Clap Skates

Clap Skates
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.87

     challenging words:    speed, skaters, sport, races, possible, slap, powerful, against, skating, during, fact, power, important, race, stroke, fraction
     content words:    Winter Olympics

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Clap Skates
By Cindy Grigg

1     Speed skating is a sport in which ice skaters race against each other. In the Olympics, speed skating races can be won by just a fraction of a second. Because of this, it is important that speed skaters get as much power from each stroke of their skates as possible. The more powerful the stroke, the faster the skater will move over the ice. Speed skaters wear special skates to help them get more power.
2     In 1998, a new type of speed skates was used in the Winter Olympics held at Nagano, Japan. These skates are called clap skates or slap skates. A clap skate has a hinge at the toe of the boot. When the skater lifts his or her foot after a stroke, the skate bends at the hinge. The heel of the boot moves away from the ice, while the blade of the skate slides along the ice. When the heel of the skate moves back into place, it makes a clapping sound. Regular speed skates, on the other hand, do not have a hinge. When a speed skater wearing regular skates lifts his or her foot after .....
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