Class 9 Reading Comprehension Exercise

Read the following passage and answer the questions.

One more Olympics have gone by. A total of 974 medals were won by 87 countries; 54 countries won at least one gold medal. The US flew home with 121 medals – their best medal tally of all times. Notwithstanding the individual brilliance and the face-saving medals of PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, India had nothing to celebrate or boast of. The country’s performance was the poorest among all big countries.

The discourse on this is an unhappy one: there has been a lot of hand-wringing. The media, the public and athletes have put the blame on the sports ministry and sports administrators. There have been complaints about lack of facilities and grumbles about corruption being the villain.

We repeat the same excuses every four years – during and after every Olympics. However, so far we have not been able to do anything to improve our performance. Instead of playing the blame game, we should look for simple lessons, develop a strategy to win medals and execute it diligently. No, I don’t believe that India should be planning for the Olympics scheduled eight or twelve years from now. While long-term thinking is good, any leader will tell you that it is too slow. We should aim to win a lot more medals in Tokyo in 2020. But how? The final medals tally by countries tells all sorts of stories. The top 22 countries — those with a double digit medals tally and a minimum of three gold medals — took home a total of 702 medals, or 72 per cent of all medals. The top ten suggests that only the established West (the US, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Australia) along with Russia, Japan and South Korea will continue to dominate. The emergence of China is explained as “you know the Chinese can dictate anything, so they are not comparable.” It is often implied that wealth and size are the reasons for the success of these countries. They have the facilities and programmes in place so, they are bound to win. So goes the argument and acceptance. This logic should be probed further. Olympics medals are won by people aged between 15 and 29, with a few exceptions on either side of this age band. I looked at the number of medal wins in relation to the population in the age group 15 to 29 in each country, for which data is available. This was juxtaposed with medals won to calculate the numbers of medals won per lakh of population in this age group. The story changes dramatically.

Answer the following questions

(1) What was the result of Olympics?

(2) How can India stand at a strong position in Olympics?

(3) How do the other countries dominate Olympics? (4) What are the reasons for India’s poor performance in Olympics?

(5) Identify the word which means the same as ‘a plan of action’ (para2)

(i) discourse (ii) wringing (iii) complain (iv) strategy

(6) Identify the word which means the same as ‘carry out’ (para2)

(i) strategy (ii) execute (iii) grumbles (iv) diligently

(7) Identify the word which means the same as ‘suggested’ (para3)

(i) implied (ii) established (iii) dominated (iv) explained

(8) Identify the word which means the same as ‘investigated’ (para4)

(i) exception (ii) juxtaposed (iii) calculate (iv) probed ​


1. 87 countries won a total of 974 medals. 54 countries won at least one gold medal. The US topped the medal tally with 121 medals.

2. In order to improve its performance, India has to look for simple lessons, develop a strategy to win medals and execute it diligently.

3. As much as 72% of the total medals were won by the top 22 countries consisting of the West, Russia, Japan, China and South Korea. They dominate because they have the facilities and programmes in place.

4. India’s poor performance can be attributed to the fact that we have no plan in place. We are playing the blame game and have little interest to catch the talented persons young.

5. Strategy

6. Execute

7. Implied

8. Probed

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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