Olympic spirit: School holds games as part of study of ancient Greece

Published 3:53 pm Monday, October 15, 2018

NORTH SHELBY – To conclude their study of ancient Greece, third grade students at Westminster School at Oak Mountain held their own version of the Greek Olympics on Friday, Oct. 12.

The event began with a ceremonial torch procession, and then the athletes recited the Olympic oath, praying to God instead of Zeus as the ancient Greeks would have, teacher Diana Reed said.

About 45 athletes from three different classes competed in five events: discus, shot put, javelin, long jump and a race.

Students from the Westminster Upper School Latin Club helped by marking distances and other tasks related to the games.

Winners were crowned with laurel wreaths and olive branches.

Third grader Knox Irvin said he learned during the school’s study of Ancient Greece that horseback racing was more dangerous than chariot racing because the chariot provided at least some stability.

“One of my favorite things that is in the Olympics is the racing,” Irvin said.

Fellow third grader Barrett Price, meanwhile, said the javelin throw was his favorite event.

One event Price was interested to learn about but was not included in the school’s games was bull-leaping, a dangerous practice that would have resulted in the deaths of many young men.

Price said the ceremony leading up to the Olympic games would have lasted several days and were religious.

“We learned that they were held in honor of Zeus,” Price said.

View and purchase photos from the event at ShelbyCountyPhotos.com/By-Schoolcity/Westminster.