Another important part of our Olympics inquiry is learning about Canadian Olympic athletes. Students were really excited to hear that locally-trained figure skaters, Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers, would be going to the Olympics. This was our first athlete connection in our Olympics learning, so we spent some time “getting to know” these athletes. We checked out their Twitter account, watched videos of their qualifying performances and found out as much as we could about them. Students requested that we send them questions on Twitter and we were thrilled when Rudi & Paige replied! The students now refer to Rudi & Paige on a first-name basis and ask me daily “Can we watch some videos of Rudi and Paige?” or “Can we send Rudi and Paige a Tweet?” I’ve started watching for newspaper articles, videos and online material that relates to their Olympic journey and I’ve been saving it on my Olympics Diigo list to share with my class!
We’ve also made connections with some other athletes. Mr. Obach (my husband and a fellow teacher) sent us a link on Twitter that explained Hayley Wickenheiser would carry the Canadian flag at the Olympics. Students really understood that carrying the flag would be a special job and my students were excited to find her on Twitter and send a Tweet congratulating her!