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Team GB synchro diving pairs confirmed for Paris 2024

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Team GB synchro diving pairs confirmed for Paris 2024
Scarlett Mew Jensen, Noah Williams, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Anthony Harding, Yasmin Harper, Lois Toulson and Jack Laugher have been selected as part of Team GB for Paris 2024.

Olympic Champions Tom Daley and Jack Laugher are among the first eight divers today confirmed to represent Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as part of the synchronised diving pairing selections.

Following their World Championship silver medal together in Doha in February, Daley and Noah Williams are selected for the Men’s 10m Synchro. Sixteen years on from his Olympic debut in Beijing, Daley, who will be competing at his fifth Olympic Games, will be looking to defend the Men’s 10m Synchro title he won with Matty Lee back in Tokyo, having previously claimed bronze alongside Daniel Goodfellow at the Rio Games.

In the Women’s 10m Synchro, Lois Toulson, who is heading to her third Olympics, and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix will combine off the back of historic podium finishes at the last two World Championships, a statistic matched by Women’s 3m Synchro pairing Yasmin Harper, who will be making her Olympic debut and Scarlett Mew-Jensen.

Anthony Harding, who will also be making his Olympic debut in Paris, will partner Rio 2016 Champion Jack Laugher in the Men’s 3m Synchro, the duo having won two World Championship silvers and European and Commonwealth titles over the last two years. Laugher, whose Olympic debut came at London 2012, won this event in Rio with Chris Mears, and like Daley, has also won two individual medals at previous Games.

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England commented: “Congratulations to the first eight divers selected to Team GB for Paris 2024. All four pairs have proven that they can challenge for podium places on the world stage, and it is fantastic to see the calibre of diving athletes getting stronger and stronger with each Games.

“There is also a fantastic mix of youth and experience within the squad, and I am delighted to welcome Olympic Champions Jack and Tom back to Team GB for a fourth and fifth Games respectively. Congratulations to Tom in particular who becomes the first British diver to compete at five Olympic Games, a remarkable achievement.”

Speaking on the first eight divers selected to this Team GB diving team, Aquatics GB Associate Performance Director Tim Jones said: “We are very pleased to be able to confirm this group of athletes on to the team as we build towards Paris, where we are looking to capitalise on the strong foundations we have created in this Olympic cycle.

“Thanks to the fantastic work of each of these eight athletes, their coaches and the world-class support staff working with them on a daily basis, we put in performances at last year’s World Championships in Fukuoka and this year’s event in Doha that ensured GB will have a full cohort of synchro pairings involved across the programme in Paris – and we know that, on the back of those performances, plus more recent results at top-level international competitions and the work that we see going in day in and day out in training, that each pair will be pushing for podium contention in the summer.

“It is also testament to this programme, and the ongoing support of key stakeholders Team GB, UK Sport and The National Lottery, that this team includes Tom Daley heading to his fifth Olympics, Jack Laugher preparing for his fourth and Lois Toulson gearing up for her third Games – this is impressive longevity in any sport, but particularly one as demanding as diving. Equally, it is always exciting to see athletes building up to their Olympic debut, and we are looking forward to seeing Yasmin Harper and Anthony Harding make those hard-earned bows in Paris.”

Reflecting on the ongoing successes of this group of athletes, Aquatics GB Diving Head Coach Alexei Evangulov added: “At two consecutive World Championships, we have seen our pairs confidently take places on the podium. As well as that, for the first time in our history, our female synchro pairs won World Championship medals in 2023 – and they did so again at the Worlds earlier this year. This success across the pairings has continued at the World Aquatics Diving World Cup series, taking place over the past two months.”

Team GB Synchronised Diving Athletes:

Women’s 3m Synchro
Yasmin Harper (Sheffield Diving Club) & Scarlett Mew Jensen (British Diving Performance Centre London) 

Men’s 3m Synchro
Anthony Harding (British Diving Performance Centre Leeds) and Jack Laugher (British Diving Performance Centre Leeds) 

Women’s 10m Synchro
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (British Diving Performance Centre London) & Lois Toulson (British Diving Performance Centre Leeds) 

Men’s 10m Synchro
Tom Daley (British Diving Performance Centre London / UCLA) & Noah Williams (British Diving Performance Centre London) 

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Cannes opens with French comedy and honorary award for Meryl Streep

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Actress Juliette Binoche hands an award to Meryl Steep
Meryl Streep receives a honorary Palme D’Or from Juliette Binoche | Photo: Andrea Rentz

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival officially opened last night with Quentin Dupieux’s Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act), and an honorary Palme d’Or awarded to American actress Meryl Streep.

Presented Out of Competition as a world premiere on the Croisette last night, May 14, this four-part comedy was also released in all French cinemas on the same day. The film stars Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard playing squabbling actors filming a movie produced and directed by artificial intelligence.

The opening ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, hosted at the  Grand Théâtre Lumière, also had American actress Meryl Streep as a guest of honour.

Streep received the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’or, 35 years after winning the Best Actress award for Evil Angels, her only appearance in Cannes until last night.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ’Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast,″ added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long,” said the three time Oscar award-winning actress.

Last year French Film director Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for her murder mystery film “Anatomy of a Fall” becoming the third female filmmaker ever to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1955. 

The 77th Cannes Film Festival is set to run until May 25th, when the Palme d’Or winners will be revealed, 2024.

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films

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Exhibition in Madrid reveals science and technology behind Pixar’s films
The Science Behind Pixar can be seen at CaixaForum Madrid until 8 September.

CaixaForum Madrid is currently hosting The Science Behind Pixar exhibition, created by the Museum of Science, Boston, in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. The exhibition is divided into eight sections, corresponding to the steps in the process Pixar uses to transform an idea into a film. With specific examples from some of their most famous films, the public will be able to experiment with the techniques behind the modelling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering of animated films.

This is the third collaboration between the ”la Caixa” Foundation and Pixar Studios. In 2015, Pixar: 25 Years of Animation, represented a thorough review of this pioneering company’s work in computer animation in its 25 years of history. Subsequently, Pixar, Building Characters (which has travelled to five CaixaForums since 2020) focused on the visual design of the Pixar characters to best transmit the story and fit in with the other elements of the film. Now, the eight sections of The Science Behind Pixar will give visitors an insight into every stage of the technical process used by Pixar’s artists and computer scientists

The aim of the new exhibition is to peel away, layer by layer and in a way that is attractive for all audiences, the scientific, computer and mathematical concepts that lie behind our favourite Pixar characters. To do this, the exhibition is organised into eight sections, each of which explains in depth one specific step of Pixar’s technical process: Modelling, which allows characters to be created in 3D; Rigging, in which the virtual bones, muscles and joints are developed; design of Surfaces and Sets; Animation, which brings the story to life; Simulation, which provides automated movements; Lighting, which enhances the emotional impact, and Rendering, which turns 3D scenes into 2D images.

Throughout 815 square metres in CaixaForum Madrid, visitors will learn about all these steps that Pixar pays passionate attention to in order to bring its worlds and characters to life. Dozens of interactive and audiovisual elements will reveal what is hidden behind Pixar films, from the first-ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story – which opened over two decades ago, to the release of Turning Red.

To better understand the science and maths that go into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will see audiovisuals and hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements.

In the Sets & Cameras section, for example, visitors will discover how camera placement and angles created a bug’s-eye view for A Bug’s Life; in Modelling, they will try their hand at creating a digital sculpture from an artist’s sketch and in Lighting they will use lights to solve challenges similar to ones Pixar faced in creating underwater scenes with virtual light in Finding Nemo. The exhibition route also includes human-size recreations of many Pixar film characters, such as Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story), Dory (Finding Nemo), Mike and Sulley (Monsters, Inc.), Edna Mode (The Incredibles) and WALL·E (from the film of the same name).

Throughout the months that the exhibition will remain at CaixaForum Madrid, the ”la Caixa” Foundation will be offering various activities to bring the art and science of Pixar closer to all audiences. In addition, the general public can take a guided tour and families can choose between the family tour and the animated stories workshop-tour, where visitors can make a short, animated clip to understand all the phases of the creative process after visiting the exhibition.

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Switzerland wins Eurovision song contest with non-binary singer

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Non-binary singer Nemo, winner of the Eurovision 2024
Singer Nemo performed ‘The Code’ for Switzerland | Photo: Alma Bengtsson

After the very last set of scores had come in, The Code, performed by rapper Neno, was announced as the clear champion of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 with a points tally of 591 and a lead of 44 points. 

Croatia finished in second place with Rim Tim Tagi Dim by Baby Lasagna on 547 points. The other spot on the podium finish went to Ukraine, ending up in third place thanks to alyona alyona & Jerry Heil with their song Teresa & Maria, on 453 points.

Scores on the night were awarded in two stages, as is traditional at the Eurovision Song Contest. The first results to come in were from the juries, followed by the reveal of the public vote.

Once the initial points from 37 juries had come in, Switzerland already had secured the lead on the scoreboard with 365 points.

Nemo is the first nonbinary artist to win Eurovision.

“I’m mostly just really grateful for this experience and all the friends I’ve made along the way. This was one of the most queer representations we’ve seen at Eurovision which was amazing, I want to shout out all the other queer artists this year,” said the artist who was born in Biel, a small bilingual town in Switzerland.

Nemo’s triumph in Malmö is Switzerland’s third win at the Eurovision Song Contest to date, following victory by Lys Assia in 1956 and Céline Dion in 1988.

Switzerland first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956, winning the very first edition of the competition, which it also hosted. 

It has been a controversial year for the song contest festival launched in 1956. For weeks, the question of whether Israel should be allowed to compete or not while engaged in a military conflict in Gaza dominated the media surrounding the event and attracted pro-Palestine activists to the Swedish city of Malmö. Eden Golan, a 20-year old singer representing Israel, was booed during a dress rehearsal; It has been reported that she was confined to her hotel room, while in Malmo to perform at Eurovision, after a series of threats against the Israeli delegation. Hours before the grand final, on May 11th, Dutch rapper Joost Klein, who represented the Netherlands, was disqualified from Eurovision 2024 over what the organisers described as an “incident” involving a female member of the production crew.

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