Youth Olympics focuses on competition without conflict PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 11 March 2013 09:25
Team A shouts a friendly challenge to another team during the Wood County Youth Olympics. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Her eye black ready, Rylee Ramsey stepped up to the starting line, her back foot positioned for push-off. The 4th grader at Powell Elementary then sprinted to the start of the sand pit and heaved her body through the air.
Ramsey jumped more than four feet in the long jump competition, which was part of the 15th annual Wood County Youth Olympics held at BGSU's Perry Field House on Saturday. About 500 fourth and fifth grade students who attend school in or reside in Wood County participated in the event.
"You just have to run as fast as you can and then spring off with your feet," Ramsey said of the event.
The Youth Olympics emphasizes teamwork, community support, leadership, athletics and academics. Participants competed in 11 events including: a pipeline relay where participants had to use teamwork to pass a tennis ball through pieces of PVC pipe; an obstacle course; a mental/teamwork challenge called "Turning over a new leaf;" quiz bowl; ping-pong ball toss; relay race; a team talk where participants learned moreabout their teammates; scooter slalom; long jump; plunger ball, where participants had to maneuver through traffic cones while holding a plunger with a soccer ball on top; and target toss.
Gabe Wagner ,10, competes in a long jump event as other kids cheer him on during the Wood County Youth Olympics.
"The theme of the Youth Olympics is competition without conflict," said Paul Dobson, Wood County Prosecutor and chair of the event. "It's not just all about athletics. This gives the kids an opportunity to shine in their area."
Hadden Rodgers, a fifth-grader at Rossford's Glenwood Elementary shined in the obstacle course event.
Rodgers made quick work of the tires, dove head first into the tunnel, sailed the soccer ball into the back of the net, hopped the hurdles, traversed down the ramp and sprinted back to the starting line.
"At first, the tires were really hard and the tunnel was a little bit longer than I thought," Rodgers said.
"You have to get as much speed up as you can going through the hurdles so you can get over the ramp. On the way back, you just have to run as hard as you can," he said.
Team cheers and chants, encouragement by volunteers, parents and teammates were a constant throughout the event.
"You don't look like you are ready to take on quiz bowl. Are you ready to take on quiz bowl," Dobson shouted at one of the teams.
They responded with an enthusiastic "Yeah!"
In addition to the 500 participants and their families, the event also brings together 200 community volunteers including elected officials, Wood County employees, school employees, law enforcement personnel and others.
"What better way to show the kids how much their community supports them," Dobson said.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 March 2013 09:31

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