Games: Winter Olympic Your Gym!

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

With the Winter Olympics saturating the television schedule, it's the ideal time to get your students involved in activities that mimic these Olympic events. Here are several activities you can perform in your gym.

You can increase the fun by having classes divide into groups, with each group representing a different country.  Make it into an educational exercise by having them draw the flag of that country and learning important facts about it.

You can begin your Olympics with an opening ceremonies march-in, during which each country marches around they gym together, holding up their paper flag. You can make this even more fun by playing some cheering noises on your sound system (download it on the internet).

You can have the countries earn points for their performance in the sports competitions and tally the points on a board. Making the competitions into relays makes this easier.


Use a scooter board, or several boards attached together to make a luge, skeleton or bobsled. For skeleton, have your students lie face-down and move head-first. For  luge, it's belly-up, feet-first. For bobsled, they sit on the scooter-board alone, or in pairs. If you can attach enough scooter boards together, you can make a four-man bobsled.


Students work in groups, with one or more students on the scooter and another one or two students pushing. With two students pushing, one stands on either side.

Have them push the luge/skeleton/bobsled down the gym to a release point, where they give a final push so the student keeps rolling and eventually piles into a soft mat. The first to hit the mat is the winner.

Alternatively, students could push themselves down the course.

Have students stand on foam frisbees or towels (or they could bring old work socks). They then “skate” a course around the perimeter of the gym marked by pylons. They should use a bent-over speed skating posture.

To give them the feeling for the aerodynamic hooded suits the Olympic skaters wear, they could pull their T-shirts over the top of their heads.

Cross-Country Skiing
Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing 
If you have soft-tipped Nordic walking poles, skate on the same frisbees or towels, but add the poling action required of cross-country skiers. Both skating and classic arm and leg actions can be used. If no poles are available, have students mimic the arm action.

Using the cross-country ski action above, have students ski to a spot in the gym where they toss beanbags as a target on the wall. If they miss, they ski an extra lap before returning to the start.

Mogul Skiing
Have students take a run and jump off Bosu balls or a gymnastics takeoff board onto a cushy mat, attempting to land on their feet. They can add tricks to increase the difficulty.

Play floor hockey, using plastic sticks and a ball or puck.

Reference: Jackie Borchardt, “Physical-education classes get in spirit of Winter Games.” Casper Star-Tribune, February 20, 2010, from classes conducted by teacher Lisa Colling at Cottonwood and Mills Elementary schools.

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