Energy and excitement were in the air as lower school students, representing countries from around the world, paraded around Kennerly Field during the opening ceremony of the 30th annual Lower School Olympics.
The beloved tradition of the Olympics began in 1990 as an educational endeavor spearheaded by former Head of School Peter Graham and Assistant Director of Athletics Steve Hamel. The Olympic Day celebration is the culmination of a month-long multicultural study that includes the exploration of foreign customs and culture, including a culinary luncheon hosted in classrooms on the eve of the Olympics.
Tom Reid, Interim Head of School, welcomed faculty, parents and friends to the games as the middle school band performed an assortment of numbers on the field.
The ceremonial lighting of the Olympic flame by lower school torchbearers signalled the commencement of the day-long event. Students competed in a variety of events from dashes, to hurdles, relays, and bean bag tosses. The excitement and team spirit carried throughout the day as students cheered on their fellow countrymen.
Faculty Olympic Day Coordinator Riordan Cheatham said, “The students love the competition and the spirit of the day, from their tent and signing shirts, to competing for points and feeling a strong part of a team (country)...” Coach Cheatham also spoke of the 30 year history of the Olympics and its importance, saying, “When a senior or any student comes back they should see the rich tradition still being carried out through the years and can remember the good events surrounding the day.”
The Olympics is always a special event on campus that brings together the many facets of the Benjamin family, from the senior class volunteering at the games, to the programs that were designed by 4th grade student Zeph Vidgen. It was a truly wonderful day full of school pride.
Congratulations to all the Olympic participants including the following class winners:
Coach Hamel Award
Mrs. Jeanine Holland
Peter Graham Sportsmanship Award
3F Japan - Mrs. Feck
2J Argentina - Mrs. Johnson
1M Italy - Ms. Monahan
4Co Spain - Mrs. Cowles
4K Bahamas - Mrs. Kearns
5H Mexico - Mrs. Hill