【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. obstacle [OB-stuh-kuh l] (n.) – something that disturbs progress
Example: She reached her dream of winning an Olympic medal despite the obstacles.
2. descend [dih-SEND] (v.) – to move down from a higher position
Example: The athlete’s career descended after she got injured.
3. recuperate [ri-KOO-puh-reyt, -KYOO-] (v.) – to regain strength after being sick or unhealthy
Example: The injured athlete needed a week of rest to recuperate.
4. enthusiasm [en-THOO-zee-az-uh m] (n.) – the state of having great amount of interest
Example: An athletic person shows strong enthusiasm towards sports.
5. physique [fi-ZEEK] (n.) – one’s body structure, size, and appearance
Example: An athlete’s physique is usually muscular.
Read the text below.
US Open champion Serena Williams admitted that playing tennis is now just for fun after going through some health problems in the previous years.
Williams suffered from a cut in her right foot in July 2010. Soon after that obstacle, she was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, preventing her from playing tennis for 11 months. According to Williams, this period was the toughest part of her life, even calling it “11 months of hell.” To make matters worse, she descended to 175th place in the July 2011 world rankings.
Nonetheless, this period of “hell” did not stop the 31-year-old athlete from achieving her goals. After recuperating from her sickness and injury, Williams went back to playing tennis and to achieving more titles. She recently defended and won the Flushing Meadows title she won last year. She also won four grand slams in a period of only 14 months.
Her comeback is pretty much successful considering that most of her co-athletes are already struggling to compete due to their age. Unlike Williams, athletes such as Roger Federer find it hard to stay in shape upon reaching 30.
Although she plays only for fun now, Williams stressed that she still has a childlike enthusiasm for tennis. Despite her age, she continues to love the sport even more, saying that she is still having lots of fun.
While she has her physique as an advantage, Williams also makes it a point to strike a balance between power and femininity. She believes that nothing is wrong with being happy and proud of one’s strength and beauty.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· If you were Williams, would you still compete even after suffering from health problems? Why or why not?
· What do you think can be the risks of competing after going through such condition? Please explain your answer.
· In your opinion, is sports important in having a healthy lifestyle? Why or why not?
· How do you think sports can be promoted to the youth?