Saturday, August 11, 2012

Olympic Reflections

Welcome back to Nicolene, our UK insider!  

If you missed her guest post about an Inside View of the Olympics 2012, you can read it hereToday she's sharing her reflections on the Olympics.

All of a sudden, I find myself here in the final week of the London 2012 Olympics. A couple more days, and it will all be over. An event we have been anticipating for several years has now come to a close. It was certainly worth the wait.

Our family has had so much fun! We have gained a wealth of knowledge and a huge understanding of the wide range of emotions seen at the Games—compassion, determination, and pride being just a few.

Though the Olympics were just two weeks long, we have been enjoying the build-up for a lot longer, participating in almost every Olympic-themed event we could. The first and most enjoyable was the torch relay, an event we could not wait to be part of. We tracked the torch almost daily via TV and Internet from its initial landing back in May to the day of the opening ceremony. It was an activity that gave my children a much greater understanding of the geography of the country they live in. We were lucky enough to travel to three different towns to watch the torch go by, and each time was a truly unique experience and an emotional event. Each torchbearer with his or her own story and being part of the thousands of people there to cheer support and encouragement—amazing!

Though we were not able to attend the Olympics, we found ourselves blessed enough to experience a pre-Olympic visit to London just days before the opening ceremony. What an adventure it was—an experience we will never forget and a memory my children will hold forever. The streets were decorated with hundreds of flags to welcome all the athletes arriving from around the world. We bumped into uniformed Olympic workers complete with official name badges and saw soldiers brought in from Afghanistan in training for Olympic security. These were all wonderful learning experiences for my family.

Since the opening ceremony was way past our little ones’ bedtime, we brought down our pillows and blankets, nestled up on the floor with a snack picnic, and literally waited for the games to begin. The children were so excited, cheering along holding their Olympic mascot toys Wenlock, Mandeville, and the team GB lion. It was lovely to share the historic moment together.

Watching the games has been wonderful and truly inspiring not only for my children but friends’ children too. There has been many a lump in the throat when I hear the backstories of some of the athletes. And for the children to see their determination has added a little mortar to the building of their characters. Who knows how many budding young future athletes will come from these Games? We have already been discussing how old each child will be by the time the next Olympics comes around. We’ve talked about which of them would be old enough to participate in the Games, what sports they think they could achieve in, and the scientific makeup of the medals.

This has been an opportunity to give my children one of the richest learning experiences of their lives so far, and sharing it with others through the unit study Olympics co-op on Facebook has just been the icing on the cake.

Nicolene Barnes and family
High Peak, Derbyshire, U.K.


  1. Dear Nicolene,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences over these past weeks - it made the Olympics come alive for so many of us! From the torch relay stories and pictures to the opening ceremony picnic and pillows - we've been right there with you, savoring and learning together, from all around the globe.

    Thanks for everything! One of these days I hope to meet you and your family in person! :)

    Amanda B.

  2. Thank you for all the insight and sharing experiences. It made the olympics more alive and global hearing about others watching and experiencing it also.


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