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Monday, December 05, 2016

The Commonwealth P.S. 1991 Olympic Games!

I'm really excited to talk about Day #5 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR because this is a personal story that I want to share with all of you.

You know how when I first announced the schedule for this blog, and how I would devote Mondays to events that took place at school during the holidays?  I think part of the reason why I want to do this is to remind people that there was a time in which schools actually celebrated the holidays and we did lots of fun things during the last week of school before Christmas.  Not all schools seem to do this now because of fear of offending people who don't celebrate Christmas, which I think is wrong.  But I also think it's wrong for schools to ignore all the other holidays as well, and that's what's leading to today's school memory.

The scary part of this memory is that I remember exactly when this memory took place.  It was Christmas 1991.  And, what's even scarier is that this was 25 years ago.  I can't believe I'm old enough to remember things that happened that long ago, especially since as a 10-year-old during that time, I thought that it would take forever to reach the age of 25!  Anyway, the only reason I remember the date well was because it was a couple of months away from the 1992 Winter Olympics, and our school decided to do something special in preparation for the event.

I guess you could say that we put on our own Olympic games that year.

I honestly don't know who participated - I want to say it was grades 1-8, as my school at that time had kids from kindergarten to 8th grade under one roof.  But we were all divided up into I believe thirty-six teams, each containing at least three kids from each grade level.  Each team was represented by a country that was taking part in the Olympic games.

My team?  We were the Swedes, ya!  We represented the land that gave us ABBA, Ikea, meatballs, and a crazy chef Muppet that liked the word BORK!  I would have rather been on Team Canada, but at least Sweden had similar weather to us.  And besides, the Swedish flag was easy to draw and colour!

And of course the week long event concluded with a winter fun day, where all thirty-six teams competed against each other in Olympic style events for kids.  I think my team finished in the middle of the pack, but it was still a decent showing.

But I think the part that I liked the best were the events leading up to the huge fun day.  My elementary school had eighteen gathering places for students - the various classrooms, the gym, the library, and the computer lab.  And each of these classrooms were used as various stations for us to move around with each classroom having a different activity.  Now, because we had 36 teams, this meant that two teams were in each classroom at any given time, so in a way, I guess the teachers were trying to teach us lessons in diplomacy.  After all, competing against other nations is one thing, but you also have to be a good representative of your own nation by treating those in other countries with dignity and respect.  It's a lesson that I think schools need to teach more than ever.

And in each classroom, we were given activities that were linked to the countries that we had to represent.  I do believe I made a Swedish Santa ornament at one of these stations, and I think that I still have it today.  I just don't remember what box I put it in, because it's gone missing and I'm still unpacking boxes in the garage from when I moved in the summer of 2015!

And of course, we learned all about the various Olympic sports that were performed as well, and it was a real great way to get us excited about the upcoming Olympics...

...even though in 1992, Canada only won seven total.

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