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Rio Paralympics 2016

logoSpirit in Motion
– Paralympic movement motto

The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games are being held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to September 18. The Summer Paralympics are held every four years, shortly after the Summer Olympics.

Over 4,000 athletes from 161 countries are competing in Rio. They’re competing in 528 events in 22 Paralympic sports for athletes with a disability of some sort. To qualify for a particular event, each athlete must have the same type and degree of disability. The sports in which they can compete include tennis, rugby and basketball for wheelchair athletes, 7-a-side football for players with cerebral palsy and 5-a-side football for visually-impaired players. There are also events in table tennis, shooting, sailing, rowing, judo, volleyball and many other Paralympic sports, including a wide range of swimming, athletics and cycling events for athletes with many different types of disability.

Like all top athletes, Paralympians compete with determination and do their best to win. But whether they win a medal or not, they represent their countries with pride and inspire us to face life’s challenges with courage and keep a positive attitude, no matter what.

Rio Paralympics Quiz

1. In which year will the next Summer Paralympic Games be held?

2. What must all the athletes in a particular event have in common?

3. What are 5-a-side footballers unable to do?

4. Which limbs do Paralympic basketballers use to move themselves around the court?

5. What’s the total number of footballers on the pitch at any one time during a match for players with cerebral palsy?

6. According to this blog, what do Paralympians help many of us do?

Write your answers in the comment box below. You can check your answers in our next Paralympics blog.

cerebral palsy (noun): a medical condition that affects a person’s control of their movement and speech

disability (noun): any condition that prevents full or normal use of the body or mind

no matter what (phrase): regardless of what else happens, as in “I’ll be there, no matter what.”

Paralympian (noun): an athlete with a disability who’s competed in the Paralympic Games

(the) Paralympic Games (noun) [also “the Paralympics”]: the biggest international sports event for athletes with disabilities

visually-impaired (adjective): unable to see, or partially or completely blind

wheelchair (noun): a chair on large wheels, mostly used by disabled people who can’t use their legs

Related Pages:

Amazing Athletes at Rio

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

We’ve seen many great performances by amazing athletes at the Rio Olympics. We’ve seen Jamaica’s Usain Bolt win the men’s 100 metre sprint for the third time. This makes him the first track and field athlete to compete in the same event at three Olympic Games and win the gold medal each time.

We’ve also seen American swimmer Michael Phelps become the most successful Olympic athlete ever. He first competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when he was only 15 years old. He didn’t win a medal in Sydney, but since then he’s won more Olympic medals than anyone else in history. He’s won a total of 28 medals in freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and medley competitions, including 23 gold medals.

Many younger athletes have also done amazing things at the Rio Olympics. Kyle Chalmers is an 18-year-old swimmer from Australia who surprised everyone, including himself, by winning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. And Simone Biles, a 19-year-old African American gymnast, has won four gold medals and a bronze in her first Olympics. After showing her amazing skill and talent in gymnastics she became many people’s favourite athlete at Rio.

Simone Biles

American gymnast Simone Biles, winner of 4 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias / (CC BY 2.0)

But representing your country at the Olympic Games is an amazing achievement in itself, even if you don’t win a medal. For some people their favourite athlete is someone like this from their own country who trains hard and does his or her best, no matter what their chance of winning might be. But for others their favourite is an Olympic star who’s won lots of medals, no matter which country they come from. Tell us which of the athletes in Rio you like the best in the comment box below:

Who’s your favourite athlete at the Rio Olympics, and why?

Win a free ebook! Write your answer in the comment box below and you’ll have a chance of winning a free copy of 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context.  The winner will be announced on August 21st.

Please note ⇒ This competition is now over and the winner has been announced. You can still add comments below if you like, however.

backstroke (noun): a swimming stroke you do while lying on your back

butterfly (noun): a face-down swimming stroke in which you move both arms forward at the same time

freestyle (noun): a swimming event in which swimmers are free to use any style

medley (noun): a race that includes one or more laps in each of four different swimming styles

sprint (noun): a short, fast race run over a distance of 400 metres or less

track and field (noun): running, jumping and throwing events in athletics that take place on a running track or the field enclosed by the track

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First Olympics refugee team – Answers

Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

Answers to the quiz questions in our blog about the First Olympics refugee team: (more…)

First Olympics refugee team

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

For the first time ever, a team of refugees is competing at the Olympic Games. All ten athletes in the Refugee Olympic Team have escaped from their country of birth because of war or other dangers. They include athletes originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria.

The team was led into the Maracana stadium during the Opening Ceremony by Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a 23-year-old 800-metre runner. Rose fled from war in South Sudan with her family when she was just eight years old and has lived in a refugee camp in Kenya ever since. The team also includes four other South Sudanese runners now living in Kenyan refugee camps; Yiech Pur Biel (800 metres), James Nyang Chiengjiek (400m), Anjelina Nada Lohalith (1,500m) and Paulo Amotun Lokoro (1,500m). Other team members include Syrian swimmers Yusra Mardini and Rami Anis, judo athletes Yolande Bukasa Mabika and Popole Misenga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopian marathon runner Yonas Kinde.

Refugee Olympic Team #TeamRefugees

The ten members of the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team. Rose Nathike Lokonyen is in the far-right column, middle row.

Refugee Olympic Team Quiz

1. Was there a Refugee Olympic Team competing at the 2012 London Olympics?

2. How many members of the team now live in the country of their birth?

3. How many members live in Kenyan refugee camps?

4. How many runners does the team include?

5. In which sport are athletes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo competing?

6. From which country did the team’s swimmers escape?

Write your answers in the comment box below. You can then check your answers here: First Olympics refugee team – Answers

fled (past tense of verb “to flee”): left a place quickly, esp. because of danger

marathon (noun): a very long running race (about 42 km or 26 miles in the Olympics)

refugee (noun): a person who’s been forced to leave their home or their country because of war, persecution or other dangers

refugee camp (noun): a place where refugees are kept, often in tents, until they can return home or move to a country that welcomes them

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Learn English Vocabulary with Eponyms

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An eponym is a word that comes from a person’s name, such as boycott (from a selfish land agent) or petri dish (named after a German bacteriologist). Here are a few more eponyms that you will find in this section:  (more…)

Learn and Teach English with Holiday Greeting Cards

happy-lunar-new-year-a7Do you enjoy sending e-cards to your friends, family members or students? EnglishClub has holiday greeting cards that you can share along with easy English articles and quizzes.

1. Choose a Greeting Card

Find downloadable holiday/festival greeting cards to send to friends and loved ones on special occasions. (more…)

Free English Stickers


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How to get the Stickers


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Jingle Bells – for English Learners

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For Learners: You can respond to the prompts in your notebook at home or on your MyEC blog. If you don’t have a blog, set one up on MyEC. If you’re not on MyEC, join today! It’s free, and you will have an instant audience of learners and teachers for your blog. Use the tag #corrections if you want teachers or advanced learners to help you with your writing.

For Teachers: Print the writing prompts out to use in class, or assign them easily for homework by sharing the link. You could also set your students up on MyEC and have them share their blog posts with you.

New Writing Prompts will be added each week!

Interesting Facts In Easy English

We Have Good News!

Following the news is a good way to practise English. Many English learners read, listen to, or watch the news in order to learn new vocabulary and practise reading and listening skills. Having a little background information about the news in one’s own native language is very helpful when it comes to understanding the news in a foreign language.

While it’s great to stay informed, too much news can be depressing! The news is full of tragedies, disasters, and conflict. Staying connected to the world can even become addictive if you aren’t careful. A teacher who uses’s Weekly News in her classroom recently expressed concerns about the “negative news” on our podcast. (more…)

Months of the Year Song

Just released! Another hit song for you to listen and learn by from EnglishClub: the Months of the Year Song — or It’s Been a Year (since you broke my heart). As usual, it comes with sub-titles so you can follow along more easily.

Months of the Year Song on EnglishClub

We think you’ll enjoy this fun song from Jonathan Taylor. It’s perfect for teachers too.

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The games are in sets of ten, with each set focussing on just one particular way of talking about the past, the present or the future. The first game in each set is the easiest, and the last game is the most difficult. In each game, the words in a sentence are mixed up or “jumbled”, and players try to put them back into their correct order.

For example, one of the sets focusses on using “going to” to talk about future plans or intentions. In a game in this set, players might have to make a sentence with the following words: “movie”, “to”, “I’m”, “tomorrow”, “a”, “see”, and “going”. Players can drag these words around, trying different combinations, until they come up with a sentence that they think is correct. If they come up with either “Tomorrow I’m going to see a movie” or “I’m going to see a movie tomorrow”, they earn the maximum score of 100%. Players can then click on “Next Game” to play another game about “going to”.

There are 720 games in 72 different sets, and learners who gradually work their way through the whole collection are sure to improve their understanding of the many ways in which we can talk about time in English.

Find and play these games at:

Rainbow Nation Colour Song

Are you ready to check out a new EnglishClub music video (with subtitles)? Rainbow Nation Colour Song, by Jonathan Taylor, is a catchy reggae tune about colours. Sing along as you watch and listen to the video. You can’t help but learn the colours!

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