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GBC sample answer: Tokyo Olympics

The 1964 Olympic logo

Here is a question that you can bet will keep coming up for the next four years: What do you think about the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020?

Before answering the question, you need to quickly decide what your answer is going to be. In this case, I decided that the Olympics will be awesome! Remember that being enthusiastic is important and you are graded on this in the G.B.C. Once you have your main thesis, quickly come up with some simple points you can make (they don't have to be true, just as long as you can talk about them convincingly):

  1. economic impact;
  2. internationalise Tokyo; and
  3. opportunity for an unique experience.

Now we are ready to answer:

To be honest, I am really excited about the Olympics being in Tokyo. I think it is the best thing to happen in Tokyo since 1964! It'll be wonderful. It's going to have a brilliant impact on the economy. We'll make Tokyo a more international city. And what's more, it'll be a great chance for us to experience an international sporting event.

I think that most commonly, people think that an Olympics is an expensive waste of money, but let's face it: Tokyo has most of the infrastructure in place, and if we can put on a games like London—a smaller and more efficient games—we should come out on top. I really think that the city will benefit from the investment as long as we don't blow our budget like Beijing or Rio.

Of course, tourism will really boost the local economy, but I am frankly more excited about seeing more people visiting Japan. I think that Japan seems a bit exotic to Westerners in particular. I'd like more people to come here and see what is really like. And that in turn is really going to serve to open up Tokyo more and make this city more international.

And that experience, of international visitors and the Games, is really going to breathe life into Japan. I read that one of the most important benefits of these kinds of international sporting events is the massive increase in morale and national pride that the host nation feels. Japan is really down in the dumps these days: the economy has been flagging for years; there's concerns about the rise of China and Trump. An Olympics would be just the tonic the nation needs.

So, you know, I can't wait for the Olympics. I think that they will be brilliant. We'll feel better about ourselves, maybe give the economy a bit of a boost and it'll be a wonderful way to shore up Japan's position in the international community.

This is a good answer, because it uses a lot of enthusiastic, wonderful, brilliant vocabulary that explains just how fantastic the Olympics will be. It is hard to not get excited too when you hear an answer like this.  It's also got a joke to break the ice—did you catch it?

It also has a clear structure and makes a good argument. There are plenty of good idioms (marked in bold) in there too. Do you know them all? If you are not sure, leave a comment and ask me what they mean.

Have you tried to answer this question yet? Try it in your next class, or write your answer for homework.