Olympic Studies

We LOVE learning about the Olympics! It’s so exciting to watch all the events, but we wanted to know more.

Questions we asked:

  • What are all the different events in the Winter Olympics in Sochi?
  • How have the events (numbers and categories) changed over time?
  • What is the history of the modern Olympics?
  • When did the Winter and Summer Olympics split from being held in the same year to every other year? Why did the IOC do that?
  • Which countries are participating in these 2014 Winter Olympics? How is that different from the participating countries of the Summer Olympics?
  • What are the different symbols of the Olympics? What are their origins?
  • Where is Sochi in Russia? What is the climate like there?
  • Which country is “doing” the best in Sochi right now?
  • How do we see a bigger picture of how each country is doing? Is it just through the medal count, or do we have to dig deeper?


We divided into groups and did some searching. We created a mural of the different events in Sochi. We watched videos from different Winter Olympics from the past (we loved the 1932 video!). We researched the size of different types of skis used in Olympic events and made some of our own, based upon the height of a 6 foot/182cm tall skier.


Did You Know…

  • Many people think the colors of the five Olympic rings represent the “continents,” ┬ábut the colors are actually based upon the colors of the flags from all the participating countries in the modern Olympics.
  • Jumping skis are usually 145-146% of the skier’s height.
  • Some countries in warmer climates do not participate in the Winter Olympics. (We thought that made perfect sense, but love that Jamaica has a bobsleigh team!)
  • Sochi is right on the coast line of the Black Sea, and the average temps for this time of year are rather warm (50s F, 10sC).
  • If the event needs a lot of snow and colder temps, it’s held about an hour away in the mountains.
  • The Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year until 1992.

… and we’re still not done learning!

We continue to track the medal count, but some of us decided that we should look at event results to 10th place to get a bigger picture of how successful each country might be.

We have so much to share about what we’re learning, but we’ll have to save it for another post AFTER the Olympics are over.

A few photos of what we’ve been doing: