Prize winning construction

As I mentioned in the last post, Sebastian has become very engaged with the Olympics. Last week at school, he and his friend Oscar constructed their own Olympic stadium and had small bears competing in events within it. Their teacher, Emma, has put together a whole 7 page record of it with photos and text which is just fantastic. For example, one of the exchanges went like this:

Sebastian: There are the 3 bears that have been drug tested. They didn't take a drug they weren't meant to. They didn't take a drug that made their muscles bigger, or their heart pump faster like you said.

Oscar: I thought the loser would have just eaten candy!

I must try and get an electronic copy with photos from Emma – and I must say, good work teacher. She went to a lot of trouble to record what they were doing. After the first day of playing in the stadium with running races and the long jump, they then converted it to the Swim Cube.

Last night James and I found a note to us in Seb's lunch box from Emma, telling us that Sebastian was getting an award at assembly today – so we went along. The cutest thing about it was how delighted and proud he was to get his award!

School award 2School award 5School award 8

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Olympic Excitement

So, the Olympics have started. I must admit that the Opening Ceremony was extremely impressive – the London organisers must be wondering what on earth they can do now. I guess it is easy when you have endless bodies who can come off army duty and do nothing but practise for 5 months. The best bit though was that we lost some of the commentary for a while, so were undisturbed by Ric Birch and his gratuituous use of the word "metaphor." Clearly he has no idea what one is, and just thought he would throw the word in as often as possible to try and make himself sound intelligent. A metaphor, Ric, is when one thing stands for another thing – it is not a theme or any of the many of words for which you substituted it.

Now I have my grammatical concerns off my chest, I will also point out that I didn't really like the Australian uniforms. Admittedly they were better than the hideous yellow driza-bone Dad had to wear at Seoul, but really they were just a bit blah. We didn't make it past the athletes – it was definitely time for bed then, so missed the whole pledge-taking, flag-raising, torch-lighting moments.

Sebastian has been talking about the Olympics at lot at school, and was very keen to watch the coverage on the weekend. He was particularly keen on the cycling road races and has decided he would like to race bikes when he is old enough. We used that as a prompt to send him outside, away from the television for a bit, to ride around the block. However, given how cold and unpleasant it was, the watching of some Olympics from the warmth of the lounge room was no bad thing.

Usual complaints about the coverage so far – we never get to see the really weird and wonderful sports, and tonight they were showing the boring tennis instead of the possible Olympic gold in the equestrian events. And swimming, swimming and more swimming. I know it is virtually un-Australian to say so, but the swimming does leave me a bit cold as a spectator sport.  I guess as Australians we have taught ourselves to love it because it is our most consistently reliable source of medals. At least there has been a bit of rowing and some kayaking and we do get the alternative coverage on SBS which shows some fun things, if a bit too much soccer for my liking!

James managed to make his own contribution to the debate about the Olympics with an article in Crikey about the cost of Olympic medals and why rich countries will always beat poor ones. There will probably be another one about the use of drugs in sport too soon.

So hurrah for the Olympics, and I just wish it was still true that they were about peace and friendshhip and harmony as one of the eight year olds at Sebastian's school said today. The cynics amongst us know that they are about nationalism and television rights and potential sponsorship money. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy them though.

August 10August 11

The boys watch the recording of the Opening Ceremony while eating breakfast on Saturday

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