Sports Stories Reading Comprehension

Free printable reading comprehension stories with a sports theme. Print the reading passage for offline use or test comprehension with the fun online quiz game. Recommended level: 4th Grade and up


The Medals of Eternal Friendship

Japanese pole vaulters Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. An American won the gold medal, but the Japanese teammates tied for second place.

They didn't want to compete directly with each other for second and third place, but continued to jump until it became too dark to continue. At 9 p.m. the judges ended the competition and told the Japanese team to decide who would be given second place.

Finally, it was settled that Nishida won the second place by vaulting 4 meters and 25 centimeters in his first try and Oe won the third place by vaulting the same height as Nishida in his second try. For the Olympic records, Oe took the bronze and Nishida took the silver. Neither one of them was happy with that result.

When the friends returned to Japan, they came up with a plan. They took their medals to a jeweler who cut them both in half. Then they joined half of the silver medal with half of the bronze medal, creating a half-silver, half-bronze medal for each of them. The medals became known as the Medals of Eternal Friendship.

When were the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin?
1936
1976
2012
1936 Which country won the 1936 Olympic gold medal in pole vaulting?
Germany
Japan
United States
United States What was Shuhei's and Sueo's home country?
Australia
Germany
Japan
Japan What do you think "eternal" means?
forever
nighttime
fake
forever Why did the pole vaulting competition stop?
The athletes got too tired.
It got too dark outside.
Someone cheated.
It got too dark outside. In the Olympic records, who won the silver medal for pole vaulting?
Earle Meadows
Shuhei Nishida
Sueo Oe
Shuhei Nishida Why were the friends unhappy with the official results of the event?
because they wanted to win a gold medal
because someone cheated
because it was really a tie for 2nd place
because it was really a tie for 2nd place

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