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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 6 to 8|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||6.08|
Margaux Isaksen, Pentathlete
By Cindy Grigg
1 Photo used with permission from Margaux Isaksen, 2008
2 The Summer Olympics were held in China in 2008. One of the U.S. athletes there was sixteen-year-old Margaux Isaksen (pronounced mar-GO ee-SAHK-sen). Margaux competed in the modern pentathlon. This competition consists of five events. The events are fencing, shooting, swimming, equestrian jumping, and running. There has been a women's Olympic competition in this event only since 2000.
3 The pentathlon was invented for the 1896 Olympic Games. This was the first "modern" Olympics - the first to be held for many, many years. The founder of the modern Olympics wanted a competition that would use the skills of a cavalry soldier of the times. If the soldier was cut off from his unit, he might have to ride an unknown horse. He would need to fight with both a pistol and sword. He must be able to run and possibly swim to escape. The pentathlon combines all these skills in one event. Since 1996, all five parts are done in one day.
4 Athletes in the shooting segment use air pistols. They stand, shooting at small targets at a distance of ten meters. Twenty shots must be completed in about fourteen minutes.
5 Swimming is a 200-meter freestyle race. Best finishing times decide the winners.
6 The riding part is an obstacle course. Riders "choose" their horses by a random drawing. They get only twenty minutes to warm up on their horses. Then they must ride their horses over a 350-meter course. The horses must jump twelve to fifteen obstacles.
7 The fencing segment lasts for only one minute. The first person to score a hit wins the match. If neither person touches the other with his or her epï┐Że (sword), they both lose. Each pentathlete will fence with every other pentathlete once. Total points decide the overall winner.
8 The running portion is a cross-country run. Runners run for three kilometers. They are ranked by their scores from the first four parts of the competition, with the leader going first. The first person crossing the finish line is the overall winner of the pentathlon.
9 Each country sends two men and two women to the Olympics for this event. Here's Margaux's story.
Paragraphs 10 to 19:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable
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