News, Sports

Canadian Athletes Working Through Injuries To Compete In Sochi

Olympics Rings. Image: Pierre de Coubertin
Olympic Rings. Image: Pierre de Coubertin

The 2014 Winter Olympics begin today (Friday, Feb. 7) in Sochi, Russa. Canadians will be cheering for their favourite athletes.

But several Olympic contenders are receiving a little more attention than others. They are recovering from major injuries and needed to add extra training so they’ll be fit enough to compete.

At least two slopestyle contenders from Canada are among this group. Slopestyle is an event in which skiers or snowboarders try to perform the most difficult tricks while flying as high into the air as possible. Mark McMorris is recovering from a broken rib, but has gone to Sochi confident that he’s still in the running for a gold medal.

Another slopestyle athelete, Kaya Turski, tore one of the main ligaments in her left knee. Regular therapy would have left her unable to compete. But her doctor knew how much she wanted to go to Sochi, so he tried a type of surgery that was new and experimental. It worked and she is in Sochi now.

Maëlle Ricker is a 35-year-old Canadian snowboarder. She was the winner of a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and hopes to do the same in Sochi. But during training in Russia, she hurt her wrist. Her event isn’t until February 17 so she’s working to get her wrist back in top shape before her event.

Competing in the Olympics is hard. It’s even harder if an injury forces you to beyond your expectations.

These Olympians plan to push their pain all the way to a medal win for Canada.

The official opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 7. Read more about it in this CBC News article.

Teaching Kids News will be posting articles throughout the Sochi Winter Olympics. Follow us on Twitter @TeachKidsNews and Like our Facebook page.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
A lot of hard work goes into becoming an Olympic athlete. What other characteristics do you think Olympians possess? What makes them different from an average person who enjoys playing sports?

Reading Prompt: Point of View
Select one of the athletes from this article and write a journal entry from their point of view. Include details, such as the work that they have done to prepare for the Olympics and how they feel about their injury.

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).

Language Feature: Antonym
An antonym is the opposite of another word. For example, the antonym of tall is short.

What are the antonyms for the following words:
1. injured
2. athlete
3. competitive
4. confident
5. experimental