Legless Runner is One Step Closer to Olympics

April 1, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. qualify (v.) [kwol-uh-fahy] – to be able to pass or meet a set of standards
Example: The athlete qualified to compete for the championships.

2. handicap (n.) [han-dee-kap] – a condition wherein a person is not physically or mentally fit; a disability
Example: There is usually a special area on trains and subways for people with handicaps.
3. petition (n.) [puh-tish-uhn] – a written and legal request that asks for an action on a certain issue
Example: The employees made a petition to increase their salary.

4. set one’s eye (idiom) [set] [wuhns] [ahy] – to aim for something
Example: I am setting my eye on that job promotion.

Read the text below.

Oscar Pistorius, a South African runner with artificial legs, is one step closer to competing in the Olympic Games in London next year.

After finishing a race in 45.61 seconds, Pistorius qualified within the Olympic B level which gives him a better chance to join the games.

Athletes who qualify for the “B” level are considered a back-up and are sometimes allowed to join the Olympics when there are not enough “A” level athletes in a particular game.

Pistorius was only .06 seconds short of getting an A level which automatically qualifies an athlete to take part in the Olympics.

Athletes with handicap like Pistorius can only compete in a special tournament called Paralympics.

In 2008, Pistorius made a petition to join the Olympics in Beijing. He won the case allowing him to use artificial legs, but he was not able to participate in the Olympics because he missed the qualifying score.

Pistorius had been unbeaten in the Paralympic Athletics World Championships for seven years. Now, he is setting his eye on a bigger challenge to compete in both Paralympics and Olympics.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do disabled athletes have in common with able-bodied athletes?
·         How can an athlete with handicap compete in a regular competition?

Discussion B

·         How are disabled people helped in your country?
·         How are disabled people given equal opportunities in your country?

April 1, 2011