BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 330

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 330


IELTS Academic Reading Test



The story of the Fosbury Flop

A. On October 20, 1968 a 21 year old university student from the USA called Dick Fosbury completely transformed the sport of high jumping with a gold medal and Olympic record jump of 2.24 mts at the Mexico City games. Forbury accomplished this fabulous feat by sailing over crossbar head first and backward. As colorfully described that day by the Los Angeles Times, “Fosbury goes over the bar like a guy being pushed out of a 30 storey window.’

B. At first when asked about how this unorthodox manoeuvre originated, Fosbury would joke with sportswriters, informing some that because of this university background in physics and engineering he had initially designed the Flop on paper and telling others that he had accidentally discovered this technique when he once tripped and fell backward on his take off.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

However in later interviews, Fosbury revealed that the technique actually unfolded over many years and involved countless trials and errors. “It was simply a natural technique that evolved.” He said, “I never thought about how to change it and I am sure my coach was going crazy because it kept evolving. I didn’t know anyone else in the world would be able to use it.”

C. Fosbury explained that when he first learned to high jump at the age of 10 or 11, he tried jumping with the scissors style. He said, “ I used that style until I went into high school where my coach explained that I was never going to get anywhere with that technique. He started me with the belly roll technique. However I was really lousy with that style. I expressed my frustration to coach and he said that if I really wanted I could still use the scissors.”

IELTS Academic Reading Test

So in his next competition, Fosbury went back to the scissors style. He explained, “As the bar was raised each time, I began to lift my hips up and my shoulders went back in reaction to that. At the end of the competition I had improved my best by 15 cm to 1 m 78 and even placed third. The next two years in high school with my curved approach I began to lead with my shoulder and eventually was going over head first like today’s Floppers.”

D. In this way, the Flop evolved, not from design, but from a trial and error process which combined repeated effort with the biomechanics of Fosbury’s gangling 1 m 93 physique. Sports Illustrated writer Richard Hoffer wrote, ”It was on-site engineering his body and mind working together making reflexive adjustment with only one goal getting over the bar. Hoffer explained that although Fosbury’s arms and legs seemed to be all over the place, those movements that served to get him a centimeter higher were retained, while the others were gradually eliminated as the technique evolved.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

E. What did Fosbury think of the seeming awkwardness of his Flop? “I believe that the Flop was a natural style,” he said, “And I was just the first to find it. I can say that because the Canadian jumper Debbie Brill was a few years younger than I was and also developed the same technique only a few years after me and without ever having seen me.”

A. striking coincidence? Yes indeed. But perhaps not as striking as the fact that a high school student called Bruce Quande was photographed on May 24, 1963 flopping backward over the crossbar. This was the same month that Fosbury recalls having flopped for the first time in the competition when he was at high school.

F. But completing the Flop successfully was only half the battle the return to earth still had to be negotiated. Few would even consider such an experiment knowing they had have to land on their necks. When Fosbury was jumping in high school he had to land in pits which were filled with wood chips, sawdust or sand.

On one occasion Fosbury hit his head on the wooden border or the pit. Another time he landed totally out of the pit, flat on his back knocking the wind out of him. The next year Fosbury’s high school became the first in the region to install foam rubber in its high jump pit thereby cushioning the jumper’s fall and encouraging the use of the potentially dangerous Flop. The Fosbury Flop and cushioned landing areas thus appear to have co-evolved.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

G. Fosbury explains how he came to name the Flop. “I am very proud that I received the naming rights. But the term by which the style is known did not appear overnight. To tell the truth the first time was that I was interviewed and asked ‘What do you call this?’ I used my engineering analytical side and I referred to it as a back lay out.’ It was not interesting and the journalist didn’t even write it down. I noted this.

The next time that I was interviewed that’s when I said: ‘Well at home in my town they call it the Fosbury Flop’ – and everyone wrote it down. I was the first time to call it that but it came from a caption on a newspaper photo that said: “Fosbury flops over bar.’ The context was that our town was on a river, very popular for fishing an hour from the Pacific Ocean. And when you land a fish on the bank it’s flopping. That’s the action and so it’s a good description by a journalist and I remembered it.”

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 28-32

The text above has seven sections A-G. Which section mentions the following?

28. A suggestion that Fosbury should change his way of jumping.

29. A reference to an opportunity offered to Fosbury that made him feel honored.

30. A reference to the fact that Fosbury was a very influential high jumper.

31. Conflicting explanations given by Fosbury for the way the idea for the Fosbury Flop began.

32. A reference to a time when Fosbury was dissatisfied with his athletic performance.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 33-36

Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.

33. When interviewed about his development of the Fosbury Flop, Dick Fosbury

A. always insisted that he had carefully designed it on scientific principles

B. said he wanted to develop a technique by an injury he suffered while making a jump

C. claimed it was inspired by an injury he suffered while making a jump

D. stated that it had been done gradually without any overall pain

IELTS Academic Reading Test

34. Fosbury achieved a sudden improvement in the height he could jump when he

A. started to adapt the scissors technique

B. became much more determined to win competitions

C. decided to abandon the scissors technique

D. found a new way of using the belly roll style

35. When describing the way that Fosbury’s jump evolved, Richard Hoffer stressed that

A. Fosbury’s height slowed down his progress

B. the process was more controlled that it appeared

C. Forbury was not really aware of his own technique

D. the process included specialist input from engineers

IELTS Academic Reading Test

36. Fosbury defended his idea that his style of jumping was natural by pointing out that

A. it was achievable by younger jumpers

B. it was copied successfully by other athletes

C. it was achievable without any special training

D. it was independently discovered by other athletes

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 37-40

Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage.

How the Fosbury Flop got its name

When first interviewed, Fosbury called his jumping style a (37)………………… but he realised that this had not made an impression on the (38)………………. .In his next interview, he used a name taken from the description given to a newspaper photo – and this was the name that everyone noted. He says the name was appropriate because his town is near a (39)………………….. and a (40)…………… does a similar type of flopping movement when brought to land.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


28. C

29. G

30. A

31. B

32. C

33. D

34. A

35. B

36. D




40. FISH

IELTS Academic Reading Test


BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 330

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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