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Tightrope Walker

Transcript:

450 metres above a gorge near the Grand Canyon.

With no safety harness, American acrobat Nik Wallenda walks the tightrope.

Wind made the cable sway during the 22 nail-biting minutes it took him to cross.

But towards the end he felt confident enough to kneel and blow a kiss to fans waiting on the other side.

Vocabulary:

gorge a deep, narrow valley

safety harness a system of belts to hold a person and stop them falling

walks the tightrope walks along a 'tightrope': a rope or wire fixed high above the ground. (this phrase is also appears as the idiom 'to walk a tightrope', which means to deal with a difficult situation where a small mistake could have bad results)

nail-biting tense

blow a kiss kiss your hand and blow it in the direction of someone

Exercise:

Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from news reports. Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

gorge / safety harness / walks the tightrope / nail-biting / blow a kiss

1. The _______ was steep and dangerous with a river flowing through it.

2. One of the athletes who did rise to the occasion was Lachie Stewart. In a _______ race Stewart swept aside the clear favourite, Australian Ron Clarke, to take a stunning gold in the 10,000 metres.

3. "I love you Whitney," he said while ________ towards the sky.

4. Spider-Man double Christopher Tierney, who fell 30 feet on Monday, is due out of hospital this weekend.

Despite wearing a ______, video of the incident showed him falling from a ledge into a stage pit.

5. This summer, Wallenda is set to become the first person in more than a century to _______ over Niagara Falls, after being granted rare permission.

Answers:

1. The gorge was steep and dangerous with a river flowing through it.

Source: Last hero of Telemark: The man who helped stop Hitler's A-bomb

2. One of the athletes who did rise to the occasion was Lachie Stewart. In a nail-biting race Stewart swept aside the clear favourite, Australian Ron Clarke, to take a stunning gold in the 10,000 metres.

Source: The good and bad of Commonwealth Games

3. "I love you Whitney," he said while blowing a kiss towards the sky.

Source: Newsbeat's guide to Bobby Brown

4. Spider-Man double Christopher Tierney, who fell 30 feet on Monday, is due out of hospital this weekend.

Despite wearing a safety harness, video of the incident showed him falling from a ledge into a stage pit.

Source: Spider-Man musical re-opens to standing ovation

5. This summer, Wallenda is set to become the first person in more than a century to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls, after being granted rare permission.

Source: Wallenda stumbles on Baltimore Inner Harbour highwire walk