Speed, excitement, danger. You can find all these in the different extreme sports that have become popular in last 10 years.Take bungee jumping. You jump off a bridge and you fall and fall, and then, just before you hit the ground or water, an elastic rope pulls you back.In skysurfing you jump out of aeroplane and use a board to "surf" the air, doing gymnastics in mid-air!
Winter sports have always an element of danger. For example snowboarding, which has all the excitement of surfing but on snow, is more dangerous even than skiing.
Probably the most dangerous of all the new winter sports is snowrafting. You sit in a rubber boat and sail down a mountain at great speed – and you can't control the boat!
Of course, water sports have always been fun. Ice diving, for those people who are absolutely crazy. You put on diving equipment and dive under a frozen lake. And, if that's not enough, you try to walk upside down on the ice! I feel cold just thinking about it.
A lot of people are not fit nowadays. It's a big problem today. If you want to feel fit you'd better go in for one kind of sport or another. I think that everyone must do all he can to be healthy. Good health is better than the best medicine. All kinds of physical exercises are very useful to make our bodies strong and to keep ourselves fit and healthy.
To tell the truth I don't do sports regularly and it is not an essential part of my daily life. In the morning I do some exercises just to awake. In summer I go swimming as there is a beautiful lake with pure water where my Granny lives. In winter I swim in the swimming pool.
I shouldn't call myself a sports fan. Of course, I like to watch sports competitions on TV, like hockey or football. Also I admire skiing championships, biathlon, swimming.
We often hear a saying "Don't invent a bicycle" about something simple and known for a long time. Really, the bicycle is old enough - more than a hundred years of age. Its first prototype appeared in 1791 in France. In 1800 a Russian peasant Artamonov made an iron bicycle and travelled on it from Nizhni Tagil to Moscow.
First bicycles looked odd: a large (about 1.5 m high) front wheel with a cranked axle.The back wheel was usually smaller. Bicycles were made of iron and riding them was not comfortable because of shaking. They were even called "boneshakers".In 1868 rubber tyres were invented, first solid, then pneumatic. New types of bicycles appeared every year but only in 1885 people saw a model which looked like modern cycles. It had two almost equal wheels and a chain drive to the rear wheel. The frame of the cycle was diamond-shaped. This shape survived and became basic. The new machine looked more elegant than the old "spiders" which were soon abandoned. As time went by, new bicycles were invented – for two, three and even fifteen riders!
The first bicycle race was held in 1868 in Paris. But the sport became popular only several decades later because bicycles were expensive and only rich people could afford them. By the end of the 19th century many factories produced thousands of bicycles which became cheap, so many people could practice cycling and take part in various competitions. Cycling competitions are generally divided into road and track events. Both kinds are in the Olympic programme. Olympic road events include individual and team races.
Individual races' distances are different, usually they do not exceed 200 kilometres. The winner is the first cyclist who passes over the finish line with his front wheel.
In the team road event the teams start the contest with 2-4 minutes interval, and that team wins whose members get the best sum of timings.
Track events take place on special cycling tracks which look like elongated stadiums with a sloping runway made of concrete, wood or plastics.Track events are very spectacular. The Olympic programme includes 1 km sprint races, 1 km heat or time trial, individual pursuit and team pursuit over 4 km.
My name's Sola. I like doing many things but one thing that I really like doing is playing chess.
Chess is an indoor and competitive game played between two players. It is being played in tournaments, online or at home. The origin of chess is traced to India of the 6th century during the Gupta Empire. The military had four divisions known as "infantry", "cavalry", "elephant" and "chariot". These names are represented in the chess game as: pawn, knight, bishop and the rook respectively. In the 9th century, the game was introduced to Western Europe and Russia.
The chess board is made up of 64 squares (eight rows and eight columns) and the colors of the squares alternate (dark and light squares). The pieces which are comprised of a king, a queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and eight pawns are in sets black and white. To start the game, white moves first. The pieces are moved one at a time to an occupied square by an opponent's piece, thereby removing it from play or to a square that is not occupied. However, two pieces are moved simultaneously when castling.
Each chess piece has its own style of moving. The pawn moves one or two steps forward to an unoccupied square but one forward diagonal step to an occupied square. The Knight moves in "L" pattern. The bishop moves diagonally. The rook moves horizontally or vertically with as many steps as possible. The queen moves in all directions covering as many squares as possible. And the king moves one step at a time in all directions.
The king is permitted to make a move called castling. The king makes two squares towards the rook of the same color and the rook moves onto the square over which the king crossed. The following are the prerequisites to castling:
- The king and the rook must be on the same color
- The king and the rook involved in the castling may not have been previously moved
- There must be no pieces between the king and the rook
- The king may not currently be in check
Pawns could be promoted to any of the following: a queen, rook, bishop, or knight of the same color when it advances to the eighth rank. Most chess players choose to promote the pawn to a queen. Also, a pawn can capture another pawn that is on an adjacent file next to it via en passant. En passant is when a pawn moves two squares ahead and if the opponent's pawn is on an adjacent file next to the destination of the pawn.
The king is being checked when it is exposed to an attack from one of the opponent's piece. The best response to a check is to get rid of the piece checking the king by capturing it. Another method is to create interference by bringing in a piece to shield the king from the attack. The last method is to move the king. However, a move that would put the king in check is not allowed in the game.
To win the game, the opponent must be checkmated. Checkmate is when king is in check has there is no way to escape. There are occasions that the chess games do not end with a checkmate. Other way the game ends are: draw by agreement, stalemate, threefold repetition of a position, and the fifty-move rule.
Can All People Become Champions?
We know a lot about physical training and sports. They are part of our everyday life. Sports help people to stay in good shape. Many boys and girls are interested in sports. They take part in sports activities, they visit either a sports club or a sports school. From time to time competitions are held and we hear about new champions. But what is the aim of such competitions? Is it to find out those who can produce the best results? Yes, that is one of the aims. But the main thing is to help young people to be healthy and strong. All people can go in for sports, but not all of them can become champions. It's a very difficult thing to win a victory in an athletics competition. An athlete must train a great deal and know many things about his or her kind of sport. At the same time it must be said that physical training and sports are very useful. They include tennis, athletics, hockey, football, swimming, basketball and so on. I think that team kinds of sports are popular among pupils because they develop quick thinking, character and self control, but it should be kept in mund that there is no obligatory aim to become a champion. Anyone who wants to to become a champion must remember that we are playing for our school, not for yourself, with a team, not alone.
Camping holiday (opinion composition)
I would think twice before going on a camping holiday. First of all, it is an occupation for a company, while I like to spend free time alone. Second, you should sleep in a tent. Personally I find it uncomfortable. Third, you can get food poisoning because of the forest food, I find it awful. More than that there are a lot of mosquitos outside at night. They will irritate you much. At last, you can get lost in the forest. It`s the worst thing which can happen. In general I wouldn`t enjoy such kind of holiday at all.
Ballroom dances are amazing.
I am keen on ballroom dances. Some people consider that ballroom dances aren't a kind of sport, but I don't share their opinion. Since my childhood I had noticed my love to dances.
I enjoy observing the dancers doing their labour of love with great pleasure. The speech is going about people, who dance not only for money, not only for a wide fame. I am talking about people, who can feel those moments of happiness, the moments you are free. This time you are independent of all problems in this world. It's impossible to convey, it has to be felt. Watching the breathtaking performance, we can see graceful movements, wonderful hand balances and other splendid actions. Indeed, we observe the lightness illusion only. It's hard to imagine how much time and energy this art of dancing has been taking. For making progress you have to have a great number of characteristics features. Some of them are sincere desire first of all, motivation and also talent.
Training is a main way to success. Every movement of dancers is being repeated not one hundred times, because efficient revision is important part for achievement of result. All time you are in gym must be made use of.
Don't be afraid to experiment, try to think of something new, making your own style. Mistakes are inevitable, but you have to endeavour to improve yourself.
American Sports and Games
Baseball is the most popular game in the US. It is played throughout the spring and summer by schools, colleges and professional teams.
Football is the most popular game in the autumn. There are professional football teams in all the main cities of the United States. In American football there are eleven players in each team, as in the original football, but the rules are different. Players are often hurt in American football. So the teams wear special clothing and helmets as in hockey.
Basketball is a very popular game in the United States too. It is especially popular in high schools, both among boys and girls.
The game of golf is very popular with businessmen and professional people. It is played by both men and women. There are now more golfers than tennis players.
Swimming, water skiing and skin diving are popular summer sports. In winter many people go in for ice-skating, skiing and hockey if they live in the Northern and Central states.
Other sports include wrestling, boxing and horse racing.
A sense of adventure
In our time, life is not so interesting and exciting as it can be. The world has become a bland and safe place. Each day is like another and we are so tired of such life. People in the past used to risk their life by hunting animals, taking part in expeditions. We need some adrenaline and extreme to feel that our life is going forward.Risk sports become the fastest-growing leisure activities. More and more people try anything from organized bungee jumping to illegally jumping off buildings. And people never feel so alive as when they are risking their life. The real thrill-seekers in their quest for the ultimate sensation are thinking up more and more elaborate sports.
There are other opinions about why some people choose risk sports, whereas others in that time sit at home doing whatever they want. Some say that people who do risk sports are reacting against a society, which they feel has become dull and constricting. In other words people now turn to risk sports as an escape from all boring things in their life. Moreover risk sports help to overcome fears that affect us in reality. It's very important for people who work a lot and cannot cope when things go wrong, which mean that they can't control the situation.
People invented a lot of possibilities to make their life more interesting and exiting. Now you can try everything: 'zip wiring', which involves sliding down a rope from the top of cliff suspended by a pulley attached to your ankle, bungee jumping and other. But of all the risk or adrenaline sports, bungee jumping is the most popular. Worldwide, one-and-a-half million people have tried it. You hurtle towards the ground from 200 metres up and, at the last moment, when you are about to hit the water or land and death seems certain, a rubber band yanks you back to life. You can decide whether to jump from a crane, a bridge or a balloon. Attached to a length of elastic rope, jumpers experience a free fall of nearly 100mph, before they're slowed by a quickly increasing pull on their ankles. After five or six bounces jumpers are lowered on to a mattress and set free. Almost inarticulate, they walk around with idiotic grins on their faces. Their hands can't stop shaking, they can only use superlatives and say repeatedly how amazing it was. You feel as if you're floating in the air.
Will We Live In Space?
People have dreamed of travelling in space for thousands of years. But it was not until 1957 that it became a reality.
On October 4, 1957 the USSR launched the first man-made satellite into space. It was called Sputnik 1.
On April 12, 1961 the soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth. The first spacewoman in the world was Valentina Tereshkova. She made 48 orbits in 1963 in her Vostok 6.
On July 20, 1969 the American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon.
In 1986 the Russian space station Mir was launched.
Progress is inevitable and soon we'll be able to visit and even live on other planets. The 21st century may turn science fiction into science fact. Scientists are already at work on the International Space Station, a "city of space". It will be the size of a football field and will weigh over 200 tons. A team of 10-15 spacemen will probably be able to live and work at the International Space Station in 2005.
The next step will be the first moonbase. 20 or 30 scientists will live inside a dome with an artificial atmosphere. This will make it possible for them to live and work without spacesuits. It also means that they will be able to grow food. If the moonbase is a success, the first lunar city will be built. It will have schools and universities, cinemas and discos, scientific laboratories and hospitals. Even babies will be born on the moon!
The next great step will be when people land on our nearest planet Mars. Scientists say that the planet once had water on its surface. If that water is now frozen underground, humans will be able to use it someday. By the end of the 21-st century, scientists hope, it will be possible to "terraform" Mars — transform the planet into an earthlike place with air and water. Space awaits the 21st century's pioneers.
Not long ago computers were considered an amazing invention. Today they form part of our everyday life. The latest thing today is Virtual Reality. A Virtual Reality system can transport the user to exotic locations such as a beach in Hawaii or the inside of the human body.
The Virtual Reality system is still in the early stages of its development. At the moment it is necessary to put a large helmet on your head to see the simulated world and you have to wear a special glove on your hand in order to manipulate the objects you see there. Lenses and two miniature display screens inside the helmet create the illusion that the screen surrounds you on every side.
You can "look behind" computer— generated objects, pick them up and examine them, walk around and see things from a different angle.Already today Virtual Reality is used in medicine. In hospitals, surgeons could plan operations by first "travelling" through the brain, heart or lungs without damaging the body. It is also used in police training schools. In schools pupils could explore the Great Pyramid or study molecules from the inside. Developers of Virtual Reality say its potential is powerful.
The word which comes closest to describing Virtual Reality is "simulator." Virtual Reality technology resembles the flight simulators that are used to train pilots.