Blue Flower

FCE Listening Test 3 Part 2

Part 2

 You will hear a radio programme about the history of roller skating. For questions  9-18, complete the sentences.

 History of roller skating


The country where the first roller skates were probably made was (9)____________ .

 In 1760, John Merlin went to a ball in London playing a (10)___________  whilst on roller skates.

 Unfortunately, John Merlin injured himself when he broke a (11) __________ at the ball.

 In Germany, roller skating was used in a ballet called (12) ________ .

James Plimpton's invention helped roller skaters to control the (13) _______  of their skates.

 The first team sport to be played on roller skates was (14) __________ .

 In Detroit in 1937, the first (15) ________  in the sport took place.

 The use of plastics meant that both the (16) ________ and ________ of roller skates improved.

 The musical Starlight Express was seen by as many as (17) _______ in London.

 The speaker says that modern roller skates are now (18) ________ than ever before.



Test 3 Part 2

Part 2: History of roller skating

9. Holland

10. violin

11. (large) mirror

12. Winter Pleasures

13. direction

14. (roller) hockey

15. championships

16. design/performance (in either order)

17. eight million/8.000,000 people

18 lighter/safer (in either order)

You will hear a radio programme about the history of roller skating. For questions 9-18, complete the sentences. 

In today's programme, I'm going to be talking about roller skating: how the sport started and how it has developed over the years. So who was the first person to come up with the idea of attaching wheels to the feet in order to get about more quickly and easily? 

Well, roller skates are not a new invention. In fact, roller skating developed out of the much older activity of ice-skating, which has existed in Scandinavia and other northern countries for centuries. The actual inventor of the first roller skates is not known, but it's generally thought that they originated in Holland in the early 1700s

Roller skates first arrived in Britain in 1760 when the Belgian clockmaker John Merlin wore some to a formal ball in London. Merlin was known as something of a mad inventor, but he surprised everybody at the ball when he whizzed past them on wheels, playing the violin at the same time. Unfortunately, Merlin did not manage to persuade people that roller skating was a good idea. His skates had no brakes and he ended up crashing into a large mirror. Merlin was quite seriously injured in the accident and, as a result, roller skating did not immediately become popular in Britain. 

In Germany, however, roller skates made a better impression. They were used in a ballet with the name Winter Pleasures, which included a scene where the dancers skated on ice. Because they couldn't produce the ice on stage, the organisers decided to use roller skates instead. 

After this, the sport gradually became more popular, but it was only thanks to technical advances that it became safer. In 1863, an American named James Plimpton solved the problem of controlling direction when skating by fitting them with rubber springs. His design is widely regarded as the origin of the modern roller skate, although rubber toe brakes, another important safety feature didn't come in until the 1870s. 

The late nineteenth century saw the beginnings of events such as speed contests, artistic displays and roller dancing as well as the first team sport on roller skates, roller hockey

During the first decades of the twentieth century, hundreds of indoor and outdoor roller skating rinks opened, especially in the USA, and the sport became really established as a popular pastime. The first roller skating championships were held in Detroit in 1937

The real development of the modern roller skate only began in the second half of the twentieth century. From the 1950s onwards, the use of plastics led to improvements in the design and performance of roller skates, and roller disco movies of the 1970s and 1980s increased the popularity of the sport, with roller discos opening in many parts of the world. Meanwhile, the stage musical Starlight Express, which features roller skating, ran for seventeen years and was seen by eight million people. 

The sport of roller skating has also been gaining a more serious following, especially in southern Europe and South America. The biggest modern change to roller skates came in 1983 with the introduction of in-line skates, also known as rollerblades. Then during the 1990s, new materials, brakes and boot fastenings all combined to make skates both lighter and safer than they had ever been in the past

So why is roller skating so popular? I went to talk to some fans at a rink in Huddersfield ...