Listening comprehension exercise:
Statement by Richard Jewell
after being cleared of responsibility
in the July 27, 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Georgia

     First, read up on what happened to Richard Jewell at this site:

     More information on the case is available here:

     Prepare the vocabulary, then listen to Richard Jewell's statement:

     If you have trouble playing the above file, click here.


to admit
Olympic Park bomber
every waking minute
to be arrested
to be charged
horrible crime
to commit
to live a nightmare
to stand by (one's side)
to believe in
Watson Bryant
to defend
every chance you got
from the bottom of my heart
legal team
Lynn Wood
Wayne Grant
Jack Martin
tireless efforts
to repay
criminal investigation
good name
difficult task
to restore
human being
in its (mad) rush to
to get its man
to trample on
to fulfill
personal agenda
to destroy
to set out to be
to be committed to
law enforcement
unattended packages
to spot
security chain of command

Listening comprehension questions
1. What is the purpose of this speech?
2. This speech was apparently made at a press conference. What sounds do you hear in the background to confirm this?
3. How long did it take after the incident before the government began to suspect Richard Jewell as the Olympic bomber?
4. What reasons did the government give for suspecting Jewell of the bombing?
5. Why does Jewell think the government suspected him?
6. Based on his speech and the emotion he expressed, what seems to have meant the most to Jewell during his period of being suspected?
7. Does Jewell think the U.S. government has done enough to clear his name? What do you think they should have done?
8. Who does Jewell accuse in his speech of wrongs done against him in this matter? What does he accuse each one of?
9. Jewell speaks with a Southern U.S. accent. Give examples of a few words you notice as being pronounced differently than in General American, and how they are different.

     Extra credit: There were two very different points of view and sets of goals held by the main players in this incident. Describe the point of view of each side, explaining why each side behaved as it did in this incident, and why each side was considered by the other to have behaved in some way unreasonably. You will need to read the newspaper article to get some of this information.