How it feels to win

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Corpus Corpus 1How it feels to win

France métropolitaine 2015 • LV1 séries technologiques




France métropolitaine • Juin 2015

Séries technologiques • LV1

  Text 1  Meeting a Champion

THE SURPRISE WAS that a famous runner was coming to speak to the class. Not just any runner — an Olympian. After Sister made the announcement, Jean-Patrick could not keep his mind on the path of his studies. All morning long, his mind travelled back to the runner. His eyes wore out a spot on the window where he searched for the speck that would turn into the runner’s fancy auto. Finally, just as he finished his sums, he saw a shape materialize from a swirl of dust. The car was not fancy it was a Toyota no different from a hundred other Toyotas on the roads. A man thin as papyrus unfolded his legs into the yard, stood up, and stretched. Jean-Patrick had expected a big man, but the runner stood not much taller than Roger. Jean-Patrick wondered if he was umutwa, one of the pygmy people who sold milk and butter in clay pots to families that didn’t keep cows. The momentary disappointment vanished as he watched the runner move, flowing rather than walking from one place to the next, as if his muscles were made of water. He wore sunglasses. His shirt snapped in the breeze, zebras and lions racing across the shiny fabric. “Muraho neza!” the man said to the class. “I’m Telesphore Dusabe, a marathon runner representing Rwanda in the Olympics. I am blessed to be here in Cyangugu to talk to you today.” Jean-Patrick asked him to write his name on the board, and he copied it into his notebook, framed by two stars on either side.

Telesphore spoke about running barefoot up and down Rwanda’s hills.

“We call our country the land of a thousand hills,” he said, his face lit from the inside as if by a flame, “and I believe I have conquered every one.” He talked about the lure of the Olympics and a feeling like flying that sometimes filled his body when he ran.

Jean-Patrick raised his hand. “Did you say sometimes ” he wanted to know. “What about the rest of the time ”

“Smart boy,” Telesphore said, and he chuckled. “I will tell you a secret. Sometimes it is all I can do to go from one footstep to the next, but for each such moment, I make myself remember how it feels to win.”

Jean-Patrick felt the man’s eyes on his face alone, and his body tingled.

How it feels to win, he repeated in his head. He wrote the words in his book of sums.

From Naomi Benaron, Running the Rift, 2013.

  Text 2  Sport is war

Viewpoint: The dark side of sport

I remember vividly the moment I first understood why organised, competitive sport was hateful. It was a Sunday evening on the A12. Not the most promising time or place for a revelation, but it came nonetheless. My oldest son and I were returning from an under-12 county cricket match between Surrey and Essex. We had risen early to get there. And waited for much of that rainy day for play to start, and then to stop, and then to start again. He finally went in to bat at ten-to-seven, in gathering rain and deepening gloom. He was out, clean bowled, second ball. The drive home that evening was a long one. An 11-year-old boy had let down his team. He had let down his father.

Above all, he had let down himself, for his character had failed to live up to his talent. Of course, there were plenty of hundreds to come and to savour on other days. But sport is full of failure. That is what I understood on the A12 that evening. Sport is war - it is about the loss, as well as the gain. We abbreviate Orwell on the subject."Sport," he wrote in 1945, "is war minus the shooting."

Of course, some find in sport a positive sum - an aesthetic pleasure akin to great art or literature. The pleasure of effort rewarded, the mastery of a skill, the exhilaration of speed, the thrill of danger averted, the union of mind and body, and the unity of body and nature. It can be beautiful to watch another human being run fast, or jump high, or bowl quickly, or strike a ball exquisitely.

"Sport has to be beautiful to be enjoyed," as my son put it to me while watching Roger Federer at Wimbledon. But even he prefers an ugly victory to a beautiful defeat.

Comment number149.


11THAugust 2011 - 10:30

If sport is like war, it gives a place to vent these natural instincts without harming anyone. It promotes teamwork, hard work, effort and inspires people to be better.

Comment number145.


11THAugust 2011 - 10:01

Went to Olympia, Greece and was told in the original Olympic Games the winner was chosen by the competitors who decided on the best performance & effort, NOT who came first.

From Dominic Hobson, 10 August 2011,

compréhension  10 points

Text 1

1 Copy the sentence and fill in the blanks. (1,5 point)

The scene takes place in a         (specific place) which is located in         (town) in         (continent).

2 1. Who is Jean-Patrick Choose the appropriate answer. (0,5 point)

Jean-Patrick is… a teacher/a father / a schoolboy / an athlete.

2. Who is Telesphore Choose the appropriate answer. (0,5 points)

Telesphore is… a teacher / a father / a schoolboy / an athlete.

3. Conclusion: complete the sentence using your own words. (1 point)

The aim of Telesphore’s visit is to…

3 Answer the following questions.

1. What did the boy imagine about the visitor’s physical appearance Quote the text. (0,5 point)

2. What did the visitor really look like Quote the text. (0,5 point)

3. How does Jean-Patrick feel in the document Choose the appropriate answer. (1 point)

Jean-Patrick feels:

a) first disappointed, then bored and finally excited.

b) first excited, then disappointed and finally inspired.

c) first annoyed, then amused and finally disappointed.

4 Both statements are right. Justify by quoting the text.

1. Occasionally Telesphore can run without much effort. (1 point)

2. Telesphore is enthusiastic about his sport and proud of his country. (1 point)

Text 2

5 Who do the underlined pronouns refer to

1. “I remember vividly” (l. 2) (0,5 point)

2. “He had let down himself” (l. 13) (0,5 point)

3. “We had risen early” (l. 6-7) (0,5 point)

4. Conclude: who is telling the story Answer in your own words. (0,5 point)

6 1. Pick out the appropriate information. Copy the table onto your answer sheet and complete it with words from the text. (1 point)


Day of match

The sport played on that day


2. Pick out two elements from the text suggesting the context was not ideal for the game. (1 point)

3. Did the boy win Answer the question and justify with one quote. (1,5 point)

7 1. So, according to the father, what could the boy say after the match Choose the TWO best sentences from below. (1 point)

a) The other team cheated.

b) I was no good today.

c) I really don’t care at all.

d) Sorry, I’m really ashamed.

2. What could the father say Choose the most appropriate answer. (0,5 point)

a) Don’t worry, usually you’re good.

b) I’m so proud of you

c) You are really no good!

8 Match the sentence that best sums up each person’s opinion.

a) JohnH

b) Orwell

c) benmoutter

1. Sport has more negative aspects than positive aspects. (0,5 point)

2. Human beings need to eliminate negative energy without risking their lives. (0,5 point)

3. The sporting spirit is as important as results. (0,5 point)

Both texts

9 In text 2, Dominic Hobson compares sport to war. Find one verb in document 1 that also associates sport with war. (1 point)

10 Choose the right answer and justify for EACH document by quoting the texts.

In both documents, the children believe the ultimate motivation in sport is: (3 points)

1. having a nice body.

2. earning a lot of money.

3. being the winner.

4. becoming famous.

expression  10 points

> Choose ONE of the following subjects. (150 words minimum)

1 You are a student called Peter McAllister or Tanya Kapur and you are interviewing a sportsman or woman (from an English-speaking country) for a school project. Write the interview.

2 You are June Miller or Dylan Wilson, a student at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, and you want to join one of the sports teams (baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, volleyball, hockey, cross country, golf or water polo). Write the motivation letter necessary to be admitted.

Les clés du sujet

Texte 1


Naomi Benaron est américaine. Running the Rift, son premier roman, a connu un succès immédiat. Après avoir aidé des survivants du génocide rwandais de 1994 à s’adapter à la vie aux USA, elle décide d’écrire l’histoire de Jean-Patrick, jeune Tutsi qui aspire à participer aux jeux Olympiques comme coureur de fond.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

Jean-Patrick est un jeune écolier qui attend avec impatience la visite de Telesphore Dusabe, célèbre marathonien rwandais. Il s’attend à l’arrivée spectaculaire d’un homme au corps d’athlète et est d’abord déçu de voir arriver, dans une voiture ordinaire, un petit homme longiligne. Mais l’admiration vient quand le champion parle de son sport, de sa fierté de représenter son pays, et de la joie de gagner.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To keep one’s mind on sthg (l. 3) : rester concentré sur qqch  to wear out (l. 5) : user  speck (l. 6) : petite tache  fancy auto (l. 6)  voiture de rêve  sums (l. 7) : additions, calculs  swirl of dust (l. 8) : tourbillon de poussière  to stretch (l. 10)  s’étirer  clay pots (l. 13) : pots de terre  flowing (l. 15) : flottant  to race across (l. 17-18) traverser à toute allure  blessed (l. 20) : très heureux et honoré  hill (l. 25) : colline  to light (l. 26) : s’éclairer  lure (l. 27) : attrait, leurre  to chuckle (l. 31) : glousser de rire  to tingle (l. 36) : frissonner.

Texte 2


Dominic Hobson écrit des articles et des livres sur l’actualité économique et participe occasionnellement à des émissions de la BBC.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

L’auteur critique le sport de compétition, qui selon lui peut être mauvais pour l’être humain : seule la victoire semble compter, alors que le sport peut transmettre des valeurs bien plus nobles. Il illustre son propos en racontant comment son fils de onze ans s’est senti dévalorisé et fondamentalement humilié quand il a perdu un match de cricket, alors qu’il en avait gagné et pouvait en gagner bien d’autres.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Hateful (l. 3) : haïssable  nonetheless (l. 5) : néanmoins  to rise (l. 7) : se lever  to go in to bat (l. 9) : jouer (terme de cricket)  gloom (l. 10) : morosité  clean bowled (l. 10) : éliminé du jeu sans toucher la balle (terme de cricket)  to let down (l. 11) : laisser tomber  to live up to (l. 14) : être à la hauteur de  a hundred (l. 14) : (ici) cent points  akin to (l. 20) : semblable à  skill (l. 21) : aptitude  exhilaration (l. 21) : euphorie  thrill (l. 21) : excitation  averted (l. 22) : évité  to bowl (l. 24) : lancer la balle (terme de cricket)  to strike (l. 24) frapper  to vent (l. 31) : évacuer  to harm (l. 32) : blesser.

Les points de convergence

Les deux textes sont une réflexion sur la notion de victoire dans le sport. Cette notion est associée à la notion de conquête et semble être le seul but. La victoire est ici présentée comme la seule motivation du sportif.

Le sujet d’expression

Pistes de recherche

Choisissez un sportif qui vous inspire : posez des questions sur ses motivations, son passé, comment il s’est retrouvé dans ce métier, ses conseils pour ses fans.

N’oubliez pas de présenter brièvement le contexte au début.

Vocabulaire utile

Some tips (des astuces, des conseils)  to take something further (poursuivre qqch)  a budding footballer (un joueur de football en herbe), to give up (abandonner).

Le sujet d’expression

Pistes de recherche

Veillez à respecter la mise en page d’une lettre. Vous vous adressez à l’entraîneur de l’équipe, restez poli(e) avec un langage assez soutenu. Mettez en avant les qualités requises afin de bien s’intégrer dans une équipe : il ne faut pas uniquement des capacités sportives mais également l’esprit de partage, etc.

Vocabulaire utile

Keen (assidu)  an asset (un atout)  to take part in (participer à) : to look forward to (attendre qqch avec impatience), to be committed (s’engager), to fit (convenir à).




Text 1

1 The scene takes place in a which is located in in .

2 1. Jean-Patrick is a schoolboy.

2. Telesphore is an athlete.

3. The aim of Telesphore’s visit is to speak to the students about his sport, his motivations, and the fact that he represents Rwanda as an Olympic runner.

3 1. Jean-Patrick has imagined that the visitor, being an Olympic runner, was “a big man” (l. 11)

2. He looked quite the opposite to what Jean-Patrick had expected: he was “not much taller than Roger” (l. 12-13) and “as thin as papyrus” (l. 9-10).

3. b.  He felt first excited, then disappointed and finally inspired.

4 1. “a feeling like flying that sometimes filled his body when he ran” (l. 27-28)

2. “We call our country the land of a thousand hills,” he said, his face lit from the inside as if by a flame, “and I believe I have conquered every one.” (l. 25 to 27)

Text 2

5 1. The father and journalist, Dominic Hobson.

2. Dominic Hobson’s oldest son.

3. The father and the son

4. The story is told by Dominic Hobson.

6 1.


Day of match


The sport played on that day



2. The weather was rainy and the boy was in low spirits: “gathering rain and deepening gloom” (l. 9-10)

3. The boy didn’t win: “He was out, clean bowled, second ball.” (l. 10)

7 1. He could say b) I was not good today and d) Sorry, I’m really ashamed.

2. The father could say a) Don’t worry, usually you’re good.

8 a) JohnH: 3. The sporting spirit is as important as results.

b) Orwell: 1. Sport has more negative aspects than positive aspects.

c) benmoutter: 2. Human beings need to eliminate negative energy without risking their lives.

Both texts

9 The verb is “to conquer”, referring to the hills of his country: “and I believe I have conquered every one” (l. 26-27).

10 The children believe the ultimate motivation in sport is 3. being a winner. Text 1: “how it feels to win.” (l. 37)

Text 2: “But even he prefers an ugly victory to a beautiful defeat” (l. 26-27).


1 Guidelines

Peter McAllister: Good morning Mr Bale, it’s such an honour to speak to you.

Gareth Bale: No problem Peter, it’s my pleasure and please, call me Gareth.

PM: Oh, thanks. So Gareth, as you know I’ve asked you here today to as to how to become a world famous footballer like you! So, my first question is

GB: Well, I guess I’ve been playing for as long as I can remember! I kicked a ball around in the garden with my brothers and it just escalated from there!

PM: Who would you say inspired you to take it further and go professional

GB: My uncle played for Cardiff City and Ryan Giggs, another Welshman like myself, was my idol when I was a kid, I just wanted to be like them!

PM: And so

GB: If you really want something and you work hard enough, you can get it!

PM: Thank you so much Gareth.

2 Guidelines

54 N Hermitage Ave

Chicago, IL 60612

Monday, June 22nd

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to at Lincoln Park High.

First, : I’ve been a keen runner for the last 2 years going out with my dog after school and at weekends. In fact, I would love to become part of the school team in order to improve my technique and make what is currently a hobby into something more serious.

to the rest of the team and I know I have a lot to learn from them too. I know how important it is to be committed and to train regularly. once I’m good enough.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you very soon to – I sure hope it does!

Kind Regards

June Miller