The Guinness World Records lists some very surprising activities - 2012

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Blindfolded waterskiing
The Guinness World Records lists some very surprising activities among its records. One of the stranger ones has to be blindfolded waterskiing. This activity involves someone waterskiing while blindfolded. The skier cannot see the route or water over which they are skiing. The record also involves skiing over open sea. Conditions on the open sea are much more challenging than on a lake. This makes blindfolded waterskiing a truly difficult sport that only the bravest and most experienced waterskiers dare to do. Now a British blind waterskier, Steve Thiele, has set a new world record in an effort to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Thiele is 100% blind and waterskiing is his favourite sport. Mr Thiele has been blind since falling from a tree when he was eight and damaging his optic nerve. In the past, Thiele waterskied without a blindfold and most spectators found it hard to believe he was blind. However, for the world record, Thiele needed to wear a full blindfold to qualify for the event as Guinness World Records do not distinguish between able-bodied persons and disabled persons. Talking of his record-breaking stunt, Thiele said: “It’s great to get a world record and I am very happy to have completed the challenge”. But, he adds, “It must have been weird to watch a blind person wear a blindfold.” Thiele broke the existing blindfolded waterskiing record by a big margin. He waterskied around the island of Anglesey in North Wales. The total distance was 38.4km and the time one hour. The previous record was for a distance of 32km. However, the currents around Anglesey are very strong and dangerous. So this Guinness record was set in some of the most difficult open sea waterskiing conditions in the world.

READING COMPREHENSION

1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (maximum 50 words).

2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the words and definitions given here.
  • a) requiring full use of your abilities or resources, difficult: challenging
  • b) collect: raise
  • c) peculiar; odd: weird
  • d) a measure, quantity, or degree of difference: margin

3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.

4. Answer the following questions in your own words.

WRITING 

5. Some famous athletes earn millions of dollars every year. Do you think these people deserve such high salaries? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. (Approximately 120 words).

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