Olympics come to Oldham County

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By Greg Waddell

Though kicking off nearly 4,032 miles away in London, Oldham County youngsters got a taste of the Summer Olympics as local after-school programs gathered at Oldham County High School to go for the gold... or ribbons.


The local event, which began in 2000, takes place in summer Olympic years as a way to stay in touch.

“As the county grows, we get more and more schools and we don’t get to see a lot of each other,” said Shallen Rich, the Centerfield Elementary program director who coordinated the event. “So when we first did it, we all that it would be great to get together. By focusing on the health and physical fitness, we thought it’d be a great idea when we started it.”

Nearly 500 children from kindergarten through sixth grade participated, and competed in eight events including the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, discus, shot put, long jump, tug-of-war and 4x100-meter relay race for third- through sixth-graders.

The day opened with a parade of the participants at 10 a.m. followed by an eight-round schedule that shuttled age groups to different events.

In addition to exercise, Rich said there are other benefits that come from the event. Students took time to learn about the history of the Olympics and other countries around the world.

It also serves another purpose — a fundraiser for the Oldham County High School Cross County teams. 

When the OC Olympics needed a place to call home, Rich reached out to the school with the chance to host, Cross Country Head Coach Kirk Thomas said. As a result, about 50 Oldham County athletes took to the track with the youngsters to facilitate the stations.

Seven of the 10 after school programs in the county competed, including students from Centerfield, Kenwood Station, La Grange Elementary, Harmony, Locust Grove, Goshen and Buckner elementary schools.

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