Script: Listening Exercise 167

Script: Listening Exercise 167

A Medal from the Heart

Voice 1: Every Olympic Games is a heady mixture of high excitement and deep disappointment. Athletes go there to win, but sometimes all they come away with is a feeling of frustration after failing to achieve their goal of winning a medal.

Voice 2: One of the big disappointments of the 2012 London Olympic Games came at the end of the men's four by one hundred metres relay sprint. The race itself was nail-biting stuff, but the drama didn't stop when the winning team crossed the finishing line.

Voice 1: Canada's relay runners raced to third place in the event, behind the two favourite teams from Jamaica and the United States. One of the fans cheering the Canadian squad in front of his TV at home was ten-year-old Elijah Porter who lives in the town of Paradise, in Newfoundland.

Voice 2: But at the Olympic Games, jubilation can turn into tragedy in no time. Shortly after the results were flashed all around the world, the Olympic adjudicators announced that the Canadian relay team had been disqualified from the race and that their bronze medal had been withdrawn. It was awarded instead of Trinidad and Tabago.

Voice 1: The unbelievable had happened, and the happiness of Canadians all over the world suddenly turned into heartbreak. On viewing a video of the race, the judges had seen one of the Canadian runners step on a lane line as he ran round a bend in the track. The race's rules state quite clearly that runners cannot step onto the painted lines that mark out the running track. And rules are rules.

Voice 2: Elijah, along with all his countrymen, was heart-broken when the news of hisn squad's disqualification came through. But he knew that he had to do something about the way he was feeling.

Voice 1: Without wasting a moment, Elijah wrote a letter to the Canadian runners in London. Elijah has Asperger's syndrome, and he sometimes finds writing difficult. But his desire to give support to the devastated running team gave him extra determination to do something he does not find easy. He wrote:

Voice 2: "When I heard what happened on August 11, I knew it was wrong. The rules were not right. But at last I realised how good you were. We're Canadians. We persevere. We create better lives for each other. The cold didn't stop us living in the North. We adapt and survive."

Voice 1: But a letter of support was not the only thing Elijah wanted to send to the disappointed runners.

Voice 2: When Elijah was four years old, he won a medal for playing football. This medal was his proudest possession, and it hung in the Porter home along with sporting medals that Elijah's dad had won. Elijah decided to send it to the Canadian runners as a replacement for the medal that had been taken away from them.

Voice 1: Elijah asked his mum to send his junior football medal to the Canadian running squad. " I hope you like the medal ", Elijah wrote. Now, the Canadian Olympic relay team had a medal after all. And it was a prize that came from a young boy's heart.

Voice 2: The actions of the young boy certainly lifted the spirits of the disappointed Canadian runners, and news of Elijah’s generous act of kindness quickly spread on social media sites. One little boy had done something special, and he had made a difference.


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