Israeli Swimmers Break World Record for the Environment

January 3, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. relay /ˈri leɪ/ (n.) – a race in which each member of a team takes a turn to cover the total distance to win
Example: Her team won the relay because of the members’ good teamwork.

2. marine /məˈrin/ (adj.) – concerning or having to do with the sea
Example: His marine collection consisted of sea shells and corals.

3. odor /ˈoʊ dər/ (n.) – a bad or unpleasant smell
Example: He had a sweaty odor because he ran for a whole day.

4. break /breɪk/ (v.) – to outdo or go beyond a record
Example: She broke the record for the largest shoe collection in the world when she bought her 600th pair.

5. fixed /fɪkst/ (adj.) – set permanently and unchangeable
Example: The judges‘ decision is fixed.


Read the text below.
Six Israeli swimmers set the world record for the longest group relay swim at sea to advocate the fight against ocean pollution.

The group swam from the Paphos [PEY-fos] port in Cyprus [SAHY-pruh s] to the Israeli shore. It was part of their contribution to Zalul, an Israeli environmental organization whose mission is to protect the oceans. By doing this, the group was able to help Zalul raise funds and awareness on the marine pollution in Israeli waters. According to the group, two of the most difficult obstacles they faced while swimming were the obstruction of plastic bags and the awful garbage odor in the water.

At the same time, the swimmers were also able to break the Guinness [GIN-is] World Record for the longest open-water group relay swim. The record was held by an American team who swam 366 kilometers in 2012. However, the Israeli team beat this record by traveling a distance of 380 kilometers—14 kilometers farther than the Americans.

According to the rules of the Guinness World Record, the group must follow a fixed sequence of swimmers. They were not allowed to wear full-body suits or receive any help in terms of traveling from the support team who accompanied them.  Each member of the Israeli team swam for four to five kilometers before he could rest.

The group’s achievement was vastly praised. Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz [PAIR-its] admired the team’s devotion to their cause. He said that the group’s triumph is a symbolic act because it further inspires the fight against marine pollution in the country.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think what the Israeli swimmers did is admirable? Why or why not?
·         Aside from swimming, what sport would you pick to use as a symbolic gesture in helping the environment? Please explain you answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think setting a world record is considered an achievement? Please explain your answer.
·         What world record would you want to achieve? Please explain your answer.

January 3, 2015