Nadeshiko’s Victory Inspires Japanese Swimmer

August 8, 2011

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

1. pump up (phrasal v.) [puhmp-uhp] - to fill with enthusiasm, strength and energy; to give motivation
Example: The sales manager pumped up his team members by promising to give cash bonuses if they reach the sales target.

2. femininity (n.) [fem-uh-nin-i-tee] – a quality or trait of being a female; the way of looking and behaving in ways appropriate for a woman or girl
Example: As an architect, Ana Evans shows her femininity through the soft details of her designs.

3. elegance (n.) [el-i-guhns] – style and good taste especially in appearance, behavior or movement
Example: I have always looked up to my sister for her elegance especially in choosing her wardrobe.

4. perseverance (n.) [pur-suh-veer-uhns] – continued action or belief despite hard times and difficulties
Example: The University grants scholarships to students who show perseverance in their studies.

5. triumph (n.) [trahy-uhmf] – victory; successful ending of something
Example: Our triumph during the debate competition encouraged a lot of students to join the debating club.

Read the text below.

The recent World Cup victory of the women’s soccer team from Japan pumped up Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima to win a world title in Shanghai this year.

The team, also known as Nadeshiko, named after a  Japanese flower symbolizing femininity and elegance, achieved the first ever World Cup title for Asia through teamwork and perseverance. The team now ranks fourth in the world after beating Germany, Sweden and the United States.

Kitajima, a two-time double Olympic breaststroke champion, said that the soccer team’s triumph inspired the country and has encouraged him to work hard for the swimming competition in Shanghai this year.

Earlier, he was given the title “Frog King” during the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he won both 100 meter and 200 meter titles. However, Kitajima failed to perform well during last year’s competition in China because of a shoulder injury. Now he wants to prove that he is still up and ready to compete for the world title.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the advantages of winning the world title?
·         How would people in your country feel if your team doesn’t get the world title?

Discussion B

·         How do you think is teamwork related to perseverance?
What are the other factors that may affect a team’s chance of winning?

August 8, 2011