Olympics and Children

Today I showed children Nathan Chen’s Gold Medal Olympic performance.  Children need to be inspired by the Olympic athletes.  Why?  Because they need to see regular people who were just like them, and worked hard.  They need to cheer success.  They need to feel.  Their Olympic memories will stick.

Hazel asked how old Nathan was when he started skating.  Good question.  We looked it up and found a brief video of Nathan skating when he was three years old.

I remember the Olympics from the early 60’s.  The old black and white TV had all figure skating outdoors.  Peggy Fleming was a star.  Before that, the entire American figure skating team died in a plane crash.  I vaguely remember watching the young girl who skated to represent USA.

I watched success.  I watched tragedy.  I cheered.  I cried.

That’s what the Olympics does.  It inspires.  It is life’s lesson of trying, failing, and succeeding.  Isn’t that what children need to learn to do?  I hope today I gave a taste of that to children.  Thank you, Nathan Chen.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, self esteem, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Olympics and Children

  1. It was so spectacular. It made me weep when I watched it.

  2. Jim Borden says:

    he was phenomenal. great inspiration for your children…

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    The bottom line is kids need role models from many different walks of life. It’s more commonplace now, but I also looked at gust speakers as a way of breaking stereotypes. I had a female friend who was a biologist. Of course, I wanted the girls to see they could be scientists too. I had a friend who was a male nurse. At the time this was quite rare. Kids see these things and think, “I could do that too.”

    • Jennie says:

      You’re exactly right, Pete. It’s all about role models and giving children an opportunity to see they can do anything they set their mind and heart to. I had a male nurse come in and do a teddy bear clinic in the class. He was awesome. The Olympics is also about giving children an opportunity to feel empathy, appreciate people from other countries, and learning how to lose as well as win.

  4. Ritu says:

    It really is important to share these moments with the children, Jennie!

  5. CarolCooks2 says:

    Such important moments should be shared…I love the Olympics even now I marvel at the dedication and determination to do their best xx

  6. I remember wanting to skate like Peggy Flemming, such grace!

  7. The Olympics is so much more than competition and metals …. and you hit many points. 🙂

  8. Darlene says:

    I agree. Children need positive role models. They need to know that hard work and determination pay off. I have always watched the Olympics and lived in two cities at the time they hosted these events, Calgary and Vancouver. It was so exciting to be there. Like one big party and everyone getting along. I also watched the horrible events roll out at the Munich games in 1972.

    • Jennie says:

      I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been to be in Calgary and Vancouver at the time! I was glued to the TV. I also remember 1972. Terrible!

      • Darlene says:

        I was on the Skytrain in Vancouver when Canada won the men´s hockey for gold in overtime. Everyone burst out singing O Canada, some in French. I tear up just remembering it.

      • Jennie says:

        What a moment! What a memory! This much be akin to the Americans beating the Russians in hockey, and the announcer saying, “Do you believe in miracles?” I bet just typing this comment gave you goosebumps.

  9. I loved watching figure skating in the Olympic sports when I was girl. Peggy Flemming is so nice! I was skating one morning where she practiced and I hit a chink in the ice and fell shattering my wrist. She came to sit with me and just be with me until I got picked up to go to the hospital. She shared a little about her falling to make me feel better. She’s a true hero and wonderful skater.

  10. HI Jennie, I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but I do like watching the ice skating and gymnastics at the Olympics. It is good to have goals and ambition in life. It is also good to recognise talent and hard work.

  11. beetleypete says:

    There was a time (a long time ago) when I watched and enjoyed the Olympics. Then drugs came along, then politics. I cannot recall the last time I watched one Olympic event, but it must be close to 40 years ago now.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      I remember you telling me how you feel, Pete. I like to cheer the young athletes and their hard earned success. I like to believe most do not take drugs (I can hear you laughing.)

  12. quiall says:

    Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and in all walks of life.

  13. It is good to recognize heroes, Jennie. That is where the spotlight should be. It is too bad the IOC has and continues to overlook abuses in China.

  14. Fantastic, Jennie! We all need heroes to inspire us…

  15. Kudos for sharing that with them, Jennie!

  16. Norah says:

    Good lessons to teach and learn, Jennie, and such a beautiful way to do it. Figure skating is just amazing.

  17. Jolene Zukauskas says:

    Great teachable moment, my friend. I remember when Dan Janson finally got his gold medal and you came into my classroom to tell me. ________________________________

  18. These talented people show me how forces of grace and beauty and perseverance defy the laws of physics. It’s amazing and wonderful that you show children.

  19. Every kid would just love to be in your class. Full of great inspiration!

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