NORTH KOREA WANTS TO BECOME A SPORTS SUPERPOWER
(P1) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has declared his intention to turn North Korea into a sporting POWERHOUSE “within a few years”. It is already happening in WEIGHTLIFTING.
(P2) At last year’s World Championships in Kazakhstan, North Korea topped the medal count at a major championship for the first time.
(P3) They are expected to repeat their strong performance at the 2015 competition in Houston, which begins on Friday.
(P4) North Korea would also like to host a future World Championship.
(P5) For a such a closed country, this is a remarkable ABOUT-TURN.
(P6) So why do North Koreans EXCEL at weightlifting?
(P7) “They look like what you would want a weightlifter to look like,” says British Weightlifting performance director Tommy Yule.
(P8) “Short arms, long back and short legs. The Chinese and the North Korean lifters have the ideal body DIMENSIONS to excel.”
(P9) The exact training methods of the North Koreans are UNCLEAR.
(P10) They eat, sleep, and breathe weightlifting. It is SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST and those who cannot KEEP UP are DISMISSED.
(P11) North Korea’s ambitions are not limited to winning medals. They extend to hosting the World Championships.
(P12) There may be a lot for the North Korean weightlifters to celebrate in Houston and at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Does your country have a strong Olympic sports program?
- Have you ever trained with weights at a gym?
- Why is it considered an about-turn for North Korea to be so interested in international sports competitions?
- Weightlifting is not one of the major fan sports, but AFICIONADOS love it. Do you have any favorite sports among the less popular sports?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Survival of the fittest
- Keep up