Famous Russian Figure Skater Undergoes Huge Operation

April 1, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. legendary /ˈlɛdʒhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngənˌdɛrhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngi/ (adj.) – very famous or extremely successful
Example: Michael Jordan is a legendary basketball figure.

2. indestructible /ˌɪnhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngdɪˈstrʌkhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngbəl/ (adj.) – cannot be broken or destroyed
Example: Experts claim that the equipment is indestructible.

3. pull out /pʊl aʊt/ (v. phrase) – to withdraw from a commitment
ExampleBecause of his injury, the boxer pulled out of the competition.

4. axel /ˈækhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngsəl/ (n.) – a kind of jump done by a skater
ExampleThe figure skater’s flawless demonstration of the axel amazed the judges and the audience.

5. bravado /brəˈvɑhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngdoʊ/ (n.) – a strong display of courage, often in a negative way
Example: The movie star’s obvious bravado disappoints many of his fans.


Read the text below.
Legendary Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko recently underwent a major operation in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Plushenko is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time world champion for figure skating. He injured his back while practicing for the Sochi Winter Olympics. This injury forced the 31-year-old athlete to pull out from the competition.

In Tel Aviv, Israeli doctors removed four screws from Plushenko’s back in an operation that was shown on Russia’s Channel One television. The screws used to support an artificial disc in Plushenko’s vertebrae. These screws were designed to be indestructible, but one of the screws broke into two after the athlete did a triple and a half axel.

The television reported that the doctors initially planned to replace the broken screw. However, the doctors found that Plushenko’s backbone can now support the disc quite firmly, so they decided to remove all four screws from his back.

The doctors noted that the operation went very successfully. Hence, Plushenko can expect to be in full form within months. One of his doctors added that no restrictions will be prescribed for Plushenko after completing half a year of rehabilitation.

Now a retired athlete, Plushenko said that he will no longer worry about getting injured again but jokingly added that he still might figure skate.

Known for being full of bravado, Plushenko stated that one must sacrifice something for a medal. In his case, he sacrificed his health. Some people may consider him a fool, while some a hero. Nonetheless, he stressed that he is what he is and that he loves sports and taking risks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were Plushenko, would you still do figure skating even after the operation? Why or why not?
·         How do you think can Plushenko quickly restore his health after the operation? Kindly discuss briefly.

Discussion B

·         Do you think that it is appropriate to sacrifice one’s health to achieve a successful career? Why or why not?
·         What are you willing to sacrifice in order to become successful? Explain.


April 1, 2014