On Thursday, February 11th the staff and students of St. Olivier participated in their version of the Olympics. The participants were divided up into ten teams, each representing a different country: France - Mrs. Larsen; Italy - Mrs. Vandenhurk; USA - Mrs. T. Verhelst; Finland - Mrs. S. Verhelst; China - Mrs. Olson; Norway - Mrs. Friebel; Germany - Mrs. Gilmore; Russia - Mrs. Bourassa; Sweden - Mrs. Bolton and the host team Canada - Mrs. Fisher.
The afternoon began with the official opening ceremonies. The flags of the ten participating countries were set up in front of the school and each team gathered behind their flag. As each country was introduced, loud cheers were heard from the athletes. After the introductions, the Canadian National Anthem was sung as the Canadian flag and Olympic flag were raised. Next, Constable Todd McIntosh of the Radville detachment of the RCMP, was called upon to deliver the Athlete's Oath. As he recited the oath the participants, en mass, repeated the words said by every Olympic athlete at every Olympics. After the oath had been taken he declared the Olympics open and the athletes proceeded to their first event.
The St. Olivier Olympics consisted of five events:
The Biathlon - Two people from each team ran from the front of the school to the side of the school, where on a bench a Nerf gun with three darts was sitting. A basket was sitting against the school wall and a point was given for each dart that went in, or hit the edge of the basket.
Bobsleigh - The object was to see which team could make the most laps around the course. Up to four kids were designated as horses and it was their job to pull the "riders", one at a time through the course.
Olympic Obstacle Course - Teams raced in partners through the course. With each member holding onto the end of either the rubber chicken or rubber pig, they proceeded through the course, in pairs, making as many laps as they could in the designated time.
Pass The Pail - Teams spread out between the starting line and the big garbage can. The person at the front filled an ice cream pail and then passed it down the line until it reached the last person. That person then emptied the snow into the garbage can, ran it back to the start, filled the pail with snow and passed it down the line. The team who had the most snow in the garbage can at the end was the winner.
Frisbee Throw - Five rings were placed on the snow at varying distances and the object was to throw a Frisbee into ring. Each ring was assigned a point value, with the furthest ring (blue) worth five points, the next two (yellow) worth 3 points, and the two closest rings (red) being worth 2 points. The country accumulating the most points was the winner.
As with any Olympics an official mascot was needed. A contest was held from grades Kindergarten to grade six to come up with an idea and a name for the mascot. An entry from each grade was chosen and then from those entries, one idea was chosen. Sara Fradette's idea of a penguin was chosen and, as luck would have it, Pirio's had an awesome penguin costume and generously offered the use of it to the school and, voila, Pella The Penguin was born. Pella mingled with the athletes and spent the afternoon cheering them on at the various events.
Many people were needed to make the Olympics a success, from Constable Todd McIntosh helping with the opening ceremonies, Pella the Penguin cheering the athletes on and many parents and community members helping out with judging and scorekeeping. The afternoon was definitely a success. The students all enjoyed themselves in the various events and conducted themselves in true Olympic fashion, competing their hardest but maintaining true sportsmanship.
Each country competed in each event and scores were tallied. Once the "athletes" are back in school the results of the Olympics will be announced at the closing ceremonies and the presentations will be made. We will be there to cover this event and will publish the results in a later edition. Stay tuned!!