black lives matter

'There comes a time when silence is betrayal': Serena Williams speaks out against racism in policing

In her Facebook post, the tennis champion quoted Martin Luther King and described her experience of a police vehicle pulling up next to hers.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams on Tuesday voiced her fears about the United States' race problems and spoke out against police killings of African Americans. In a Facebook post, she promised to be more vocal on the subject and quoted Martin Luther King by saying, “'There comes a time when silence is betrayal’. I won’t be silent.”

Williams said that earlier in the day, she had seen a police vehicle pull up next to their car while her nephew, who is black, was driving with her in the passenger’s seat. She said this brought back memories of Philando Castile, who was shot dead in front of his girlfriend after being pulled over by the police. The Castile incident came to light after his girlfriend made a Facebook Live video in the aftermath of the incident. Williams wrote, “I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all ‘the others’.”

Williams is not the first sportsperson to have voiced their protest against racism in policing. On Monday, basketball champion LeBron James said he feared for the lives of his children, reported The Guardian. In August, footballer Colin Kaepernick refused to stand up during the national anthem to mark his protest against “a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. Later, many more players of the National Football League joined in, reported The Guardian.

Williams’ post assumes significance in the backdrop of the killing of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. In July, three police officers were killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after a resident from Missouri opened fire at them to protest the death of an African-American at the hands of the local police. According to BBC, around 214 black people have been killed by the United States Police this year.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.