For weeks now, students at Willingdon Elementary School in Montreal’s NDG borough have been learning about the 2018 Winter Olympics.
To mark the start of the Games, the school held a small opening ceremony of its own.
Two-hundred students packed into the gym, watching a short video about the Olympics and listening to inspirational messages from their teachers.
“I want you to think about a moment in your life that you felt proud of,” Jonathan Stein, physical education teacher, told the students.
“Replay that moment over and over. If you can stay in that moment, you have found your Olympics spirit. Hold onto it, and unleash it.”
The kids were excited, saying they learned a lot about the Olympics, and the Games are an inspiration.
“I’ve learned not to give up on yourself and to always chase your dream,” said student Noah de la Barre.
Teachers explained the Olympics are a great educational opportunity for kids.
“Team work, understanding cultures, working together, doing your best, perseverance, determination – all those things, we try to emphasize in our program,” Stein said.
He added it’s really proved effective for the children.
“I learned that you have, if you want to be in the Olympics, you have to give it your everything, and if you want to achieve something you have to try hard and it will really get you somewhere,” said student Opal Phillips.
On the sports field, kids said they’re encouraged to try hard.
In the classroom, students are learning about various Canadian athletes and about the importance of sport.
“It inspired me to try hard in what I do,” Phillips said.
“I don’t do any sports, but I am trying to find a sport I will like to do.”
For the next two weeks, the kids will follow the Olympics closely as it teaches them to dream big, love their country, and maybe even one day, go for gold.