Skating was a mode of transportation for war and hunting in Northern Europe: it was a quick way to cross frozen lakes, rivers and streams. Skates were first made from bones, and later from iron and steel. By the 16th century, skaters were transporting goods across frozen waterways. Thus, like other winter sports, figure skating grew from necessity.
In 1892, the International Skating Union was founded. Six years later, the first official event was celebrated, and the Union’s organisers hoped it might soon become an Olympic sport. After a great deal of work over the next decade, figure skating was added to the Olympic programme for the 1908 Games.
There are four Olympic Figure Skating events: women's singles, men's singles, pairs, and ice dancing. The singles event consists of two sections: the short programme, and free skating. The short programme combines eight prescribed elements such as a number of jumps. In the free skating programme, skaters perform original techniques to music of their choice. As judges deduct points for too many or too few jumps, a balanced programme is important. The pairs event also consists of a short programme and free skating. The couple works as a unit, performing many manoeuvres.
In ice dancing, the focus is on the complex steps in time with the music, in which the skaters maintain physical contact with each other. Ice dancing consists of three sections: compulsory, original, and free dances. In compulsory dancing, the couple must perform one pre-determined dance. Original dances must follow selected rhythms, although the pair can choose their own music and interpretative steps. In free dancing the pair freely express their interpretation of the music they have chosen.
Figure skating = patinaxe artística / patinaje artístico
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (Maximum 50 words).
Skating started in Northern Europe many centuries ago and was a way of transporting things. It became an international sport in 1892 and an Olympic sport in 1908. There are different kinds of events, singles, pairs and ice dancing, some of which are chosen by the skaters while others are compulsory.
2. Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the words and definitions given here.
a) Extremely cold: frozenb) Rivers or streams: waterwaysc) “Carry out” or “do”: performd) Pair: couple
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one(s):
a) Skaters were transporting goods across frozen waterways.b) The International Skating Union was founded. Six years later, the first official event was celebrated.
- Six years after the International skating Union was founded, the first official event was celebrated.c) As judges deduct points, a balanced programme is important.
- If judges didn’t deduct points, a balanced programme would not be important.d) Ice dancing consists of three sections.
- There are three sections in ice dancing.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words, as far as possible.
a) How was it possible for figure skating to be added to 1908 Summer Olympic Games?
They were able to include figure skating in the 1908 Olympic Games because International Skating Union, which had been founded in 1892, worked hard for a decade.
b) What is the main difference between the “free skating” and “free dancing” on the one hand, and the rest?
5. Some people want to exclude your favourite sport from the Olympic Games. Write an argument for its inclusion. (Approximately 120 words)
I think it would be a mistake to exclude football from the Olympic Games. Some people say there is already a World Cup for football, so we don’t need it in the Olympic Games, but I think more people will watch the Games if there is football because it is the most popular sport in the world. Also, it is a good idea because Spain will probably win a gold or silver medal, because we have the best team, and Spain don’t usually win many medals. Countries like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are in the same position. It is a good chance for young players to show their talent, and they can be seen by the managers of Barcelona, Arsenal and other teams.