Already an estimated 50,000 people have tried bungee jumping in the UK alone, and not all of them are crazy! Some describe it as a close encounter with death; others as the most exciting experience they’ve ever had!
So what makes someone bungee jump and what goes through their mind when they are doing it? “Bungee jumping was something I always wanted to do. I saw it as a way of conquering my fear of heights and that’s exactly what it did” explains Mark Debenham, aged 32. “80 % of people only jump once, to prove something to themselves, but many people take it up as a sport and jump regularly. Bungee jumping is an incredible experience which makes your heart race at up to 170 beats a minute. I’ve done about 50 jumps, both in this country and abroad, and my highest was 120 metres. My first jump was extremely frightening.
The next seven or eight jumps were still very scary but then after that it was pure excitement. When you jump, you think you’re going to die. It doesn’t matter how many people you see jump before you, your mind tells you, you shouldn’t be doing it. People think bungee jumping is dangerous, but it’s not. You have to be over 14 years of age and if you are 50 years old or more you need to have a medical certificate. A qualified instructor can guide you on all this”.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever it is possible (maximum 50 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text:
a) A close encounter with death means that you feel very near to death / you feel that you are meeting death / going to meet your death.
b) What goes through their mind? means “What are they thinking (of / about)?
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) “I’ve done about fifty jumps”, Mark Debenham said.
- Mark Debenham said that he had done about fifty jumps.
b) Bungee jumping is an incredible experience, which makes your heart race.
- Bungee jumping is such an incredible experience (that) it makes your heart race.
c) If you are 50 years old or more you need to have a medical certificate.
d) Many people take it up as a sport.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words.
a) Why do people go bungee jumping?
Some people go bungee jumping if they want to lose their fear of heights. Others only do it once, and enjoy the exciting experience of falling, but others practise it as a sport.
b) Why do you think people who are 50 years old or more need to have a medical certificate?
5. Write an informal letter to a friend, describing your feelings when you first practised a new activity. You can invent or imagine the new activity. (Approximately 100 words)
I want to tell you about my first game of basketball, which I played in the school team last weekend. There weren’t enough players, because one of them was ill, so if somebody hadn’t played in their place, we would have lost the game. It was very exciting and we won by 3 points, because one of our players was really good (she had been in the national team once). The crowd supported us until the end. I like basketball as you can play even if it is raining or very hot outside. Now I enjoy watching the games on television because I can appreciate it more.