Olympic Athletes by Harcourt Achieve Inc

Olympic Athletes Worksheet

Read this selection about Olympic athletes. Think about the meanings of the words in bold type.

What does it take to become an Olympic athlete? It takes years of learning and practice. Girls and boys begin when they are very young. They must be willing to spend years practicing to be the best in their sport. To be an Olympic athlete requires commitment, a kind of promise or pledge to work toward a goal.

Athletes and their families follow a schedule, or plan, for practice time. Every day of the week, they go to practice. There is much sacrifice, or giving up what one likes to do. Athletes must give up many school activities. They keep up with school work by studying before and after practice. Parents also sacrifice. Sometimes they drive their children many miles to practice before sunrise and late at night.

WORKSHEET & Sample PDF Activity

Sample PDF Activity

Before athletes can compete, or try out, in the Olympics, they compete in their state or country contests. When they lose, athletes work hard to overcome their disappointments. The most successful athletes are those who keep working toward their goal even when they lose contests.

We know that athletes must have strong minds as well as strong bodies. The best athletes believe they can win. They think positive thoughts which give them the energy, or the push, they need to win. Athletes concentrate on, or put all their attention or thought into, their routines. They picture in their minds each action or step they will take in their routines. And they picture themselves winning!

Athletes see their dreams come true when they receive the gold, silver, or bronze medal. Few athletes achieve what all athletes work so hard for—the prizes and rewards of being an Olympic athlete!

Go for the Gold! Worksheet
Classify the words that describe athletes.


Also . . .

  1. Describe how an athlete can win by thinking positive thoughts.
  2. Draw a picture of yourself competing in your favorite Olympic sport.

Go for the Gold! Worksheet 2
Define the words. Use the clues in the selection.

  1. routines _____________.
  2. positive _____________.
  3. energy _____________.
  4. compete _____________.
  5. sacrifice _____________.
  6. commitment _____________.
  7. concentrate _____________.
  8. schedule _____________.

Making News!

An Olympic athlete has set a world’s record. Write a newspaper article. Use the vocabulary words.

Answer Key – Go for the Gold Olympic Athletes Worksheet

Answer Key
Possible answers are:
1.–2. Answers will vary.

  1. the steps they will take
  2. thoughts which give them the push they need to win
  3. the push they need to win
  4. try out
  5. giving up what one likes to do
  6. a kind of promise, or pledge, to work toward a goal
  7. put all their attention or thought into
  8. plan

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