News, Sports

Highlights From The 2012 Summer Olympics

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt, and fellow sprinters, take off during the 100m at the 2012 Olympics in London. Image: Darren Wilkinson

The 2012 Summer Olympics took place in London, England from July 27 to Aug. 12. Since TKN didn’t publish during the summer school holidays, here’s a look at some of the highlights from these spectacular Olympics.

• U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps now holds the most Olympic medals of any athlete in history. He has 22 Olympic medals, four more than the next highest Olympic medal holder (gymnast Larisa Latynina, from the Soviet Union, who has 18). Not only that, but he has 18 gold medals—twice as many as any other Olympian. Phelps won six medals in the 2012 Olympics.

• Four of the world’s top badminton women’s doubles teams were kicked out of the Olympics for throwing their matches. The women deliberately tried to lose by serving wildly and hitting shots into the net or out of the court. Why? If they had won their first matches, they would have had to play more difficult opponents. By losing their first matches, they would have been able to play easier, more beatable teams. However, you’re not allowed to “throw” a match by losing on purpose so they were eliminated from the Olympics.

• Jamaican Sprinter Usain Bolt maintained his status as the world’s fastest human being. He won gold in the 100-metre and 200-metre events as well as the 4×100-metre relay.

• The Canadian women’s soccer team astonished viewers with the sheer force of their effort and skill. They lost a hard-fought match to the U.S. team, which included some very controversial calls by the referee. They went on to win bronze—and the hearts of their fellow Canadians.

• The Canadian men’s 4×100-metre relay team had the best moment of their lives, followed immediately by the worst. They weren’t expected to win a medal, but they crossed the finish line third, which should have earned them a bronze medal. They wrapped themselves in Canadian flags and were celebrating when they suddenly learned that they had been eliminated because one of the runners had accidentally stepped on the white line that divides the lanes. It was a heartbreaking moment for the team.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Michael Phelps set records at the Olympics that may take years, decades, or even centuries to break. When a record is broken people are often inspired, excited, shocked, thrilled, etc. But how might Larisa Latynina have felt when she saw her record shattered by Phelps? Pretend you are Larisa Latynina and write a short letter to Michael Phelps.

Reading Prompt: Point of View
While this article highlights some international stories that came out of the Olympics, it also focuses on three Canadian stories. One reason for this is because TKN has a lot of Canadian and American readers. How would this article be different if it were written for students in China or Jamaica?

Identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Grammar Feature: Bullet points
A bullet point (•) is a punctuation mark that is used for lists. How do the bullet points help you to understand and read the article?