As the world prepares for Rio, students at ESD's Lower School are gearing up to celebrate with games of their own. The festivities kicked off earlier this week with an Olympic Flag Ceremony at St. Michael’s and All Angels Church led by several former Olympic athletes. Later that morning, they shared their Olympic experiences with ESD's third and fourth graders, including what it was like to represent the United States and how they accomplished their goals.
- Earl Young- gold medalist in the 4 x 400 relay during the 1960 Rome Olympics,
- Ryan Berube- gold medalist swimmer in the 800-meter freestyle relay during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
- Sam Walker- a weightlifter during the 1976 Montreal Olympics
- John McNally- the rapid fire pistol shooter during the 1984, 88, 92, 96, 2000 Olympics (taking place in Los Angeles, Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, and Sydney respectively)
- Greg Speed- a wheelchair track and field athlete during the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona
Small groups of third- and fourth-grade students are assigned a country to represent during the course of the Olympic Games. Each designated team will carry their country’s flag during the Opening Ceremony. The Greek flag will be the first to proceed down the aisle since it is the birthplace of the Olympics. Greece will be followed by Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Romania, and the US. Over the course of two weeks, third and fourth graders will participate in events like sprinting, the long jump, the discus throw, fencing, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, and swimming during their physical education classes.
Students were excited to dive into the culture of each assigned country and are learning well beyond P.E. classes, as homeroom teachers and parents have created a variety of experiences for them to celebrate their nations.
“The spirit of the Olympic Games connects beautifully with ESD's mission and Episcopal identity as it seeks to holistically combine the qualities of body, will, and mind,” says Head of Lower School, Chelle Wabrek.
Let the games begin!