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Champion Bobsledder Vonetta Flowers



Champion Bobsledder Vonetta Flowers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.47

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    best, encouraging, last-minute, shortly, bobsled, succeed, initial, descent, brakeman, flier, literally, attend, success, elementary, career, outstanding
     content words:    Vonetta Flowers, Winter Olympic, Vonetta Jeffery, Neither Vonetta, Jill Bakken, Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City


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Champion Bobsledder Vonetta Flowers
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
  

1     Disappointment is a usual part of life. Everyone faces disappointment sooner or later, and sometimes worse than others. Can you think of times when you've been disappointed? Maybe you've tried really hard to be good at something, only to find out you're not as good as you'd like to be. Athletes all over the world have gone through the same thing, to work and try hard, only to finish in fourth or fifth place.
 
2     One woman from Alabama found disappointment early in her sports career. This woman tried out for the Olympic team in her favorite sport, but didn't make the cut. Her efforts at running just weren't good enough. Of course, she was disappointed, but she found a new sport literally the same day she didn't make the Olympic team. Her name is Vonetta Flowers, and she is the first person of African descent to win a Winter Olympic gold medal. Her sport? Bobsledding.
 
3     Vonetta's story begins with a girl who was once mistaken for a boy. When she was in elementary school, a coach came looking for fast boys and girls to join a running team. The coach wrote down everyone's first initial and last name. When little Vonetta Jeffery came in as the fastest runner of them all, the coach thought the V. Jeffery on his score sheet was a boy. For many years after that, the coach worked with Vonetta, who won every race she entered.

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