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Words in the News
Monday 25 February 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Fireworks fiesta closes Games
Winter Olympics come to close amid controversy
Summary: The Winter Olympics have closed in Salt Lake City with a huge display of international music and dance. However, the event has become entangled in controversy. This report from David Willis:
The News Listen  
  The culmination of 17 days of skating, sliding, skiing and sledding was filled with Olympic spirit. Almost all of the 2,500 athletes who competed in Salt Lake came to mingle and party together in the final gathering of the 77 nations who'd contested the Games.

Notable absentees - three athletes who earlier in the day had been expelled for taking drugs. The biggest doping scandal since Ben Johnson's expulsion from the 1988 Seoul Olympics saw two of the Games' biggest cross-country stars, one from Russia, the other from Spain, stripped of their medals, and another disqualified only hours before the closing ceremony, after they tested positive for a new drug, called darbepoetin, which enhances endurance.

It was the latest twist in an Olympic drama which had also seen boycott threats and vote rigging.

Germany finished top of the medals table with 35, including a dozen gold. Hosts, USA, boosted by home cheers, collected 34, ten of them gold - their best Winter Olympics performance ever.

David Willis, BBC News, Salt Lake City

The Words Listen
the culmination of an activity, or series of events happens at the end of it and is its highest point

  to mingle
to move around and chat with people

  notable absentees
here - important athletes who were not present at the ceremony

  doping scandal
a situation involving athletes who are caught taking illegal drugs, which is seen as shocking and immoral

  stripped of
if an athlete is stripped of a medal, it is taken away from them

  enhances endurance
makes you feel fitter and stronger and perform better

an unexpected and significant development

  vote rigging
voting that is organised dishonestly, to get a particular result

  boosted by home cheers
supported by their fellow countrymen

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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