A couple of swim noodles plus two small carpet samples and voila! The entire student body of Livermore Elementary School became participants in the first of a series of Olympic-like athletic events on Feb. 14.
All week students in the mountain school had been competing in a “Gold Medal Math” competition in the computer lab, divided into eight teams, each representing one of the countries participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Olympics week at Livermore Elementary began with a procession of all athletes around the gym, complete with the American flag and appropriate music. The 39 members of the student body took their places behind the eight flags of the countries they represented and the games began.
Each team had participants from every grade, kindergarten through fifth, which made for considerable cooperation and assistance between team members.
Physical education and art teacher Nancy West, who organized the program, explained the spirit of the games pointing out that rather than winning, the goal was to have a great time. Before each of the events she carefully explained and demonstrated the procedure.
Cross-country skiers had to slip-slide to the end of the gym on pieces of carpet using their swim noodles as poles, and return to their starting place. A major challenge was keeping the slippery carpet pieces in contact with the foot driving it forward. For good measure — and to show how tough it was — school principal Matt Marietta and several teachers competed among themselves after the students had finished.
Event number two: pairs skating accomplished by having two students line up next to each other holding hands and then sliding across the gym with a paper plate on the bottom of each foot.
Plastic dollies, each with two students sitting cross-legged on them and pushed by a third student, simulated a bobsled event. The same dollies were used for the “skeleton” with a student lying facedown on a dolly propelled to the end of the gym by a teammate.
The final event featured foam hockey sticks and plastic pucks. Everyone got a chance to knock down a bowling pin with a puck. By this time, the decibel level in the gym had escalated to Olympic proportions.
After gathering for a group photo holding their country banners high and displaying their Olympic medals, the entire student body filed out of the gym and received a cookie adorned with a Hershey’s kiss to see them through recess prior to the closing event of the day and week — a Valentine party complete with awards for the most unique student-created Valentine boxes.