By MICHAEL WARD
Junior high students in Lindon are taking the Olympic spirit to new heights.
Administrators from Oak Canyon Junior High School declared February 16-20 “School Olympic Week.”
Vice Principal Steve Stewart said improved sportsmanship and school unity has brought the students together.
“The unity was evident for the fact that we had 1500 students out on the track for our own opening ceremonies,” Stewart said.
School Olympic organizer Penney Gauchay said the Olympic spirit was strong during the week.
“I wanted to give the students an opportunity to have their own Olympic experience,” Gauchay said.
Students were involved in various activities throughout the week. Homerooms, each of which was assigned a nation, made their country’s flag and represented that nation at different events. The school had lunch period activities also, Gauchay said.
“One day we had some gymnasts from the school perform,” she said.
Gauchay said teachers were encouraged to incorporate the Olympics and sportsmanship into their lesson plans.
Geography teachers gave lessons on cultures and languages of countries throughout the world, while science teachers discussed Newton’s laws of motion in comparison to ski jumping, speed skating and snowboarding.
After school Wednesday, students met in the gym to hold their own Olympic competition. The traditional figure skating and bobsledding was bypassed for sumo wrestling and a velcro wall.
Gauchay said the event wasn’t so much competition as it was fun.
Students were helped into padded pseudo-sumo outfits and then assisted by fellow students to keep on their feet while wrestling.
One Oak Canyon student said he had a vigorous training schedule to get ready for the sumo-wrestling event.
“I worked all summer to prepare for this,” he said.
During the velcro-wall event, participants dressed in multi-colored velcro suits. They ran full force and jumped, and spotters on the velcro wall flipped them upside-down.
School officials said they feel their “School Olympic Week” was a success and are planning for bigger events in 2002.