RIO DE JANEIRO -- It is one of Rios most renowned favelas, the Cidade de Deus made infamous in a film that helped cement a stereotype of the other side of the Marvelous City that is host of the Olympic Games -- one where ghettos are ruled by drug lords and baby-faced criminals shoot to kill.The City of God of today, located mere miles from Olympic Park, is not so easily defined. It is a place of contrasts that defies oversimplification, where poverty and violence persist alongside modest programs that aim to get some kids off the streets and offer a path that keeps guns out of their hands.It is also the former home of Brazils first gold medalist of the Rio Games. Judo champion Rafaela Silva grew up in Cidade de Deus. If not for the sport that helped her climb up and out, I could still be living in City of God now, she said through tears after winning on Monday.The shantytown of nearly 50,000 people became globally known after Paulo Lins novel Cidade de Deus was made into a critically acclaimed movie by Brazilian film director Fernando Meirelles, who also helped create the Olympic opening ceremony that featured a segment depicting the citys favelas. Lins lived in City of God, and both the book and the movie tell a tale of poverty and violence and of youth faced with choices that could lead to an early death -- or a fresh start.While much of Rio was transformed for the Olympics, City of God is a community left behind and still mired in the many problems that were the basis of the movie that introduced its brutal realities to the world. Where other neighborhoods can take advantage of improvements in transit, housing and security, the only thing Olympic in this slum is the painted lane for accredited vehicles to drive past it as fast as they can.Here at City of God, our feelings about the Olympics are like a famous hip-hop song, said one local, Sergio Leal, known as DJ TR. `Look at the black kid watching it all from the outside. We are all watching it from the outside here.In some ways, Cidade de Deus is unlike the hundreds of other favelas in Rio. On the western edge of the city, its far from the beaches where tourists soak in the sun and spreads horizontally across a maze of streets rather than vertically up a hillside. It originally was a housing project, built in the 1960s during Brazils military dictatorship when the government evicted residents from favelas in tony Ipanema, Leblon and Lagoa, and destroyed the shacks to make way for visitors.At that time, not too different from today, the state was determined to `beautify Rio de Janeiro by eliminating favelas from attractive areas of the city and moving the poor to isolated locations, said Mariana Dias Simpson, a researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (Ibase) who has studied Rios slums for more than a decade.City of God, she said, is what local leaders call a re-favela -- a settlement created to house evicted families that kept on growing until it became a favela again.The community was among the first where the government dispatched its so-called police pacification units, or UPPs, which were created in 2008 to curb violence in favelas dominated by heavily armed drug gangs. Police set up local stations, took over territory once controlled by criminals and confiscated weapons, while the state of Rio invested in community centers for children and worked to expand basic services for residents.In the lead-up to the Olympics, the UPPs were expanded to hundreds of favelas across Rio, and many say it felt as if authorities had succeeded in restoring the peace. President Barack Obama, along with the first lady and their two daughters, even paid a visit to Cidade de Deus in 2011. The president rolled up his sleeves and played soccer with some local kids as his family looked on.Here was President Obama coming to this community that once was a symbol of violence, said Juliana Barbassa, a former Associated Press reporter and Brazil native whose book, Dancing with the Devil in the City of God, examines Rios many challenges. She recalled one jubilant store owners reaction: `We used to go to them (the U.S.) to ask for money, to try to establish a relationship. And now they come to us.Despite that high point, with police forces spread too thin among too many places, the lawlessness that had diminished in City of God and other slums has regained strength.In the most violent section of Cidade de Deus -- a place called Karate -- criminals shot at police just one day before last weeks Olympic opening ceremony; no officers were injured. Several residents interviewed as part of a study by the Ibase group reported that shootings between dealers and the police happen on almost a daily basis, sometimes when children are walking home from school.Violence levels were better all over for a few years ... we had no incidents for months, Leal said. Now, every week, there is a shootout somewhere in City of God. It is not what we saw in the movie, but it is not promising either.Children in the roughest parts of Cidade de Deus often become what the traffickers call avioezinhos, or little planes. Avioezinhos keep watch and alert the drug bosses when police are near. Its considered a first step into the organization, like an entry-level job. Its not unusual to see thugs pointing guns at visitors to the neighborhood even as schoolkids come and go, unflinching because its all customary to them.Still, Dias Simpson and others noted that the vast majority of those living in City of God and other favelas have no involvement in crime at all. Go to the most dangerous favela on a weekday, and youll see ... moms going to work, guys dressed up for their construction jobs, Barbassa said. This is essentially home to the working class of Rio.The film, added Dias Simpson, is a good entertainment piece, but its a fictional film. The reality of City of God is a lot more complex than that.Leo Sagat lived in the neighborhood for 28 years before finally moving out. But he still comes back three days a week, morning and evening, to teach boxing to 270 people, mostly kids, out of a donated room with no air conditioning and three broken fans in one of the safer parts of the slum, appropriately called Switzerland. Even still, next door, is a boca de fumo where dealers sell cocaine and other drugs, and some hang around to use them.Sagat doesnt get paid; he gives his time because he knows sports could help inspire some to find a way out of the slum. His proof can be found in Judo champion Silva. The legacy that I want is to stop kids like these from becoming criminals, he said.In December, amid Olympic preparations, the government donated some boxing equipment to the community, a few gloves and bags that Sagat uses at his gym. But to those here, the gesture is meaningless given all that could have happened these past several years.People of City of God were promised more mobility, more investment in sport and security. They were also promised to be part of a tourism program that would help people in the region become tour guides for Rio, just like in other communities, said Christopher Gaffney, a University of Zurich researcher who spent six years in Brazil studying urban development. But none of those materialized. The rapid-transit bus that could have integrated that region to the rest of Rio doesnt have any stops in City of God. With no integration, there is even more segregation.Despite their beloved Silvas victory, the people of City of God will tell you the revelry surrounding these Olympic Games is not really felt by them. Jessica Santos is just 12, a resident of the shanty for two years who already dreams of more. Standing next to a creek tinged gray with pollution, she spoke wistfully about becoming an environmentalist maybe one day.Look at this creek here, it is completely dirty -- and the water is being more treated than when my family arrived, but people throw their sofas, plastic, a lot of toxic things here.People wanted the Olympics to change things here, too, said the girl. But they did not change much. Custom Panthers Jerseys . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011. Wholesale Custom Panthers Shirts . The mixed zone is not a place to make friends. http://www.customnhlpanthersjersey.com/ . Scott won the Australian PGA last week in his first event in Australia since winning the U.S. Masters in April. 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When Marian Hossas shot eluded Quick for the go-ahead goal two periods later, the Blackhawks knew they had cracked their foes star goalie and the formula for winning at Staples Center. The Kings are teetering in the Western Conference finals -- and Chicago needs just one more win to topple the defending Stanley Cup champions. Hossa scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Blackhawks moved to the brink of the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-2 victory Thursday night, ending Los Angeles 15-game winning streak at home. "They were playing so well at home, and to finally break that streak, were happy about it," Hossa said. "We knew about it. We talked about it before the game. We were hoping to break it, and we got it." Corey Crawford made 19 saves, and Patrick Kane tapped in the tying goal as Chicago rallied from a second-period deficit to beat the Kings. Los Angeles hadnt lost in its rink since March 23, including eight playoff games. Bickell had a goal and an assist for the top-seeded Blackhawks, who took a 3-1 series lead even without suspended defenceman Duncan Keith. After losing Game 3 in listless fashion, the Blackhawks had a solution to every dilemma, from the Kings two early leads to the absence of Chicagos ice-time leader and top defenceman. "We knew our defence was going to step up, and they did," Bickell said. "We had a good feeling coming in. We had a bitter taste from the last game. They had a big start, but we stuck with it and eventually got it back." Game 5 is Saturday night in Chicago. Slava Voynov and Dustin Penner scored for the Kings, who had the NHLs longest home post-season winning run since 2009. The champs know they are in trouble after failing to hold on to a late lead in front of their Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie. "Its an incredibly skilled team," Kings defenceman Drew Doughty said of Chicago. "Were not getting into something we didnt know. When you turn the puck over like that at the blue lines, with the skill they have, its only a matter of time before they put one on the scoreboard. Hopefully we learned our lesson, and weve got to win the next one." The Blackhawks thrived without Keith, who served a one-game suspension for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face during the second period of Game 3. Sheldon Brookbank filled in while Chicago played strong team defence in front of Crawford, allowing just two shots by the desperate Kings in the third period. "Right from the first couple shifts, we were moving our feet, playing with speed," said defenceman Brent Seabrook, who led Chicago with 26:20 of ice time. "We were getting in on the forecheck and making good plays. It was big for our group to come back with a good effort." Los Angeles hadnt lost a playoff game at home since Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals last season, winning nine straight overall. The Kings also had been outstanding when playing with a lead in front of Quick, who stopped 25 shots, but Los Angeles uncharacteristically surrendered that 2-1 lead late in the second period. The high-scoring Kane ending his seven-game goal drought in a quiet post-season by charging into the crease to tap home the tying goal on a rebound of Niklas Hjalmarssons shot and Bickells deflection late in the second period. Hjalmarsson finished with two assists. After Los Angeles killed a penalty to open the third period, Michal Handzus caught the Kings napping and set up a break with the speedy Hossa, who ripped a precise shot for his seventh goal of the post-season. "Thats one thing that (coach) Darryl (Sutter) has been hard on us for right now," Doughty said. "Were making too many turnovers, in the neutral zone especiallly.ddddddddddddThat was a cause of two of the goals. We made turnovers and they came back down on odd-man rushes and scored. If we want to win, its something we cant be doing." The Kings played their third straight game without centre Mike Richards, who has an apparent concussion after a big hit from Chicagos Dave Bolland in the series opener. Richards was the Kings leading post-season scorer with 10 points when he got hurt. Los Angeles unbeaten stretch at home ended in unusual fashion with the blown lead, and the low-scoring Kings title defence could be over in two days. The NHL hasnt had a repeat champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998, and Los Angeles has managed just eight goals in four games against the powerful Blackhawks. "They didnt have many great scoring chances," Crawford said. "We mostly kept them to the outside. It was great for us to shut them down." Chicago needs one win in three games to advance to its second Stanley Cup finals appearance since 1992. The Blackhawks have been mostly rolling since their 5-2 victory in the season opener at Los Angeles in January, ruining the Kings banner-raising ceremony. The Blackhawks hadnt won a playoff round in the past two seasons since their Stanley Cup triumph, replenishing their roster on the fly around their talented young core. Just nine players remain from the championship team, but its safe to say the rebuild is complete for a team that won its second Presidents Trophy with a 36-7-5 regular season, followed by a gutsy rally from a 1-3 series deficit against Detroit to escape the second round. The Kings opened Game 4 with the same urgency they showed two days earlier, forcing their way into Chicagos zone and preventing the Blackhawks usual slick passing. Los Angeles fourth line created the first goal just 3:28 in when Kyle Clifford passed from behind Chicagos net to Voynov, who skated in alone for a slap shot past Crawford. The goal was Voynovs sixth of the post-season, extending his single-season playoff record for Kings defencemen. Chicago responded, easily killing a penalty while holding Los Angeles without a shot for about 11 minutes. The Blackhawks evened it on an innocent-looking play by Bickell, whose wobbly shot somehow got out of Quicks glove for his eighth goal of the post-season. Bickell is on a remarkable playoff run before unrestricted free agency this summer, scoring a goal in each of the past three games and five of seven overall. The Kings went back ahead early in the second period on another strong shift by their newly assembled big line featuring Carter, Penner and rookie Tyler Toffoli, who has taken Richards place in the lineup. They also victimized the Blackhawks third defensive pairing: Carter drove the net while Chicagos Nick Leddy failed to knock him off the puck, and Penner swept home the rebound of Carters backhand when Brookbank couldnt move him out of the crease. Chicago tied it late in the period when Hjalmarsson launched a long shot through Bickells screen and past Quick. Kane tapped it home for a much-needed boost for the prolific scorer who had managed just two goals in the playoffs after getting 23 in the regular season. After Hossa scored his second goal of the series, Quick made an exceptional glove save on Kane later in the third period. But Quick and the Kings have yielded 10 goals in the series -- the same number they gave up in six first-round games and seven second-round games. "Its a loss. Theyre all the same," Quick said. "Weve just got to win one game. Thats all weve got to do." NOTES: The Kings lost at home in regulation just four times in the regular season. ... Brookbank played only 6:50 and was a minus-2, but coach Joel Quenneville praised his work. ... Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown has one goal in the last nine games, none in the conference finals. Top scorer Anze Kopitar has one goal in 13 games, also none in this series. Brown and Kopitar tied for the NHL playoff scoring lead last season with 20 points apiece. ' ' '
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