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Summer Olympic Games - Reading Comprehension

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This reading comprehension focuses on the Summer Olympic Games. It's followed by key vocabulary relating to the Olympics and a follow-up quiz to test understanding.

The Summer Olympic Games will be held in London, England beginning July 17, 2012. Competitors from around the world will compete for the gold, silver or bronze medals. For some athletes, winning is not a real possibility. However, they will strive to set personal and / or national bests in their events. Of course, many world records will also be broken during these games. The intensely competitive nature of the games, the strong national pride involved and the challenge in facing the best athletes from around the world combine to demand the top performances from each individual.

In a world where soccer (football), basketball, golf and tennis dominate television broadcasts, the Summer Olympic Games provide a chance to observe sports not usually covered. When was the last time you watched water polo, or fencing? Chances are you watched them during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China. In this age when many people are fortunate enough to have cable TV connections, spectators can watch a wide variety of athletic competitions.

Athletics and wrestling are probably the oldest sports in the Olympic Games. The tradition of these sports goes back to the original games held in ancient Greece over 2500 years ago. Some of my favorite events include the javelin throw, the high jump and the pole vault, as well as the hurdles. There will also be a wide variety of water sports that include canoeing, sailing and diving. Naturally, swimming is probably the most popular water sport with a wide variety of competitive events including backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and more.

The summer games also include a number of events that have recently been introduced to the games. Kayaking and mountain biking, baseball and beach volleyball are just a few. I certainly haven't mentioned all the sports - who would want to miss gymnastics - but you get the idea. Turn on your TV, relax and enjoy a moment of peace and togetherness in this struggling world of ours. The Summer Olympic Games provides an example that we all should follow: competition with respect.

Key Vocabulary

competitor
to compete
competitive
athlete
to strive
to set a best
to break a world record
to demand
national pride
challenge
to face a competitor
soccer
basketball
golf
tennis
broadcast
observe
water polo
fencing
cable TV
spectator
athletics
wrestling
javelin
high jump
pole vault
hurdles
canoeing
sailing
diving
backstroke
breaststroke
butterfly
freestyle
kayaking
beach volleyball
gymnastics

Check your understanding with this multiple choice comprehension quiz.

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