Read the text and answer the questions. Choose the correct answer a, b, c or d.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about winter sports? Skiing, of course. There is no doubt that downhill skiing is the world’s most popular winter sport although it’s one of the most expensive as well. Few people, however, know that cross-country skiing is much easier and less expensive than downhill skiing, and certainly equally enjoyable.
Cross-country skiing is not very well-known but it has been around for much longer than downhill skiing and it is probably the oldest winter sport. A long time before the snowmobile was invented, it was also the first means of transport, other than walking, that people used to move across the snow. In fact, the oldest ski ever found, which was in Sweden, is more than 4500 years old.
The great thing about cross-country skiing is that it’s not difficult at all. Even people who aren’t professional can have fun from the beginning without having to spend a long time or lots of money taking lessons. That’s why it’s very common to see people of all ages enjoying cross-country skiing together.
Although cross-country skiing may not get the same kind of media attention as downhill skiing, it also has its competitions. In fact, at the first Winter Olympics held in Chamonix in 1924, cross-country skiing was the only type of skiing in the competition. Nowadays, the most impressive event of the year is the Engadine Marathon, where more than 10,000 men, women and children meet in the Engadine Valley in Southeast Switzerland ski 42km across frozen lakes and past the town of St Moritz in Switzerland.
For cross-country skiers it’s the excitement of the sport that counts. Fancy resorts and luxurious hotels are not important. They stay in small cabins and go skiing whenever they feel like it. Maybe they know how to appreciate snow more than anybody else!
1. Why do people prefer downhill skiing to cross-country skiing?
a. It’s cheaper than cross-country skiing.
b. They aren’t familiar with cross-country skiing.
c. It’s the most popular winter sport.
d. It’s more fun than cross-country skiing.
2. What means of transport did Swedish people use 4500 years ago?
a. downhill skiing
b. cross-country skiing
3. Why is it common to see people of all ages going cross-country skiing?
a. It’s cheap and easy for everyone.
b. They don’t have snowmobiles.
c. The older skiers help the younger ones.
d. It’s not popular enough to have different age groups.
4. Where does the Engadine Marathon take place?
a. at the venue of each Winter Olympics
c. in the town of St Moritz
d. in the Engadine Valley
5. What shows that cross-country skiers appreciate the snow more than anybody else?
a. They stay at luxurious resorts.
b. They are better skiers than downhill skiers.
c. They care more about skiing than accommodation.
d. Cross-country skiing is more exciting than downhill skiing.