Monique van der Vorst was paralyzed from the hip down at 13 when she suffered nerve damage during a routine ankle operation. Years later, she went on to win a silver medal for handcycling in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, that same year she was hit by a car while training in her wheelchair and endured a spinal cord injury. Last summer, as she trained for the London 2012 Paralympics in her wheelchair something happened that changed her life: She collided with a sprint cyclist. When she was recovering in the hospital, van der Vorst discovered that she could move her feet. Something had occurred during the accident that reversed her paralysis. Van der Vorst told Reuters that when she took her first steps she felt like a child learning to walk again. Doctors are still stumped by her astonishing recovery. Some theorize that the trauma of her last accident might have jolted her body back into activity. Van der Vorst, now 27, went through an intense rehabilitation and eventually began training on a racing bicycle. Because she is no longer disabled, she is ineligible to compete in the Paralympics. Instead, van der Vorst is now in training to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. People on Twitter are astounded by her story. One person said, "Wow this story is incredible," and another person called it "amazing." Given that van der Vorst has already won two Paralympics silver medals and the 2009 Iron Man in Hawaii, I think we might be seeing her in Rio in 2016.
Occupy Wall Street is headed to the classroom but not necessarily in the way you're thinking. This spring New York University will begin offering two classes on the OWS movement. The undergraduate course, "Cultures and Economies: Why Occupy Wall Street?," will be offered by the school's department of cultural and social analysis with a curriculum that will focus on the culture, the economy, and the debt of the social movement. The goal of the course is to provide a contextual background for the protests. Professors plan on bringing in guest speakers to "offer a broad view of the meaning and impact of the movement." It is the hope of the university that students will develop a better understanding of how the current economic crisis has affected the world. There will also be a graduate-level course offered with the same goals. Tuition at NYU is around $41,000 per year for a full-time student. The price per credit hour is $1,200. On Twitter, this has some people wondering if the 1% will now be studying the 99%.