Sixteen-year-old Sonia Martin believes that her swimming training made her ill:
‘At first, entering national competitions was really enjoyable, because it gave me a real sense of achievement. But my coach, who was always shouting, told me I was fat and lazy. In fact, I practised for hours and I hardly ever ate. One day, I fainted. The doctor who treated me was really sympathetic. She said that instead of being fat, I was actually underweight and over-stressed. I got rid of my coach, and now I just swim for fun. I don't enter competitions any more—I eat normal food and have a normal life. I don’t have any regrets.
Mike Green, seventeen, is a basketball player who thinks that sport is too competitive:
‘People are only interested in winners! No one cares about how hard you've tried or how passionate you are – if you aren't number one, you're nobody. Success is everything! I know some fifteen-year-olds who have taken illegal drugs like steroids to help them succeed. Often, young players haven't got anyone to talk to and advise them. Sportspeople usually view other sportspeople as rivals. So nobody wants to be friendly- everybody just wants to help themselves.
Brenda Jones, eighteen, worries that child stars are sometimes exploited by their families:
‘I was only twelve when I started training, but my parents wanted me to win trophies and earn money for the family. If I won, they bought glamorous clothes and expensive cars. But if I lost, they were furious, which make me feel dreadful. Once, when I had a painful fall on the ice, my parents shouted at me because I forgot to keep smiling’
So, what can we learn from these three young stars?
All have been very successful in their sports, but ultimately all have paid a high price for it. The long hours, intensive training, and highly competitive atmosphere of professional sports put young athletes under great pressure. Perhaps we should reconsider our attitude to sport. Perhaps winning isn't everything?
- Sympathetic: comprensivo
- Success: éxito
Marque a resposta correcta en cada caso
1. What is the main idea of the article?
A Sport is always enjoyable.
B It takes long hours and hard work to be ‘the best’
C Winning should be the most important thing in competitions.
2. According to the text, why is it difficult to be ‘the best’ at sports?
A Because you have to start young and work extremely hard.
B Because you need to find a good coach.
C Because you can´t be friendly.
3. A lot of coaches think that ...
A it is a good idea to begin training early on.
B young people train the hardest.
C young people should spend longer training.
4. When Sonia was entering competitions, she ...
A shouted at her coach.
B didn´t try hard enough.
C didn´t eat enough food.
5. Why did Sonia faint?
A Because her coach was always shouting.
B Because she didn´t eat enough and was stressed.
C Because she was fat and lazy.
6. Mike Green thinks it is hard to make friends with other sportspeople because ...
A they train long hours and don´t have time.
B they are all competing against each other.
C sportspeople are not friendly.
7. Mike says that sportspeople ...
A often behave very competitively.
B regularly take steroids.
C want to help others.
8. Why did Brenda´s parents want her to win competitions?
A They wanted to spend the money she won.
B To be proud of their daughter.
C Because she was twelve when she started training.
9. Brenda says that her parents ...
A were always angry.
B bought a lot of trophies.
C put too much pressure on her.
10. At the end of the text, the writer ...
A agrees that success is everything.
B thinks that sport is too expensive.
C suggest that we should think again.
11. Sonia Martin, ........................... doesn´t enter competitions any more, has a normal life.
12. Sonia´s coach wanted her ...........................
A to go on a diet.
B that she went on a diet.
C go on a diet.
13. ‘I was only twelve when I started, so I have been training ........................... six years now’.
14. ............................ ever taken illegal drugs?
A Were you
B Have you
C Did you
15. Her parents will shout at her if she ........................... to smile.
16. Sonia´s doctor was really sympathetic, which means ...
A she was really funny.
B she was fat and stressed.
C she was understanding.
17. What ........................... when she won?
A her parents bought
B did her parents buy
C do her parents bought
18. All have paid a high price. Choose the sentence with a similar meaning:
A A high price is paid by all.
B A high price pays all.
C A high price has been paid by all.
19. The writer advises us to reconsider our attitude to sport . Choose the sentence with a similar meaning:
A ‘You must reconsider your attitude to sport’, the writer says.
B ‘You might reconsider your attitude to sport, the writer says.
C ‘You should reconsider your attitude to sport, the writer says.
20. Brenda ........................... well when her parents were furious.
A didn´t feel
B doesn´t feel
C hasn´t felt