The 2018 Winter Olympic Games begin in February. I am bursting with excitement!
I remember watching the Olympic Games as a child. Every year, I loved the exotic locations that changed with each set of games. I became familiar with sports that I never watched at any other time of the year. Plus, I loved the pageantry and traditions associated with the Olympic Games. At the opening ceremony, each country enters in a group, all clothed in matching team outfits. After an event, seeing the gold medalists standing on the podium and listening to their national anthems almost brought me to tears. So, why aren’t my kids interested in the Olympic Games? Part of the problem is our busy schedule and the other part is my failure to encourage their interest. Here are some of my ideas to excite my children about the Olympic Games.
Start with some books.
Your local library is a great place to find books about the Olympic Games. If you have no idea where to start looking for Olympic books, ask your friendly librarian! There are many cute picture books to introduce young children to the games. Older children may also enjoy reading biographies about famous Olympic athletes. If your child is a fan of a particular sport, check out a book on that subject!
Take a road trip.
Lake Placid, New York hosted both the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympic Games. It’s only a two hour drive from Burlington, which is perfect for a short weekend trip. Visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Also tour the Olympic Center. Ice skate during the winter or watch skaters perform in the summer. It will be easy to fill your weekend with fun for the whole family. Visiting the site of the actual Olympic Games will definitely grab your children’s attention!
Try out some Olympic sports.
Vermont is the perfect state for trying out winter Olympic sports. Skiing is a great sport for all ages of children. Luckily, a variety of ski resorts spread over the entire state. Snowboarding is also an option at these resorts. Ice skating is another winter sport that all ages can try. There are plenty of outdoor skating options. If you prefer an indoor option, try the Leddy Ice Arena in Burlington or the Essex Skating Facility in Essex Junction. Although kids can’t try out sports such as luge or skeleton, they can get in the spirit by sledding. If you wait until summer, you can also check out the alpine slide at Bromley.
Watch local athletes compete in sports featured in the Olympic Games.
Ice hockey is an Olympic sport that is played all over Vermont. Many high schools have ice hockey teams and so do some colleges, such as the University of Vermont. Catch a game near you! There are also many ski and snowboard competitions of various levels. Check out the schedule at your favorite ski resort! If you are willing to travel farther, Lake Placid hosts a wide variety of sports featured in the winter Olympic Games. If traveling is too much for you, there is always television or the Internet. Kids will be more interested in Olympic sports if they have seen them before and understand the rules.
Watch a movie about Olympic sports.
I still remember watching The Cutting Edge years ago. It’s a movie about a figure skater who needs to find a new partner in order to compete in the next Olympic Games. If your child likes ice hockey, The Mighty Ducks is a classic. Another great Olympic movie is Cool Runnings, based on the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team. There are plenty of movie options. Pick one based on your child’s age and interests.