the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
photo Tara Benwell Instructions:
  1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
  2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
  3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
  4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
  5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
  6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

Michael Phelps Becomes Most Decorated Olympian

dateline: 07 August 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • decorated: having received many awards (medals or ribbons)
  • anchor: the strongest member of a team (or the last to go)
  • impressive: causes people to be amazed
  • lead: a position ahead of the others in a race
  • committed: focused on achieving a goal

Michael Phelps Becomes Most Decorated Olympian

On July 31, 2012, Michael Phelps, an American swimmer, received his Olympic medal, and became the most decorated Olympian of all time. Phelps beat the previous record of 18 medals, which was held for 48 years by Soviet Union gymnast Larisa Latynina. Phelps picked up his 19th medal as the anchor in the 4 X 200 freestyle relay, after his teammates gave him an impressive lead for a win. Phelps has been criticized in recent months for not being as committed to his sport as he was for the 2008 Beijing Games where he went home with 8 gold medals. At the 2012 Olympics, Phelps admitted to being less , saying that he is having fun now. London 2012 is Phelps’ 4th and Olympics.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who is Larisa Latynina?
  2. When did Phelps break the record?
  3. How did Phelps respond to criticism at the 2012 Games?

Discussion Question: Some people say Phelps’ record makes him the greatest Olympian of all time. Others disagree with this title because many athletes only have one event to compete in and can’t get as many medals as swimmers or gymnasts. What do you think?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

Teacher's Notes

Subscribe to EnglishClub Podcasts RSS Feed

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below