5 lessons the Olympics can teach our students

This blog post discusses 5 lessons the Olympics can teach our kids.  This is great for a classroom or for families to discuss at home.  Click here to read the 5 lessons!

The past few weeks have flown by!  We have been getting ready to go back to school and watching the Olympics nonstop.  As a mom, I love to watch with my son, because it reminds me of summers past and of times when I dreamed big.  It also gives me a great reason to talk to him about the different people of the world, the importance of hard work, and what dedication really means.

Here are some of the top lessons our children can learn from this amazing event.

1.  Do your best with what God gave you.  

Michael Phelps is very tall and lean and Simone Biles is 4'8".  They are both amazing at what they do, but would Michael Phelps be able to flip himself like Simone does?  I highly doubt it.  Would Simone be able to swim as fast as he can?  Again, I don't think so.  Each one of us is born with amazing gifts, but it is our job to find them and put them to use.

2.  Hard work pays off, but don't expect everything to come easily.

I'm a runner, and I was blown away watching the men's marathon when a young American that I had never heard of took the bronze medal.  He's naturally talented, sure, but he worked so hard to get there.  As someone who runs for hours at a time, I understand how hard it is.  I also know how hard I worked up to it.  I didn't just go run 26 miles one day.  I trained for months to lead up to it.  It's still hard.  All the preparation in the world can get you ready for the tough moments, but that doesn't mean they won't still be tough. 

3.  The world is full of amazing people.

We watched the opening ceremony, and my son was amazed at all of the countries he had never heard of.  (Okay, me too...)  It is so beautiful to see the coming-together of so many people that are so different, yet so alike.  I don't think there is a more beautiful way to show the people of the world than to show people putting their heart and soul into something they love.

4.   Age does not define us.

Most gymnasts are young.  As a girl, I was a great gymnast, but as a grown woman, I cannot imagine doing anything other than walking on a balance beam.  I'm not as flexible, as skinny, or as strong as I used to be.  Somehow, adulthood got me and I lost the ability to fly through the air.  Needless to say, I was amazed when watching 41-year old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina perform in her 7th Olympics.  It just goes to show that you are only as old as you let yourself believe.

5.  We can be proud of others even when we don't win first place.

By nature, we want to win, so it is hard to smile gracefully when someone beats us. One of my favorite parts of the Olympics was when Laurie Hernandez won a silver medal and spoke with amazement about the gold medal winner, Sanne Wevers.  She seemed so happy to have a silver (who wouldn't be?) and she recognized the great talent and hard work of her competitor.  We can be proud of ourselves and recognize greatness in others at the same time.

So, what about you?  What impressions did you take away from the games?  What are some great talking points with our children?  


  1. I love how you've linked Olympics to being able to learn! Great blog post, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Great Blog Post...I especially like that age does not define us!!!

  3. Great post!!! Loved reading it :)

  4. Great post! I loved watching the 41-year-old gymnast -- so inspiring!

  5. Great article! Thank you for sharing! :)

  6. This is lovely! So much great learning. Thank you :)