Taiwan Urges Athlete to Stay in Her Home Country

September 20, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. urge [urj] (v.) – to ask someone to do something important
Example: The coach urged his team members to attend trainings and focus on winning the championship for the school.

2. handsome [HAN-suh m] (adj.)  – generous or large in amount
Example: The sponsor offered handsome rewards to the champions of the tournament.

3. caliber [KAL-uh-ber] (n.) – level of skill or competence
Example: He wants to become a swimmer of Olympic caliber and bring recognition to his country.

4. defection [dih-FEK-shuh n] (n.) – the act of abandoning one’s own country or organization to join a different or opposing country or organization
Example: The coach was saddened by the defection of three of his athletes to their rival team.

5. airfare [AIR-fair] (n.) – the amount of money that one pays for an airplane ticket
Example: His boss offered to pay for her vacation, including airfare and hotel fees.


Read the text below.

The government of Taiwan is urging one of its athletes to keep her Taiwanese citizenship and play for her home country.

Hsieh Shu-wei, a Taiwanese tennis player, rose to international fame in July when she won a Grand Slam title in the Wimbledon. That moment was the first time a Taiwanese has won a Wimbledon title. However, the celebration of her countrymen came to an abrupt halt when word got out that Hsieh was planning to change her citizenship to Chinese in exchange for a handsome sponsorship from a Chinese liquor company.

Technically a province of China, Taiwan produces very few athletes of international caliber, especially since China forbids the island nation from participating in the Olympics.

The news of Hsieh’s possible defection prompted the Taiwanese government to appeal to potential local sponsors in order to persuade the athlete to stay. According to Wang Shui-wen of Taiwan’s Sports Administration, four Taiwanese companies have extended sponsorships to Hsieh so far. He added that with these offers, he is confident that Hsieh will stay in Taiwan.

In a recent press conference in Taipei, Hsieh played down the rumors and said that she wants all Taiwanese athletes to get the adequate sponsorships that they need. She added that she would be happy to help other athletes if she could.

Hsieh’s father also shared that the primary expenses his daughter has to deal with are competition entry fees and airfare. He refused, however, to specify exactly how much money the athlete needs to support her sports career.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is acceptable for homegrown athletes to represent another country? Why or why not?
·         Do you believe that governments have a responsibility to provide funding for athletes and their activities? Explain.

Discussion B

·         Is it important for a country to be successful in international sports competitions? Why or why not?
·         What do you think is the secret behind the most successful countries in international sports events like the Olympics? Please discuss.


September 20, 2013