top of page

How To use Olympic Athletes In Your Lessons

If you're anything like me, you love using what is around you to inspire lessons. The summer of 2021 will present lots of opportunities for lessons inspired by the Tokyo Olympics. You can find a way to link in just about any subject to something Olympics-themed.

One of my favorite things to do in every sport I follow is to learn about the athletes. I often find their stories of human experience and resilience inspiring, and I love using them as a point of reference for teaching character-building skills. Of course, as a humanities lover, I'm always trying to find ways to make reading, analysis, and critical thinking interesting and relevant.

As I watched the Olympic trials I saw story after story of athletes that had worked hard, or overcame challenges and odds, to make it to the day. Most of their stories aren't well-known. They work hard for years before they emerge onto the world stage. They might not be as famous as some other big names, but their stories are just as important and can be just as inspiring. With a quick search almost everyone can find an athlete whose story speaks to their personal experience--thus making that athlete's accomplishments, trials, and successes even more thrilling and motivating.

When I started writing this packet I knew the names of most, but not the detailed stories behind them. As I researched them I found myself not just forming questions to test reading skills, I was forming questions to make students learn from the experiences of these individuals--to draw a lesson or inspiration that they could use.

Among this packet, you'll find athletes with a wide variety of backgrounds. There is a woman who once shunned the weight of a role model and a very young athlete that has already made people unhappy by making decisions best for her. There is a man strong enough to lift a refrigerator over his head whose advice is that of tranquility. There is a man whose entire family moved for a better chance at life--and who has put his own life on the line for the new country he calls home.

There are stories of athletes who are undeniably talented who struggled with feelings of depression, confusion, and feeling like an outsider--all of whom overcame challenges to succeed and use their voice to make the world better for others.

Each athlete's profile was written to highlight a few of their challenges and accomplishments. Each comes with questions that span from basic fact-finding to opinion questions that will make students think about who they are as a person and how they can become a better version of themselves.

Below, feel free to get a free profile written for A'ja Wilson, one of the top players in the WNBA, and a member of the US Olympic team. If you'd like more, below that you'll find a link to get a packet of 9 more profiles--including that of the top-ranked US Fencer, a champion US soccer player, and a Paralympic track-and-field star.

All of the athletes featured in packet 1 are African American, or of African descent. Future packets will revolve around the themes of amazing youths, athletes with disabilities, female stars, and overcoming loss. Be sure to follow this page or the Facebook page so you don't miss them!

Freebie: A'ja Wilson

Page Count: 4 pages

Cost: Free! (click "Buy Now" to start your free download)

Tokyo Olympic Athlete Packet 1

Page Count: 39 pages

Cost: Pay what you want!* Enter the price you'd like to pay in the cart

*Pay what you want means that while there is a minimum requested amount, you can pay what you can afford in order to receive the download.

95 views0 comments


bottom of page