payers fresh so that we have legs to do well against Goa.”Elaborating more about Odisha FC’s plan, he mentioned, “When you look at the second half against NorthEast, we had a high percentage of passing, higher than them. We also had 81% accuracy of pass and against Goa, they are a good passing team. I know their tactics; I know how they will play against us. We will play in a certain way. After 15 minutes, we seem to settle down and then start to pass or we start to get our game together. This is going to be important that we start straight from the off.”With three games to go for the Kalinga Warriors in the seventh season of the League, Coach Peyton, who had joined before the start of the season as an Assistant Coach, said that he is now preparing the team for the next ISL season. “We are now preparing Odisha for next season. What I have said to the players is – This is your challenge. If you want to be successful next season then you have to prepare now for next season. Everything you do now is in preparation to get off to a winning start next season. If you don’t prepare now and let this season go, you are still in that state of mind when you start next season. These three games are very important,” the former Arsenal Coach asserted. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Lahore Qalandars appoint Shaheen Shah as vice-captain for PSL 6
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Karachi: Lahore Qalandars have appointed pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi as the vice-captain for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six. The 20-year-old Shaheen has been with the Qalandars since the third edition of the PSL and has emerged as the core member of the franchise. Aaqib Javed, LQ’s director of Cricket said that Shaheen Shah Afridi is face of Lahore Qalandars. His dedication towards Qalandars’ mindset is remarkable. “Shaheen Afridi is a world class cricketer with exceptional bowling skills, his commitment and dedication for the team is unmatched and he is keen to take the team to the next level” said Aqib Javed. Shaheen Afridi, in his message, thanked the Lahore Qalandars management and aimed to contribute towards team’s success. “I am thankful to Lahore Qalandars’ management for this opportunity and really looking forward to play my part in success of Lahore Qalandars team” said Shaheen Afridi in his message. Shaheen has taken 34 wickets in 27 matches. He was Qalandars’ leading-wicket taker of PSL 2020. Read: Multan Sultans announce Mohammad Rizwan as captain for PSL 6 Comments comments Previous articlePakistani mountaineer Asad climbs Africa’s highest peak within 24 hours
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Jalen Green leads Ignite to 4-0 start in NBA G League
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Team Ignite’s Jalen Green. G LEAGUE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines — Jalen Green sustained his torrid start to lead Team Ignite’s comeback win over the Iowa Wolves, 97-90, in the NBA G League Tuesday at AdventHealth Arena in Florida. The 6-foot-6 Fil-American fired a career-high 22 points as Ignite stretched its unbeaten run to four games. He has now scored at least 20 points for the third straight game. Green, who also collected six rebounds and five assists, capped off his solid outing with a layup for a 96-90 lead with 12.2 seconds left. #GLeagueIgnite remains undefeated at 4-0 take a look inside its hot start as told by head coach Brian Shaw pic.twitter.com/MVggNlGLR7 — NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 16, 2021 Ignite trailed by as many as 11 early in the fourth quarter before going on a 25-7 run to take control of the game. Donta Hall added 12 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for Ignite, which still awaits the arrival of Filipino center Kai Sotto. UNCERTAIN However, coach Brian Shaw said he doesn’t have a say yet on whether Sotto will be able to play right away when he returns. “That’ll be something that will be determined by the people that are above my paygrade,” said Shaw during a media availability. Sotto came back to the Philippines hoping to suit up for the national team in the third and final window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers in Doha this month. But the tournament was postponed again with the Philippines back as the host. The 7-foot-3 Sotto is expected to rejoin Ignite in the G League’s bio-secure facility in Orlando as soon as he clears strict quarantine measures. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Packers: 3 moves Green Bay can make thanks to David Bakhtiari
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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – DECEMBER 06: David Bakhtiari #69 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field on December 06, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)Restructuring David Bakhtiari’s contract will give the Packers over $8 million in additional salary cap room in 2021. What will Green Bay do with it?David Bakhtiari isn’t giving any money back to the Packers over the long haul, but his decision to convert a roster bonus into a signing bonus is giving Green Bay approximately $8.3 million more in 2021 cap space to work with. The pressure is now on the team’s front office to use the money to get Bakhtiari and his teammates back to the Super Bowl.Packers fans shouldn’t get too excited. This move won’t permit Green Bay to become massive spenders in free agency. At the moment, they’re still projected to be over the 2021 salary cap. Bakhtiari’s move gives the team some much-needed breathing room, but it won’t be enough to allow them to reel in a big-time free agent.This piece identifies three impactful moves the Packers can now make after the Bakhtiari news. None projects to be an absolute game-changer for Green Bay, but both could be very helpful in the team’s pursuit to give Aaron Rodgers one more shot at winning a Lombardi Trophy.The #Packers recently created about $8.3M in cap space by converting LT David Bakhtiari’s more than $11M roster bonus into a signing bonus and spreading it out over the length of the contract. He’ll make the same as before, but it gives GB some room to operate.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 13, 20213. Make J.J. Watt a competitive offerOver a dozen NFL teams have already expressed interest in Watt after the Texans’ decision to let him go. Predictably, the Packers are one of the interested parties.The $8 million and change saved via the Bakhtiari deal isn’t going to be enough to land Watt, but it gets Green Bay within range to land the veteran edge rusher. It’s unlikely that he’s going to make his decision based purely on money, but Green Bay still needs to make a credible offer if they want to fend off the competition. This move gives the Packers a chance to bring Watt home in free agency.
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Pakistani mountaineer Asad climbs Africa’s highest peak within 24 hours
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Karachi: Asad Ali Memon has become the first Asian and Pakistani to summit Mount Kilimanjaro within 24 hours. In an Instagram post, the 23-year-old Asad revealed that it took him 20 hours to complete the summit and return back to the gate. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa is 5,895 meters high, and it takes climbers five to seven days to reach the summit. On the historic occasion, Pakistan High Commission in Tanzania shared the achievement on its Facebook page while and Pakistani Ambassador to Tanzania Muhammad Saleem also congratulated Asad, who hails from Larkana. “He reached the Mweka gate (finish point) at midnight (February 15-16 night) after climbing Uhuru peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in United Republic of Tanzania within 20 hours,” press release. “He had started from the Umbwe Gate (start point) very early morning on February 15, 2021 and taken the most challenging route to the summit. His mission to traverse the summit and return within one day (24 hours) has been achieved well within the time limit despite being a snowy and rainy weather during the day,” it added. Previously, Asad had successfully climbed Russia’s Mount Elbrus and Argerntine’s Mount Aconcagua, which is the highest peak in the American region. He also hoisted the Pakistani flag at its top. Mount Kilimanjaro is the third mountain of Asad’s ‘Seven Summit Challenge’. Comments comments
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WPT GTO Trainer Hands of the Week: Battling the Big Blind
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February 16 2021 LearnWPT With a 100 big blind effective stack, you open-raise to 3bbs in the Cutoff seat and get called by the player in the Big Blind. This scenario shows a common spot where you are in position against a tough opponent in the Big Blind on the flop after you were the preflop aggressor. Against a less-skilled opponent automatically c-betting a standard size is often the best play. These types of opponents are less likely to put pressure on your c-bets by making moves on the flop. Against tougher players you’ll need to focus on board texture to determine the best continuation bet sizing and identify flops where checking behind will be the best play. Generally you can use smaller c-bet sizes on dry, static flops that don’t have many equity changing turn cards. For example, larger c-bet sizing is not required on a flop of rainbow. On more coordinated boards that still favor you as the raiser, such as with a flush draw, you can use a larger c-bet sizing. Tough opponents will have robust check-raising ranges as part of their overall Big Blind Defense strategy, so be aware of not over folding hands with too much equity when your c-bet gets check-raised. You will often be put to tough decisions with marginal hands, with the correct decision often coming down to understanding the effects of blockers. If you hold cards that interfere with your opponent’s ability to have strong hands, you should be more likely to call down in the hand. If your cards interfere with their ability to have bluffs, you should be more likely to fold. For more GTO hand analysis, you can play through five solved random hands from this situation. To access the free five hands, visit this page. Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy. You don’t have to be the world’s best player to use GTO Strategy, and thanks to the WPT GTO Trainer, now you don’t have to buy expensive software or have expert level knowledge to study GTO. Why use the WPT GTO Trainer? The WPT GTO Trainer lets you play real solved hands against a perfect opponent in a wide variety of postflop scenarios for cash game and tournament play. If your goal is to be a tough poker player then you should try the WPT GTO Trainer today. Register a free account here (it only takes your e-mail address to begin) to play hands and see true GTO strategy in real-time. The WPT GTO Trainer has over 4 billion unique solved flops, turns and rivers that are fully playable. As you make decisions in a hand, you receive instant feedback on the specific EV loss (if any) and Played Percentage for every action you take as compared to GTO strategy. The full selection of scenarios for the WPT GTO Trainer are only available to members of LearnWPT, however we’re giving PokerNews Readers free access to the Trainer on a regular basis with the WPT GTO Hands of The Week. Use this series of articles to practice the strategies you learn on LearnWPT (or at the table) and test your progress by playing a five-hand sample each week.
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WATCH: Pacquiao flashes hand speed as apparent ring return nears
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FILE PHOTO– Manny Pacquiao Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao showed a glimpse of what boxing fans have been missing since he last made an appearance in the ring 19 months ago. The Filipino boxing legend on Monday posted a video of himself on social media flashing his killer hand speed and footwork as he makes his seemingly impending ring return later this year. “Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight,” said Pacquiao in the caption. Month by month, week by week, day by day. Always focused and ready to fight. #TeamPacquiao 👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/wJCKMkGnCa — Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 15, 2021 Pacquiao has been idle since his impressive win over Keith Thurman back in July 2019 in Las Vegas for the WBA (Super) welterweight title. The 42-year-old, whose inactivity largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic was relegated by the WBA as its “champion in recess,” is reportedly in talks for a fight against phenom Ryan Garcia. In a separate post last week, Pacquiao hinted at a “big news coming soon” that had fight fans speculating about his next bout. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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Thurston weighing up return to Maroons
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Johnathan Thurston says he'll strongly consider joining Queensland's State of Origin coaching staff if offered a role for the 2021 series.The Maroons legend, who made 37 Origin appearances is widely tipped to serve as an assistant under newly appointed Queensland coach Paul Green."Once you're in it it's very consuming, I love the Maroon jersey everything about it, so yeah if I get asked yeah I'd certainly consider it," Thurston said.JT toasts the aggression reignited into Origin: JT's Roast and Toast"I've got to talk to the boss first because four young kids at home, eight, six, four and two this year they are. The eight-year-old is going on 18 so it's tough times for the wife."Thurston and Green combined as captain and coach to deliver the Cowboys' first NRL premiership in 2015 and JT believes his former mentor will make a seamless transition into Origin."There's been a lot of talk about his intensity and things like that, but it's State of Origin, it's the best players you're working with," Thurston said."It's about making sure everyone understands their role in the team and that's what he brought to the Cowboys. "He's one of the best footy brains going round Greeny, so I'm predicting our boys will go back-to-back with him at the helm."  What Origin means to QueenslandersThurston's home town of Townsville will host the first major match of the year when the NRL All Stars game kicks off on Saturday and he's advocating for North Queensland to stage a State of Origin match as well. "Yeah 100 percent. Not only can we hopefully attract an Origin game but hopefully we can attract teams from other codes to come and play because it's a world class stadium it's a world class high performance centre ... so that's what we want."For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!
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Meet America’s 63rd National Park
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As Americans continue to weather the pandemic, the $2.3 trillion coronavirus relief and spending bill passed by the federal government in December brought an unexpected and lasting gift: a new national park.The 5,593-page spending package included a raft of provisions authorizing little-known projects — the construction of the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota, for one — and giving lawmakers a chance to advance a variety of long-delayed initiatives. Among them was the elevation of the New River Gorge, in southern West Virginia, to the status of Yellowstone, Yosemite and the country’s other most renowned outdoor spaces. The designation of the area — roughly 72,000 acres of land flanking 53 miles of the gorge — as a national park and preserve creates the 63rd national park in the United States and completes a multigenerational effort, started in the mid-twentieth century, to transform a tired industrial area into a national landmark.“Towards the end of this year, with these big bills coming down, I decided to strike,” said Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican and the state’s junior senator, who, along with Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, introduced the New River Gorge legislation in 2019.“This was the right opportunity,” she said.A draw for rafters, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiastsThe gorge and its surroundings have been prized for decades as one of southern West Virginia’s more spectacular natural places.In 1963, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed a resolution seeking to designate the New River Gorge as a “national playground,” preparing to send the proposal to President John F. Kennedy, whose primary campaign was lifted substantially through support from West Virginia voters. But momentum to create a national recreation area stalled after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination later that year.Though the gorge remained a curiosity among rafters and outdoor enthusiasts, the area only received federal protection from the Interior Department in 1978, when it was designated a national river.Now, the outdoor offerings in the gorge have come to define the area as a premier destination for adventure sports in the East.The New River plunges 750 feet over 66 miles, resulting in long stretches of violent rapids that can reach a class five level, generally considered the most difficult that can be navigated by white-water boaters. (Licensed outfitters operate in several towns near the river, providing rentals and tours for rafting and kayaking.)The canyon walls, which soar as high as 1,600 feet, offer miles of cliffs that rank among the best in the East Coast for rock climbing. Sheer faces in the gorge made of robust Nuttall sandstone provide both traditional and sport-climbing routes across the difficulty spectrum.Bike routes are scattered throughout the park on both sides of the river, with options for both technical mountain biking and more casual pedaling along former railroad beds.A glimpse back in timeAccording to the National Park Service, geologists believe the New River — its name a misnomer used by early American explorers who often assigned the same name to any river they came upon for the first time — was a segment of the preglacial Teays River. This larger river, which traversed much of the current Ohio River watershed, was later diverted and broken up by glaciers. The age of the Teays is uncertain, but fossil evidence suggests it could be as much as 320 million years old, leaving its remnant, the New River, as quite possibly the second oldest river in the world.Beyond the millions of years of geological history on display, the gorge is also filled with signs of the region’s heritage as a major coal production hub.Miners once capitalized on the easy access to rich deposits of high-quality bituminous coal in the canyon, where the river had already shorn through hundreds of feet of rock. Especially after the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway linked the New River coal fields to markets in 1873, dozens of boom towns popped up along the river’s edge, thriving well into the 1920s.In 1963, a coal mine was still operating in the gorge, said Dave Arnold, a state tourism commissioner who operated a rafting company for more than 40 years.“In ’76 or ’77, if you were in my boat, we’d have been floating down the river and I would have been showing you, ‘here’s an old coal tipple, here’s the old hotel at Caperton, here’s this and that,’” he said.The demand for coal around the turn of the twentieth century was so high that towns existed every half mile along up the river, according to the Park Service. As the industry went into decline, however, by the 1950s many were already abandoned, leaving ghost towns scattered throughout the gorge. Additionally, logging during the late nineteenth century stripped vast portions of the gorge bare, clearing enormous swaths of virgin forest.The park contains the remnants of communities such as Nuttallburg and Kaymoor, which still stand near the riverbank and are accessible from points higher up. Seams of exposed coal are visible along some trails leading into the gorge and its towns, where abandoned mine portals and the foundations of coke ovens remain.Restoring an ecosystem with diverse wildlifeDespite the environmental degradation and pollution that industry unleashed, some unique ecological features make the gorge well-suited to a diverse combination of wildlife, which has slowly reappeared as time has passed.The river lies at the center of a migration corridor where plants and animals that typically range further north or south come together, including several federally endangered and threatened species, such as the Virginia big-eared bat and the Allegheny woodrat.According to Lizzie Watts, the park’s superintendent, the river itself is also notably warmer than surrounding areas, making it a popular warm-water fishing destination with more than a dozen public access points. The river is one of the premier spots for smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast, and muskellunge and walleye are common in the park today.“The next generation will have the opportunity to see what, in the last 150 years, it looks like when an area goes from being logged and mined to left alone,” Ms. Watts said. “The ecosystem has come back to full trees and mature forests.”As federal protections took effect after the Park Service began overseeing the area as a national river in 1978, wildlife has largely recovered, and many see an opportunity to showcase the region’s natural elegance.“To show off our rock climbing, our extreme sports availabilities in that area, is just really exciting,” said Ms. Capito of what she described as a “kind of wild and wonderful part of our state.” ‘The cream of the crop’The National Park Service, created in 1916, oversees more than 400 areas across the country, including national monuments, seashores and battlefields as well as parks, which together total more than 85 million acres.While the new title for New River Gorge does not fundamentally alter the area’s day-to-day operations, both lawmakers and the Park Service tend to view “national parks” as the crown jewels of the park system — a protection granted to some of the largest and most prized tracts of the country.“National Park status is usually considered like the cream of the crop,” Ms. Watts said. “But it really is just another one of those names.”The New River Gorge does not match the scale of many national parks in the western United States, where Death Valley, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone sprawl over more than 1 million acres each.Nevertheless, officials expect the new designation to bring a substantial influx of travelers, boosted in part by a dedicated set of enthusiasts who strive to visit every national park.In typical years, around 1.3 million travelers visit the gorge, according to the Park Service’s tourism data. Based on studies of other areas that received national park status, Ms. Capito said she expects to see visitors increase by as much as 20 percent.“It does feel like the very beginning stages of transformation for the whole area,” said Becky Sullivan, the executive director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I’ll be very, very interested to see where we are in about 10 years.”Maintaining the community and its favored pastimesAs unique outdoor attractions throughout the Appalachian region have gained more national visibility, some concern has grown over the idea of a wealthy and mobile set from out of state trampling the communities adjacent to these places.West Virginia remains the second-poorest state in the country in terms of median household income, according to data collected by the United States Census Bureau. And while tourism has brought a needed injection of wealth to areas all around the gorge, it has also changed the makeup of neighboring communities, as more people have come to visit the park or settle down near it.Interest in the natural offerings around the park has brought slow but measurable change for small towns nearby like Fayetteville. Officials say that the advent of remote work during the pandemic has only hastened a trend of properties in the area being repurposed for vacation rentals and outsiders snapping up second homes.“You cannot find a house for sale in Fayetteville, because they’re just in such high demand,” said Sharon Cruikshank, the town’s mayor. “So that definitely changed the budgeting of the town as well as the county.”When legislation was first introduced to designate the area as a national park, pushback came from some locals. Hunters have long enjoyed access to secluded sections of woods around the gorge, and with hunting prohibited in federal parks, some protested the potential loss of thousands of acres of hunting grounds.In a compromise, more than 65,000 acres of the total area were designated as a nature preserve where hunting can continue as before, and only roughly 7,000 acres directly within the canyon are officially off limits as national parkland. A provision was included to empower the park to acquire more than 3,000 acres of private land around its current boundaries as well, to expand the size of the preserve and add public hunting grounds.In a nod to tradition, the legislation also enshrines the right for visitors to continue to make use of one of the park’s most famous features — the New River Gorge Bridge — at least once a year.BASE jumping, an extreme sport in which jumpers parachute from elevated structures or cliffs, is banned in every other national park.But, since 1980, BASE jumpers have been permitted to plunge from the top of the 876-foot-high bridge and parachute down toward the river once a year, on Bridge Day, held one Saturday in October. The legislation designating the area as a national park allows that tradition to continue.As many as 100,000 people typically come to watch the jumpers plunge, according to Ms. Sullivan, providing a major boost for businesses in the region. The event has only been canceled twice, including last year because of the coronavirus.Bridge Day’s organizers advise jumpers that the only dependable way to touch down safely is to plan to land directly in the river. In normal years, hundreds do so, often multiple times that day, gliding down and softly hitting the New River’s waters.
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