he story of women in
sports is like the story of women in many other activities. First they
were ignored, and then gradually became accepted. Now they are just
taken for granted as part of any sporting events. T
ake gymnastics, for instance. When
women first took part in the Olympic Games in 1928, they were not
allowed to do gymnastics. Women’s gymnastics was then thought
he first woman to attract attention
to this sport was a Russian girl called Olga Korbut. In the 1972
Olympic Games in Munich she amazed everybody and won a gold medal. The
next girl who surprised the whole sporting world was the Romanian
gymnast Nadia Comaneci. In the 1976 Olympic Games she won the overall
title. She was then 14. Girls’ popularity in this sport was here to
owever, if these girls get glory at
such an early, they pay for it. They work hard. What’s more, they give
their lives, quite often from the age of seven, to the sport
. They are considered ‘old’ at the age of twenty. P
erhaps you are wondering what they
do when they ‘retire’. For some, fame continues. Olga Korbut, for
instance, became a film star and married a Rock musician. Others
fall back into obscurity and have to adapt to a new way of life. W
hen asked in an interview whether
she regretted her career, Nelli Kim, an ‘old’ gymnast answered, “No.
For the rest of your life you always remember the wonderful sensation
of flying through the air, after a good routine on the bars. It really
is a moment of perfection.”
A. What do the underlined words in the text refer to
- the sport (§ 4)
- Others (§ 5)
B. Answer the questions
- Why weren’t women authorized to go in for gymnastics in the 1928 Olympic Games?
- Why does the author think women gymnasts are ‘old’ at 20?
C. Put the following events in the order in which they are presented in the text
¨ A Romanian sportswoman stood out in gymnastics.
¨ Nelli Kim gave an interview as a retired gymnast.
¨ A Russian gymnast became an actress.
¨ Women were not allowed to go in for gymnastics in 1928.
¨ Olga Korbut won a gold medal for the Soviet Union.
¨ At present we can see women’s gymnastics in many sporting competitions.