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The Army That Saved The Olympics

Snow Machine

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • threaten: to give signs of causing harm or a problem
  • mild: not cold; comfortable temperature
  • luge: a sledding event in which the rider(s) travels down a chute feet first
  • artificial: not real

The Army That Saved The Olympics

In 1964, at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, a of snow threatened the Games. It was the mildest Austrian in decades, and thousands of Austrian troops were called into action to make sure that the Games could go on. The soldiers went into the mountains and thousands of ice blocks to transport to the luge and bobsled runs. They also carted over 25,000 tons of snow to the ski courses. Since the 1980s artificial have been used by nations hosting the Winter Olympics. According to recent studies, the average February temperature at the Winter Games has been slowly climbing. Approximately 500 snow guns were set up of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why was the Austrian army needed at the 1964 Olympics?
  2. What changed for host nations after the 1980s?
  3. Why does the reading mention guns?

Discussion Questions: Though snow machines are more reliable than Mother Nature, cold temperatures are still required to keep artificial snow from melting. Do you think global warming will put an end to the Winter Olympics in your lifetime?

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