The Gymnast

El gimnasta

    by Gary Soto



Genre Autobiography
Vocabulary Strategy Word Structure
Comprehension Skill Draw Conclusions
Comprehension Strategy Visualize



bluish (adj.) somewhat blue; somewhat like the color of the clear sky in daylight
cartwheels (n.) sideways handsprings with the legs and arms kept straight
gymnastics (n.) a sport in which very difficult exercises are performed
hesitation (n.) act of failing to act promptly; doubt; indecision
limelight (n.) center or public attention and interest
skidded (v.) slipped or slid sideways while moving
somersault (v.) to run or jump, turning the heels over the head
throbbing (v.) beating rapidly or strongly
wincing (v.) drawing back suddenly; flinching slightly


More Words to Know

backflips (n.) backwards somersaults performed in the air
solitary (adj.) without companions
spindly (adj.) very long and slender


Summary (English)

    Gary’s cousin, Issac, was a gymnast. Gary was jealous of his cousin. He liked his cousin’s special shoes. Gary also liked the tape around his cousin’s wrists. Gary wanted to do cartwheels and back flips like his cousin.

    Gary’s cousin let him try on the special shoes and the tape. The shoes came off when Gary tried to do a cartwheel. Gary went home. The next day he found old slippers and put them on. He practiced doing cartwheels.

    Gary got hurt when he tried to do a back flip. He landed on his head. His feet were sore and his neck hurt. Later, Gary tried to do a back flip again. He landed on his neck. Gary rested and thought about his cousin the gymnast.


Summary (Spanish)

    Isaac, el primo de Gary, era gimnasta. Gary estaba celoso de su primo. Le gustaban las zapatillas especiales que él usaba. También le gustaba la cinta que se ponía en sus muñecas. Gary quería dar volteretas laterales y saltos mortales como su primo.

    El primo de Gary lo dejó probarse las zapatillas especiales y la cinta. Las zapatillas se le salieron cuando trató de dar una voltereta lateral. Gary se fue a su casa. Al día siguiente se encontró unas zapatillas viejas y se las puso. Practicó las volteretas laterales.

    Gary se lastimó cuando trató de hacer un salto mortal. Cayó de cabeza. Tenía los pies adoloridos y le dolía el cuello. Más tarde, Gary trató nuevamente de dar un salto mortal. Cayó y se torció el cuello. Gary descansó y pensó en su primo gimnasta.



Back to Reading