Every June, hundreds of communities across the United States join an international celebration of Olympic Day to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games. Olympic Day events vary from site to site, but they are all designed to promote fitness and well-being, as well as Olympic ideals, such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. Craftsbury hosted its own version of Olympic Day on July 2nd, a little later than most communities. 20 kids converged on the campus of Hosmer Point summer camp (formerly Windridge Tennis Camp) and spent the afternoon trying out a variety of sports and meeting some Olympians.
Many thanks to Hayley Quinones of Hosmer Point for the pictures.
The weather could not have been better, and with the help of Hosmer Point’s wonderful staff, the event went off very smoothly and I think everyone had fun. We designed our event to run like a mini Olympics for kids ages 9-14. Participants were assigned a country and marched into the opening ceremonies with their flag. Following the lighting of our torch, the kids tried out a variety of sports (soccer, track and field, tennis, laser biathlon and canoeing). Olympian Andy Newell (xc skiing ’06 and ’10) gave a short rollerski demonstration and answered questions, and Carlie Geer (sculling ’84) brought her silver medal for the kids to see. At the completion of closing ceremonies, every participant received a medal.
Ida and I used to compete in a “Kid’s Olympics” that Craftsbury used to host at the end of the ski season, and we drew heavily from that event for inspiration. I remember it being one of the most fun events of the winter. In addition to xc skiing, we would compete to see who could slide down the hill furthest in a sled (luge) and who could get the most air off a little ski jump. I think we might have had to weave through a slalom course made out of ski poles, and compete in a tennis ball biathlon race. Then we’d change into skates and race around the hockey pond. Our overall score for the day would be tabulated from all the different events, and the winners got hats as prizes. The day usually ended with a big cookout in the spring sunshine with maple sugar on snow.