IV. Fill in the missing words.

1. The first cycling races in Russia were held on the ___ in the centre of St.Petersburg in 1882.

2. The first cycling club’s name was ___.

3. In winter racing took place indoors on ___.

4. The manege used by the St.Petersburg ___ was open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.

5. Cycling gained prominence as a participant and as a ___ sport.

IV. Find the Russian equivalents for the following words and expressions.

to gain prominence, participant sport, spectator sport, cycling race. Relaxing entertainment, to be taken seriously, to hold a race, bicycle firm, profitable outlet, to draw large crowds, indoors, to hold a world record, road race, novice.

V. Give a short summary of the text.



сovering unsurpassed to be refused recreation parsimonious figure-skating покрывающий непревзойдённый получить отказ отдых, развлечение расчетливый фигурное катание

I. Before you read the text discuss these questions.

1. What kind of winter sports do you know?

2. Do you take part in any winter sports competitions?


With snow covering European Russia for six or seven months of the year, and parts of Siberia all the year round, winter games naturally played an important part in organized winter recreation. During that part of the year when the rivers were icebound, yacht clubs not infrequently turned themselves into ice-skating or figure-skating organizations. In effect, the first skating club arose in the capital in 1864. Somewhat later, the Society of Amateur Skaters sent its members abroad to take part in competitions and, in 1883, A.P.Lebedev won the unofficial world figure-skating title in Helsinki – the first Russian success in international competitions. When the official world championships were inaugurated, Lebedev won the men’s title in 1890. A member of the same society, Alexander Panshin, won the Austrian speed-skating championships and went on to win the world title in 1889 at the Amsterdam Speed Skating Club. A month later, he won the first ever Russian speed-skating tournament, held in Moscow.

In the first decade of the 20th century, the great Russian figure-skater Nikolai Panin dominated Russian, European and world figure-skating and won a gold medal at the 1908 London Olympic Games. In speed-skating, too, Russians continued to do well internationally. In 1910 and 1911, Nicolai Strunnikov won European and world titles and set a world record that remained unsurpassed for 17 years. The following year, however, he left the sport in protest against the parsimonious attitude of the Russian authorities, having been refused financial support for his journeys to compete abroad. His vacant European title was won in 1913 by Vasily Ippolitov.

Moscow became the centre of organized skiing with the centre of organized sking with the establishment in 1895 of the famous Moscow Skiers Club. In 1910, a league was set up with ten member clubs and a National Skiers Association founded, so they initiated the first national ski championships over 30 versts (32 km). Long-distance skiing became very popular: in 1911, four Moscow skiers completed the Moscow – St Peterburg run (a distance of 725 km) in 12 days, 6 hours and 22 minutes. The next year, the first ski-jumping contests were held at Pargolovo, near the capital.

Ice hockey was another game cultivated by the St Petersburg Circle of Amateur Sportsmen after 1889, and a city championship was held with eight teams which took part, including Yusupov Sad, Narva and Merkury. Yusupov Sad became strong enough to make a successful foreign tour in 1907, winning six of its eight games against Swedish, Norwegian and Berlin teams. In that year, the Petersburg League had 15 clubs which formed the nucleus for All-Russia Ice Hockey Association of 32 clubs formed in 1914.

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