Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordly Wednesday: US athletes

Since this is not a unit that focuses on a particular group of people, I chose to teach a little bit about some of the athletes that my kids enjoyed watching this last week, or that they heard about (Mark Spitz) while watching the Olympics.

Michael Phelps
-when he first started swimming, at age 7, he wouldn’t put his face in the water
-First Olympics was in 2004 in Athens, won 6 gold and 2 bronze medals
-won 8 golds in 2008 and broke 7 world records
-has won more Olympic medals than anyone else in history

Mark Spitz
-started swimming at 2 years old, competitively at age 6
-First Olympics was 1968, won 2 gold medals for team events
-won 7 gold medals in 1972, a record for the most medals won by 1 person in a single Olympics until 2008 when Michael Phelps took over the record with 8 medals in a single Olympics

Nastia Liukin
-Father was an Olympic gold medalist (1988) in gymnastics and mother was a World Champion (1987)rhythmic gymnast
-born in Moscow, moved to Texas when she was 2 ½ years old
-her parents did not want her to be a gymnast at first, but when they realized how good she was and saw her desire, they encouraged it
-would have been on the US Olympic team in 2004 (Athens), but she was too young (by 1 year)
-won 5 medals in 2008 Olympics: 1 gold (all-around), 3 silver (team, balance beam, uneven bars), and 1 bronze (floor exercises)

Shawn Johnson
-began gymnastics at age 3
-won 4 medals at 2008 Olympics: 1 gold (balance beam), 3 silver (team, all-around, floor exercises)

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