01. Introduction
02. Grammar/Activities:
03. Reading Section
04 Listening Section:
05. Speaking Section:
06. Writing Section:
07 Practice TOEFL tests

Listening Test 1.8


Professor – The Olympic Games are a multi-sport event taking place every fourth year. You have probably already seen them on television and this year, they are taking place in London. They were originally held in ancient Greece. They were revived by French Baron Pierre de Coubertin in the late nineteenth century. The games of the Olympiad, better known as the Summer Olympics, have been held every fourth year since 1896 with the exception of the years during the World Wars. A special edition for winter sports, the winter Olympic Games started in 1924. Since 1994, these are no longer held in the same year as the games of the Olympiad. Historically speaking, in ancient history, a Greek legend tells of the great Heracles, or Hercules in Latin, who won a race at Olympia and then decreed that the race should be reenacted every four years. Another legend says that Zeus had instated the festival after his defeat of Cronus. And according to yet another legend, King Iphitos of Elidos consulted the Pythia, the oracle of Delphi, to try and save his people from war in the 9th century before Christ. The prophetess advised him to organize games in honor of the gods. The Spartan adversary of Iphitos then decided to stop the war during these games, which were called Olympic after Mount Olympus, the mountain on which the Greek gods were said to live. The last version is probably the most accurate, although the Games likely originated from locally held games. Another possible source of the Games is the legend of Oenomaus who challenged his daughter’s suitors to a chariot race and killed the losers. The fourteenth suitor, Pelops, cheated by bribing Oenomaus’ charioteer, Myrtilus, who loosened a lynchpin, killing Oenomaus. Pelops, then, married the princess, Hippodamia. The games were held in Olympia, a worshipping place for the Greek gods. Located in Olympia was a twelve-meter high statue in ivory and gold of Zeus, the main God. The statue was one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. The first written accounts of the Olympic Games date from 776 BC, although it is sure that these games were not the first ones to be held. The only competition held was the stadion race–a race of a hundred and ninety meters measured after the feet of Hercules. The word “stadium” is derived from this foot race. The Olympic Games were held in four-year intervals, and later the Greek method of counting the years even referred to these games, using the term “Olympiad” for the period between two games. Over the years, other events were added: boxing, wrestling, and pentathlon, pankration, which is a combination of boxing and wrestling, chariot racing, and several other athletic events, such as more running events. The addition of these events meant that the festival grew from one day to five days. Three of these days were used for competition. The winners of an Olympic event were awarded an olive branch and these were often received with much honor in their hometown. Sculptors would actually create statues of Olympic victors. Finally, the ancient Olympic Games were abandoned in 394 AD by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, who considered the games to be a savage celebration.