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您现在的位置: 考试吧 > 英语听力 > 大学英语听力 > 大学体验英语第二册 > 正文

大学体验英语综合教程第二册Unit6:Passage A:Never Give Up

  Never Give Up

  They told him to quit, that he wasn't good enough, but figure skater Paul Wylie refused to listen.

  When he stepped off the plane in Washington, D.C., following the 1992 Winter Games, and everyone in the terminal started clapping, Paul Wylie almost stopped in his tracks. Who's behind me? He wondered. Despite the silver medal in his pocket, he couldn't believe that the applause was for him. From that moment on, Paul recognized that his life would never be the same.

  The silver medal he earned in Albertville, France, ushered the 27-year-old figure skater into a new existence. He was no longer a nobody who choked at big events, like the 1988 Calgary Olympics, where he finished an unimpressive 10th. No longer the recipient of advice from judges who, after Paul's performance in the '91 World Championships, suggested that he quit: "Make room for the younger skaters."

  No longer the target of loaded questions from reporters covering the '91 Olympic Trials ("What are you doing here?"). No longer the skater incapable of finishing ahead of U.S. National Champion Todd Eldredge or three-time defending World Champion Kurt Browning of Canada.

  Now Paul Wylie was an Olympic hero. He was an athlete who kept going when doubters suggested he quit. He was a recent Harvard University graduate who had frequently fantasized about life without grueling hours on the ice, but who persevered anyway. He was a young man who had discovered and demonstrated that goals can be reached no matter how many obstacles and botched attempts lie in the way.

  "A reporter who interviewed me at the Closing Ceremonies told me, 'You came here an unknown and now you go home a hero,'" Paul says. "I thought that was interesting, because I was in France and unaware of how my journey was unfolding on U.S. television. It wasn't until I stepped off the plane that I realized people considered me a hero. They were changed by my story. They were changed by the fact that I was able to persevere and win the silver medal even though almost everyone had counted me out."

  At times, Paul had almost counted himself out. "Two months before the '92 Olympics, USA Today did a survey of different athletes and asked, 'How often do you contemplate retirement?' The choices were: 'yearly,' 'monthly' or 'weekly.'

  "I wrote, 'daily,' because it was hard to keep going. But I just decided, I'm going to persevere and hang in there, because I have a shot."

  Things definitely changed in 1992 in Albertville. "To have my story be one that brought tears to people's eyes, because of the way it turned around - that changed my life as well," Paul says. "I looked at my skating career and saw it rewritten and beautiful, as opposed to a big disappointment and many years struggling toward some goal but not reaching it."

  With medal in hand, Paul was suddenly ushered into a world of lucrative endorsements and figure-skating world tours, of exclusive events and autograph seekers. Everything you might expect of a celebrity hero, but none of what Paul himself believes merits the honor of that title.

  "What makes a true hero is selfless service," he says. "Or someone whose life and actions inspire you to be better and to be a bigger person. I don't think that what I did was selfless service. But God used the story of my life to inspire others."

  Heroism, Paul has observed, requires daily maintenance. Just as a skater achieves perfection by practicing small parts of his larger routine day after day, a hero must look for ways to serve on a regular basis - not just in a crisis or more visible situation.

  an Olympic medal loses its luster after years of storage, a hero will lose his credibility if he stops looking to the needs of others. When Paul joins the thousands of others watching the Olympics in Salt Lake City, he knows that behind the scenes of each victory, of each record-setting finish, stand countless stories of everyday heroes. Heroes who refuse to give up.

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