Even if you’re not into winter sports, it’s kind of hard not to get caught up in the Winter Olympics this year. Whether that’s down to the sensational athletes or the tension of the political side note, you, like us, can’t help but be enthralled as this year’s Winter Olympics unravels.
So we’re jumping on the bobsleigh with everyone else and talking about it.
However, Tagtiv8 are looking at the athletes, not just the events. Being active on a day-to-day basis, we appreciate how far these Olympians have had to push themselves to achieve their goals.
We also note that many of the Olympians are young. In fact, they’re not a lot older than the children we visit in schools and play Tagtiv8 games with….
The youngest in this year’s Winter Olympics is 15-year-old Chinese halfpipe skier Wu Meng.
Just let that sink in.
Wu Meng is not alone in being a younger competitor though. We found this list on NBCSport of the youngest competitors in this year’s Winter Olympics:
Wu Meng (15) — Ski Halfpipe (China)
Jennie-Lee Burmansson (15) — Ski Slopestyle (Sweden)
Zhang Kexin (15) — Ski Halfpipe (China)
Alina Zagitova (15) — Figure Skating (Russia)
Kim Ha-Nul (15) — Figure Skating (South Korea)
Hiroaki Kunitake (15) — Snowboard Big Air/Slopestyle (Japan)
Reira Iwabuchi (16) — Snowboard Big Air/Slopestyle (Japan)
Alice Robinson (16) — Alpine Skiing (New Zealand)
Ayaulum Amrenova (16) — Moguls (Kazakhstan)
Nico Porteous (16) — Ski Halfpipe (New Zealand)
When put into perspective, most of these Olympians have not even left secondary school. They have not gone down the conventional route of picking a career path and are not eligible to buy scissors. Yet, they have achieved so much already through pure dedication and more discipline than many adults.
Take Red Gerard for example. He upset the odds to take gold in the men’s snowboarding slopestyle at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, beating competitors as much as 12 years his senior and became the first Winter Olympic champion to be born this millennium.
Although Gerard is not the youngest competing this year, the amount he has already achieved in only 17 years is remarkable. It has been reported that Gerard has a good support network at home and has been following his dreams from the early age of two.
We can not believe the amount of talent so far in this Winter Olympics, from athletes of all ages, but to us it speaks volumes about the potential that young people have. Children should be encouraged to follow their goals – testimony to the fact that it is possible to achieve great things if you push yourself.
To us, active learning is essential as it allows you to retain information more easily, as well as lead a more active lifestyle. It is important to recognise talent when children are being active too. Encourage children to try new sports and find what they enjoy.
We know that not every child will become an elite athlete. However, every child can find something they’re good at and a sport or physical activity they can enjoy. Indeed, when asked about what sport is THE best in which to participate, we would always answer, “the one(s) you enjoy the most.
Sport can help a child’s physical and emotional health, as well as improve cognition. That’s why movements such as Super Movers, Move&Learn and Tagtiv8 (if we do say so ourselves) are important. Children should be encouraged outside the classroom to find out what they enjoy doing and what works for them. Who knows, if encouraged in the right way, you may be living with the next Red Gerard.