In the Olympic spirit

Fourth-grader Hannah May exalts as teammate Gracie Mackey pushes their two-man sled while Isaak Thomas and Bobbi Barrell await their turn.They may have lacked the fancy uniforms, national flags and large fan base experienced at the Winter Olym?pic Games in Sochi, Russia, but students at Marion Elemen?tary School generated enough energy and fun at their own indoor Olympics last week to almost make up for it.

And with only slightly less snow.

Nicki Case, physical education teacher, organized the two-day event by adapting seven Olympic events in which students could participate:

? Two-man bobsled. Four floor scooters were taped to create the sled. One student would ride the sled as the other one pushed from behind. At the turnaround point, they traded positions.

? Four-man bobsled. Using a floor mat for a bobsled, one student rode the mat as the three teammates pulled it along the out-and-back course.

Carley Collett slides her curling stone toward the target. Monitoring her effort are Kalea Craig and DJ Smith.? Curling. Weighted detergent bottles served as the ?rock? or ?stone.? Students attempted to slide the bottles upright, aiming for the target taped to the gym floor to score one, two or three points. No brooms were needed.

? Pairs figure skating. Two students would put skates?plastic grocery sacks?over their feet. They then each held on to a rubber ring as they skated out and back through the course.

? Biathlon. The Sochi version combines cross-country skiing and rifle target shooting. The MES version had participants strap on carpet-square halves for skis, then ski/shuffle to the shooting area. There, they had to lie on their stomachs on a mat, then try to toss two foxtails into plastic milk crates sitting on edge. Jayden May and Cross Brown try their hand (and feet) in pairs figure skating.Once they completed their shots, they had to retrieve the foxtails before skiing back to the starting line.







Miranda Shaffer, with ?noodles? in hand, makes a run in the giant slalom as Jessica Arevalo watches her progress? Giant slalom. Case said she originally hoped to develop a course that required jump-rope movements. When that form was too long to complete, she had students hold a 5-foot swimming ?noodle? in each hand as ski poles, then weave their way through the course and back.

? Hockey. Armed with plastic hockey sticks, students attempted to shoot a puck (a hacky sack bag) past a goalie (a steel chair) protecting the goal (a plastic milk crate on edge).

Each morning, the younger students participated from 8 to 10:30; in the afternoon, the older students took their turn from 1:30 to 3:30.

On Day 1, in addition to explaining the rules of each event, Case talked about the real Olympic Cross Brown and Noah Slater (red sweatshirt) watch as Johnny Zieammermann takes a shot on goal in and the challenging conditions under which athletes were competing in spring-like Sochi.

Case also talked about the well-known ?Olympic Fan?fare and Theme? song written by composer John Williams in 1984, and other aspects of the international event.

While the MES Olym?pics awarded no medals, it was plain to most obser?vers from the smiles and laughter of the students that everyone who participated walked away a winner.

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