Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
All round the field spectators were gathered Cheering
on all the young women and men Then the final event
of the day was approaching
The last race about to begin.
- Nine Gold Medals, David Roth
(i) Where had the 'young women and men' come from?
From many countries
What had brought them together?
The desire to compete / prove themselves / win medals at the Special Olympics/ participate in the Olympic games/ to win glory for their country
How had they prepared themselves for the event?
Spent a long time/ many weeks and months in training.
(ii) What was the last event of the day?
The one hundred metres run
How many athletes were participating in this event?
What signal were they waiting for?
The sound of the gun / pistol
(iii) What happened to the youngest athlete half way through the race?
Youngest athlete stumbled / staggered
fell to the ground/ on his knees
How did he respond?
Cried out in frustration and anguish /all his dreams and efforts had been 'dashed in the dirt.'
(iv) What 'strange' turn did the story take at this point?
The other eight athletes stopped in their tracks/ one they turned round/ came back helped him / lifted the lad to his feet/ joined hands / walked to the finish line
(v) Why does the poet say that the banner - 'Special Olympics' could not have been nearer the mark?
Poet uses Word play (pun)
Special Olympics - races for people with special needs / specially abled athletes
The actions of the athletes (descriptions of the actions or a brief paraphrase of the poem) made this event ‘special’ in a different sense - remarkable
Their actions embodied the true spirit of sportsmanship and took it beyond the level of petty competition.
What human quality does the poem celebrate?
Personal response - the human quality of cooperation / collaboration / compassion / caring etc.