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Dateline: 1 September 2008: BEIJING OLYMPICS SPECIAL EDITION

Story #1

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #1: Beijing Games Open on 8/8/08
Over 90, 000 people filled China's National Stadium, "The Bird's Nest" for Beijing's Opening Ceremonies, which kicked off at exactly 8:00 pm on the eighth day of the of 2008. The number eight is considered the luckiest number in China. Acrobats, drummers, and dancers entertained the world audience, depicting from China's ancient past, including the Silk Road and the Great Wall. Basketball superstar Yao Ming, who was accompanied by a young from the recent earthquake, held China's flag when the athletes entered the building. Over 80 world leaders attended the event, which has been called the most watched television show .

Comprehension Questions: Story #1

  1. What nickname did China give its National Stadium?
  2. Who walked into the opening ceremonies with Yao Ming?
  3. What two historic scenes were depicted during the ceremony?
Discussion Question:
The young pretty girl who charmed the world during the ceremony with her beautiful voice turned out to be lip-synching. The real singer was apparently not good looking enough for the role. How do you feel about the decision to use two children instead of one?

Story #2

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #2: Murder on Day 1 of Olympic Games
A man was murdered and his wife and seriously injured on the first day of the Olympics. The couple was the Drum Tower with their daughter, former volleyball Olympian Elizabeth Bachman, when a man attacked the group with a . The murderer jumped to his death immediately following the attack. The victim was the father-in-law of the head coach of the US Men's team. The USOC believed it was a random attack, as the group was not wearing any clothing that would affiliate them with the US .

Comprehension Questions: Story #2

  1. When did this incident occur?
  2. Who was injured aside from the main victim?
  3. Why did officials call this a random attack?
Discussion Question: If the couple had been wearing clothing that identified them as relatives of the American team, how do you think that might have affected the spirit of the games?

Story #3

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #3: Fastest Olympians Compete with Phelps for Attention
US swimmer Michael Phelps broke seven and won eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, making him the most successful Olympian of all time. Phelps' quest to win a lucky was well known long before the Games began, though some doubted that his team was strong enough to win the relay events. Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who won three gold medals including the men's 100 and 200 run also received plenty of airtime with his effortless wins and victory dances. Other seemed to be overshadowed by the Water Cube star, including Great Britain's Chris Hoy, who also won three golds and was crowned the world's fastest .

Comprehension Questions: Story #3

  1. How many gold medals did Michael Phelps win?
  2. Who won the men's 100 metre running race?
  3. What title did Chris Hoy receive after his Olympic events?
Discussion Question: Some viewers felt that other athletes were unfairly overshadowed by Michael Phelps. Do you think Phelps received too much attention during these games? How much coverage did he receive on non-American networks?

Story #4

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

Story #4: China and US Olympic Teams Finish 1st
One world, one dream may have been the slogan for the 2008 Summer Olympics, however the US and China each had their own goal of leading the . On the official website, China was placed at the top of the list based on having 51 gold medals in to the US's 36. However the US was ranked number one for having 100 total medals, 10 more than China. increased their medal count from the 2004 Games in Athens. While at times the US and China were in fierce , such as during the women's gymnastics events, both teams tended to come out on top in the sports they dominate in.

Comprehension Questions: Story #4

  1. Which team won the most gold medals?
  2. How many more medals did the US team get compared to China?
  3. Which event is mentioned as one that China and the US competed very fiercely in?
Discussion Question: In an Olympic Games, who do you think should be declared the overall winner, the team with the most golds or the one with the most medals overall?

ANSWER CHECK

Story #1

Story #1: Beijing Games Open on 8/8/08
Over 90, 000 people filled China's National Stadium, also called "The Bird's Nest" for Beijing's Opening Ceremonies, which kicked off at exactly 8:00 pm on the eighth day of the eighth month of 2008. The number eight is considered the luckiest number in China. Acrobats, drummers, and dancers entertained the world audience, depicting scenes from China's ancient past, including the Silk Road and the Great Wall. Basketball superstar Yao Ming, who was accompanied by a young hero from the recent earthquake, held China's flag when the athletes entered the building. Over 80 world leaders attended the event, which has been called the most watched television show in history.

Comprehension Answers: Story #1

  1. The stadium was nicknamed "The Birds Nest".
  2. China's Silk Road and Great Wall were depicted in the ceremony.
  3. A young hero from the recent earthquake walked in with the Chinese flag bearer.

Story #2

Story #2: Murder on Day One of Olympic Games
A man was murdered and his wife and tour guide seriously injured on the first day of the Olympics. The couple was visiting the Drum Tower with their daughter, former volleyball Olympian Elizabeth Bachman, when a man attacked the group with a knife. The murderer jumped to his death immediately following the attack. The victim was the father-in-law of the head coach of the US Men's volleyball team. The USOC believed it was a random attack, as the group was not wearing any clothing that would affiliate them with the US Olympic team.

Comprehension Answers: Story #2

  1. The incident took place on the first day of the Olympic events.
  2. The victim's wife and their Chinese tour guide were also injured.
  3. The group was not wearing clothing that identified them as being connected to the American Olympic team.

Story #3

Story #3: Fastest Olympians Compete with Phelps for Attention
US swimmer Michael Phelps broke seven world records and won eight gold medals at the Beijing Games, making him the most successful Olympian of all time. Phelps' quest to win a lucky eight for eight was well known long before the Games began, though some doubted that his team was strong enough to win the relay events. Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who won three gold medals including the men's 100 and 200 metre run, also received plenty of airtime with his effortless wins and victory dances. Other athletes seemed to be overshadowed by the Water Cube star, including Great Britain's Chris Hoy, who also won three golds and was crowned the world's fastest cyclist.

Comprehension Answers: Story #3

  1. Michael Phelps won eight gold medals.
  2. Usain Bolt won the men's 100 metre run.
  3. GB's Chris Hoy became the fastest cyclist in the world.

Story #4

Story #4: China and US Olympic Teams Finish 1st
One world, one dream may have been the slogan for the 2008 Summer Olympics, however the US and China each had their own goal of leading the medal count. On the official website, China was placed at the top of the list based on having 51 gold medals in comparison to the US's 36. However the US was ranked number one for having 100 total medals, 10 more than China. Both countries increased their medal count from the 2004 Games in Athens. While at times the US and China were in fierce competition, such as during the women's gymnastics events, both teams tended to come out on top in the sports they traditionally dominate in.

Comprehension Answers: Story #4

  1. China won the most gold medals.
  2. The US won 10 more medals in total than China.
  3. The report states that the Chinese and American gymnasts were in fierce competition.