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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #2018: Olympic Success
On television, the young gymnast comes down from the uneven bars with little effort. She smiles toward the enthusiastic crowd and walks away with high scores. Then, the silver or gold medallist appears on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” or on television. It all seems to be easy and glamorous.
You don’t see it on television, but the road to Olympic success is a long one; and it is hard, physically, emotionally and financially. There is the stress of competition and the separation from loved ones.
Stacey has spent the last 13 years preparing for the Olympics. Today, the young athlete feels the pressure. Four years from now, she’ll be 21 and too old for the gymnastic competition in the Olympics. Even when very young, a dedicated athlete must practise or attend meetings five or six nights a week. This exhausting routine includes doing one’s homework in the car on the way to practice and sleeping on the way back. Her life is hectic… Three times a week, her trainers start working with her as early as 5:30 in the morning. Then she goes through the routine of uneven bars, floor exercise, etc. After that, she goes off to class at the public school next to the gym. At 4, she is back in the gym till 7:30, working on optionals or her own routine.
“Olympic competition is a family decision for most competitors,” says her Dad. “Without the support of their families, the gymnasts couldn’t become the great achievers they are.”
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