For Bosnian fans, Dzeko is a man for great moments

first_img“People love him because he has proved that it is possible to succeed even from this country as it is,” his friend Jasmin Ligata, 32, told AFP.“Because he always stayed there with his heart and with his soul.”Dzeko is one of Sarajevo’s ‘war children’.The day after scoring what would prove to be a crucial away goal at Barcelona in the quarter-finals, Dzeko posted on Facebook, not about the match but about the anniversary of the start of the siege of his home town, which began on April 5, 1992, when he had just turned six.The siege lasted almost four years.“In a city where you didn’t know if you were going to see your best friend tomorrow, whether you’d hug your father or your mother again, whether you’d open your eyes or even go out to play with your friends, I spent every one of those 1,425 days under siege,” Dzeko wrote.Bombs rained down, Serbian snipers spared no-one. Of the estimated 11,000 deaths, between 1,500 and 1,600 were children.– ‘I survived’ –“I was lucky and I survived, while many of my peers were wounded or are no longer with us,” he added. “To them in remembrance, I dedicate my goal against Barcelona in the Champions League.”Dzeko’s parents still live in Sarajevo, a city even now dealing with the shadow of the siege.The Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed during Siege opened in a city park in 2010 carrying the engraved names of victims that relatives come and touch. The War Childhood Museum opened in the town last year.Even amid the violence, the young Dzeko went out to play in their neighbourhood of Otoka.“When he went out to play football,” his mother Belma recalled in 2010, “I was very scared.“I did not forbid him to go out to play, even if it was crazy. He was playing all the time, the war meant nothing to him.”One day, she did say no.“He was crying, it hurt me.” But, she said, “a shell fell exactly where Edin played with other children, there were dead, wounded”.Although he’s gone on to play in some of Europe’s biggest football league’s, Dzeko has never forgotten his humble beginnings.“Edin was often there when we needed him the most,” said Ligata, a Bosnian sports press advisor who ran through a list of the times when Dzeko showed an uncanny ability to make unlikely triumphs possible.There was the 92nd minute equaliser against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 that made possible the 3-2 victory that won Manchester City’s first English title since 1968. There were the 26 goals in 2008/09 that propelled Wolfsburg to their only Bundesliga title.– ‘Great moments’ –Even though Sergio Aguero and Grafite might have caught the eye in those teams, Ligata says Dzeko “is somehow predestined for great moments”.Few moments have been greater than Roma’s quarter-final comeback against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona at the start of April, when the Italians kicked off at the Stadio Olimpico trailing by three goals on aggregate, as they will against Liverpool on Wednesday.Dzeko had given his team hope by scoring an 80th minute away goal at the Camp Nou before fanning the flames of an unlikely comeback with a sixth-minute opener in the second leg.He won a penalty converted by Danielo De Rossi on 58 minutes before Kostas Manolas completed the remarkable turnaround eight minutes from time.Dzeko also started Roma’s fightback from five goals down at Anfield last week with an 81st minute strike.At Zeljeznicar, the Sarajevo club where Dzeko started, his signature is on a wall and his name on a seat plaque, recognitions of donations to the renovation of a stadium which, during the war, was on the front line.His first coach at Zeljeznicar, Jusuf Sehovic, remembers a little boy “interested only in going for goal… who kept calling for the ball” and was driven by “the will to work and the ambition to succeed”.An old friend, Mirza Trbonja, 32, remembers the day in 2005 when he drove Dzeko to the airport to leave for Czech club Teplice.“He was the same man then that he is today,” said Trbonja.These days, though, when Dzeko flies back to his home town, he returns as a star.Edin Dzeko scored twice and won a crucial penalty in the Champions League against Barcelona © AFP/File / Isabella BONOTTO“When he comes, you need a lasoo to catch 10 minutes with him,” added Trbonja. “When someone asks him for a photo or autograph, he never refuses.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Edin Dzeko gave Roma some hope when he scored at Anfield © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFSARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 1 – Roma supporters may harbour only slim hopes their team can once again overturn a three-goal Champions League deficit, but Bosnian fans of Edin Dzeko are convinced their hero will once again rise to the challenge.In Bosnia, Roma striker Dzeko is known as the “Dijamant” — diamond.last_img read more

Japan pioneers use of robotics in caregiving

first_imgTOKYO – If you grow old in Japan, expect to be served food by a robot, ride a voice-recognition wheelchair or even possibly hire a nurse in a robotic suit – all examples of cutting-edge technology to care for the country’s rapidly graying population. With nearly 22 percent of Japan’s population already age 65 or older, businesses here have been rolling out everything from easy-entry cars to remote-controlled beds, fueling a care technology market worth some $1.08 billion in 2006, according to industry figures. At a home care and rehabilitation convention in Tokyo this week, buyers crowded around a demonstration of Secom Co.’s My Spoon feeding robot, which helps elderly or disabled people eat with a spoon- and fork-fitted swiveling arm. Operating a joystick with his chin, developer Shigehisa Kobayashi maneuvered the arm toward a block of silken tofu, deftly getting the fork to break off a bite-sized piece. The arm then returned to a preprogrammed position in front of the mouth, allowing Kobayashi to bite and swallow. A rubber and nylon “muscle suit” developed by the Tokyo University of Science helps keep the elderly active by providing support for the upper body, arms and shoulders. Powered by air pressure actuators, the prototype suit – which looks like an oversized life jacket – provides subtle backing to help older people lift heavy objects. The intelligent wheelchair TAO Aicle from Fujitsu Ltd. and Aisin Seiki Co. uses a positioning system to automatically travel to a preset destination, and uses sensors to detect and stop at red lights and to avoid obstacles. Another wheelchair designed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology responds to oral commands like “forward” and “back,” “right” and “left.” Then there are cars designed for easy entry for the wheelchair-bound or those with difficulty walking, like Toyota Motor Corp.’s Welcab series. Its slogan: “A car that’s more patient than your daughter.” Tired? Retire to a Lowland futon bed by Kaneshiro Tsuhso Inc. that can be adjusted into a reclining seat. And there’s help for caregivers, too. A full-body robotic suit developed by the Kanagawa Institute of Technology outside Tokyo is a massive contraption powered by 22 air pumps to help nurses hoist patients on and off their beds. Sensors attached to the user’s skin detects when muscles are trying to lift something heavy – and signals to the air pumps to kick in to provide support. Though the suit makes its wearer look a little like Robocop, a student who was easily lifted off a table in a demonstration said he felt comfortable during the test. “It doesn’t feel at all like I’m being lifted by a robot,” he said. “This feels so comfortable and very human.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“It’s all about empowering people to help themselves,” Kobayashi said. The Tokyo-based company has already sold 300 of the robots, which come with a price tag of $3,500. “We want to give the elderly control over their own lives,” he said. The rapidly aging population here has spurred a spate of concerns: a labor shortage, tax shortfalls, financial difficulties in paying the health bills and pensions of large numbers of elderly. Moreover, a breakdown of family ties in recent years means a growing number of older Japanese are spending their golden years away from the care traditionally provided by children and grandchildren. That’s where cutting-edge technology steps in. last_img read more