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GLOBAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE
EDUCATION NEWSLETTER
Summer 2004 - Issue No. #54

Read, Listen and Guess! An Olympic Card Game

Issue #53 contained a number of activities that you might find useful for teaching about the Olympic Games:
  1. Why Teach about the Olympics?
  2. Teaching Ideas
  3. Teaching Resources (websites and books)
  4. Reading Passage: The Olympic Games
  5. Activity: Redesign the Olympics!
  6. Other activities: quizzes, games, quotes, world peace...
Also, don't forget to check out Issue #55 for more ideas!

Read, Listen and Guess! An Olympic Card Game

(Download this as a pdf file for easy printing)

Form pairs or groups, then take turns reading the cards to the other members of your group.

Level 1: Study your card, check the vocabulary, then read the card to your group.
Level 2: Memorize your card, then explain it to your group members without looking

(a) discuss the story on each card, share your opinions and ask questions to your group
(b) try to decide which of the following themes each card illustrates:

  • Sportsmanship
  • Determination
  • Prejudice
  • Honesty
  • Sacrifice
  • Stamina
  • Pride


CARD # 1 Jesse Owens
(USA)

Jesse Owens, a Black American, was the grandson of slaves. His talent for sports earned him a place on the US Olympic team and he was sent to Berlin for the 1936 Games in Nazi Germany. Hitler had hoped these Olympics would prove the superiority of the white Aryan race. He was shocked when Owens disproved his racist theories by winning 4 gold medals.

CARD # 2 Abebe Bikila
(Ethiopia)

Abebe Bikila was an unknown runner from Ethiopia when he shocked the world's sports experts by winning the marathon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. It was Bikila's first competition outside his hometown of Addis Ababa. What was surprising was that he ran the entire marathon barefoot - without shoes - yet set a new Olympic record for the event.

CARD #3 Lawrence Lemieux
(Canada)

Lawrence Lemieux of Canada was in second place in the sailing competition at the 1988 Olympics when he noticed that Joseph Chan of Singapore had fallen in the water and was drowning. He quickly turned around and saved Chan's life. When asked why he didn't ignore Chan and keep racing, he answered "I'm not that intense." He was later given a special award.

CARD # 4 Teofilo Stevenson
(Cuba)

Teofilo Stevenson of Cuba was one of the greatest boxers in the world. He won 3 consecutive gold medals at the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Boxing promoters offered him $1 million to turn professional. He refused, saying "I will not trade the Cuban people for all the dollars in the world. What is a million dollars against 8 million Cubans who love me?"

CARD # 5 Paavo Nurmi
(Finland)

Paavo Nurmi of Finland was the world's top runner. At the 1928 Olympics, he was running against Lucien Duquesne of France when he stumbled and fell. The Frenchman stopped to help him up. Nurmi continued the race running side-by-side with Duquesne, but refused to pass him, even though he easily could have. The two runners crossed the finish line together.

CARD # 6 Gertrude Ederle
(USA)

Gertrude Ederle competed in the 1924 Olympics on the U.S. women's swimming team. At that time, many people were against women taking part in sports since they were "too weak." In 1926, Ederle set out to swim from France to England across the English Channel. To everyone's surprise, she set a time of 14 hours 31 minutes - 2 hours faster than the current men's record!

CARD # 7 Judy Guinness
(UK)

Judy Guinness was a talented British fencer at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. She managed to progress to the finals of the women's fencing championships. In the spirit of fair play, she gave up her hopes for a gold medal when she pointed out to the referees that they hadn't noticed two points scored against her by her opponent, Ellen Preis of Austria.

CARD # 8 Sohn Kee-Chung
(Korea)

Sohn Kee-chung grew up in Korea while it was occupied by Japan. Due to his speed, he was sent to the 1936 Olympics on the Japan team but was forced to use a Japanese name. When he won the marathon, his victory was celebrated with the Japanese flag and Japanese national anthem. Finally, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, he was honored - as a Korean - for his feat.

*****

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