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Billy Demong: Skier with an Odd Tattoo



Billy Demong: Skier with an Odd Tattoo

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.77

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ribcage, contender, best, overall, member, bronze, entire, skull, career, competitor, however, permanent, combination, total, personal, growth
     content words:    Nordic Ski Team, Winter Olympics, Billy Demong, New York, World Cup, World Championships


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Billy Demong: Skier with an Odd Tattoo
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     Why would a member of the U.S. Nordic Ski Team sport a "No Diving" tattoo on his ribcage? It's because a diving accident in 2002, months after he competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, put a crack in his skull that ran from his nose to the top of his head. At first, Billy Demong feared that he'd broken his neck. The fractured skull was a relief, but it did keep him away from skiing for an entire year.
 
2     Demong's Olympic sport, called Nordic combined, is a combination of ski jumps and cross-country skiing. Born and raised in northern New York, Demong began skiing in cross-country races by age 6. Four years later, he was learning to ski jump. At the age of seventeen he was in Nagano, Japan, enjoying his first Olympic experience as a competitor in the Nordic combined races.

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