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Olympics in Lansing

Lansing Christian School students and staff celebrate sportsmanship and community with school games

By Ashlee De Wit

LANSING, Ill. (February 28, 2022) – With much fanfare, Lansing Christian School (LCS) celebrated the Winter Olympics in their own version of the Games, which began on February 7.

Kristin Freel came up with the idea for an all-school Olympics. Freel is the reading specialist and sixth-grade Bible teacher at LCS. (Photo provided by Lansing Christian School)

“We started it as a way to continue to build community within our school, now that COVID restrictions are loosening,” said Kristin Freel, the school’s sixth grade Bible teacher and reading specialist, and the Olympics organizer. “It made some good memories.”

The Lansing Christian Games

The LCS Games began with opening ceremonies on February 7. A procession of classes — each carrying the flag of their chosen country, and accompanied by an Olympic soundtrack — entered the school gym to start the competition.

The school was divided into three teams: red, white, and blue. The red team (kindergarten, second and third grade, fifth grade, and eighth grade) ended up on the top of the podium at the closing ceremonies, claiming the team gold medal.

Classes display their chosen country names and flags during the opening ceremonies. (Photo provided by Lansing Christian School)

The blue team was made up of the PreK, first, fourth, sixth, and seventh grades, and the white team was faculty and staff. At the opening ceremonies, teams lined up for the first events of the competition: a torch relay and a bobsled race, featuring pool noodle “torches” and a scooter board bobsled. The Red Team took the gold in the torch relay; faculty claimed a win in the bobsled race. Throughout both events, students were shouting cheers and waving flags to support their teams.

The torch relay featured pool-noodle torches and some speedy students — and staff. (Photo provided by Lansing Christian School)

“It was really cute,” Freel said. “[The students] really were supportive of each other, even when they didn’t win.”

Other games in the competition included curling, an ice skating relay, and an ice hockey goal shot competition. Andrea Bercot, P.E. teacher, kept track of the team scores during P.E. classes and updated the totals for students to follow.

Teams line up for one of the first events of the games: the bobsled race. (Photo provided by Lansing Christian School)

Building community and sportsmanship

“It was a great opportunity for us to practice the great qualities of sportsmanship and community building,” said Principal Mandy Aardsma. “It helped classes work together and encourage each other. Anytime we can help kids work together and grow in community, that’s important to us.”

The school celebrated an Olympic-style spirit week from February 14–17, donning Valentine’s themed “heart of a champion” apparel on Monday, Olympic ring colors on Tuesday, medal winner colors on Wednesday (gold, silver, and bronze), and showing off their patriotic colors on Thursday.

Reading for gold

The Olympics also featured a reading competition. Ellie Oostman was the winner in that event, racking up more than 6,000 pages in just a matter of weeks. The fourth-grader snuck in some late-night pages to help her win the gold. She wasn’t the only one: “I heard other kids say, ‘I went to sleep, but when I thought the coast was clear I turned my reading lamp back on!’” Aardsma said.

Closing ceremonies were held on Thursday, February 24. After a video of a veteran singing God Bless America and a brief talk about sportsmanlike conduct, the winners in each event took the podium and received their trophies. All students received a medal, and the victorious Red Team is looking forward to an ice cream treat during an upcoming lunch.

Lansing Christian School is located at 3360 Randolph Street in Lansing.

Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit
Ashlee De Wit is a freelance writer and a Lansing native. After starting her career covering high school sports in Iowa, she's excited to be back in her hometown, reporting the stories of her local community — such as the opening of Troost, the informal Lansing pickleball club, a TF South Homecoming game, and Common Ground, Lansing's experiment with healthy race relations.