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Old Race, New Places

  The drums beat as the dragon boats race . Thismust be mainland China or Taiwan, right? Thinkagain. These days the traditional Chinese boats areracing in places as unlikely as England and Italy.Dragon -boat racing was introduced to the world in1982, when the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival1included international competitors. In the 1990s,dragon-boat racing caught on2 in many non-Asian countries. It quickly became the world’sfastest-growing water sport. What’s the appeal3 ? Dragon-boat racing combines athleticcompetition , cultural interest and just plain fun.

  The boats are manned4 by 20 paddlers, one drummer and one person who steers. Nearly 18meters long, the colorful boats resemble dragons with elaborate heads and tails. The teampaddles to the beat of the drum. The boats speed along, rising high and moving smoothlyalong the water. In about three to six minutes, they cross the finish line.

  The races recall Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet in ancient China. When he drowned in the Mi LuoRiver, the people raced out to save him. But they were too late .

  Dragon boats are now racing in towns and cities around the world. Students, working peopleand older people race for fun and exercise . Serious paddlers compete for cups and medals. Inthe United States, the Pacific Northwest International Dragon Cup is in its 11 th year. InToronto, about 250, 000 spectators turn out for dragon-boat races each summer. Swedenhas over 400 teams. Poland, too, has several dragon-boat clubs.

  There are even consulting businesses to help people organize local dragon-boat events. Theyhelp with site selection, team training and safety. Besides that, non-profit organizations holdcompetitions to raise money.

  And various regional and worldwide races — too many to name — keep serious paddlers busy.In September 2003 , Rome hosted the Club Crews World Championship. In 2004, world-classteams gathered in Shanghai for the fifth International Dragon Boat Federation races. In 2005 . . .

  Going to Europe this summer? If so, just remember: When in Rome, do as the Chinese do!



  Ⅰ. Complete each sentence with a pro per word , making changes where necessary: ( catch on,appeal, man, patriotic , spectator, consult, amateur, worldclass)

  1. Lily is an _________tennis player.

  2. Several thousand _________watched the basketball game.

  3. That new hairstyle has really_________ . Many people have that hairstyle now.

  4. This company does _________work. It helps people start business.

  5. The girls _________will the radar till we get back.

  6. Kim really loves her country. She is very_________ .

  7. This is a _________restaurant. It is known for having excellent quality.

  8. The new fashion soon lost its_________ .

  Ⅱ. An swe r the followin g que stio n in your own words :

  Why does the Dragon-boat Racing become so popular in the world ?



  Ⅰ. 1. amateur 2. spectators 3. caught on 4 .consulting 5. man 6. patriotic 7 . world-class 8.appeal

  Ⅱ. Because it combines athletic competition,cultural interest and just plain fun, and people of allages can take part in this activity.



  老传统, 新生命

  鼓声阵阵, 龙舟竞渡。这一定是在中国大陆或是在中国台湾吧? 不对, 再猜猜看! 如 今, 传统的中国龙舟在英国和意大利等这些不太可能出现的地方比赛。1982 年, 香港龙舟 节广邀世界好手参加, 龙舟赛开始为世人所知。20 世纪90 年代, 龙舟赛逐渐在亚洲以外 许多国家盛行开来, 并迅速成为一项全球性的水上运动。龙舟赛的魅力何在? 它的魅力在 于它将运动竞技、文化趣味以及娱乐完美地结合起来。

  船队由18 位划船手、1 位击鼓手和1 位舵手组成。龙舟将近18 米长, 船身被装点得五 彩缤纷, 船头和船尾被精心制作成龙头和龙尾的形状。队伍随着鼓声节奏划桨。随着龙舟 的速度不断加快, 船身的吃水越来越浅, 在水面上飞速前进。大概只需3 ~6 分钟, 龙舟就 能冲过终点线。

  这项比赛是为了纪念中国古代爱国诗人屈原而举办的。当年他在汨罗江投水后, 人们 驾船去救他, 但为时已晚。

  如今, 赛龙舟盛行于世界的各个城镇。学生、上班族和老年人参加龙舟赛是为了娱乐 和锻炼身体, 而职业的划船手则为奖杯和奖牌而赛。在美国, 西北太平洋世界龙舟锦标赛 已经迈入了第十一个年头。在多伦多, 每年夏天大约有25 万人前去观赏龙舟赛。瑞典有 400 多支龙舟队伍。波兰也有多个龙舟俱乐部。

  一些地方甚至还有专门的咨询机构协助筹办地方性的龙舟赛事。他们负责选择比赛 场地, 训练队员和维护安全。此外, 一些非盈利性组织也通过举办龙舟赛来募集资金。

  各地还会举办许多地区性或全球性的比赛——— 数目繁多, 不胜枚举——— 这让许多职业 划船手着实非常忙碌。2003 年9 月, 罗马主办了世界龙舟争霸赛。2004 年, 众多世界级的 队伍聚集上海, 参加第五届国际龙舟联盟赛。2005年……

  今年夏天要去欧洲吗? 如果是的话, 要记住: 入罗马境, 随龙人俗!