Mini Olympians bring home gold
Mike Hamer leads his group in the bouncy ball races of the Rose K. Goedert Early Childhood Education Center's Olympics at Dominican University on Friday, August 3rd. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 10, 2012 1:26PM
RIVER FOREST — The Olympian spirit — in miniature — was much in evidence Friday when students at Dominican University’s Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education gathered for a pint-size version of the Olympic Games.
Roughly 70 kids divided into age groups on a green outside the school for events including Bean Bag Toss, Torch Relay (non-flaming variety), Tricycle Race, Paper-Plate Discus Throw, Obstacle Course and Water Relay. Each child participated in each event and each was awarded a gold medal.
“We talked to them about how important it is to practice and do your best to compete, but these guys worked so hard that they all got something for trying,” said Goedert Center director Amanda Cardin. “This event was more about trying and doing your best than being specific about who came in first, second and third. That’s something they learn later.”
Part of the school’s curriculum involves following current events, so the students have been keeping track of key developments in the London games — such as swimmer Michael Phelps’ record-breaking number of career medals — and noting the performance of Illinois Olympians.
“Unfortunately, Illinois hasn’t been doing too well this time,” Cardin said. “No medals. But we’ve been putting stickers up by their names saying, ‘Nice try.’”
Despite intense heat that brought the Goedert Games to an early close and occasional confusion during some of the events (the 2-year-old athletes had to be restrained from entering both sides of the obstacle course at once), Cardin proclaimed that an educational good time was had by all.
“It was fantastic,” she said. “They took it so seriously, even the little guys.”