On one of the most stellar days, one of our most perfect days in May, in Maine, we went to Blue Hill to watch this year's Pentathalon: the wind was light, the sun was warm, and the bugs were nearly nonexistant, making the day of outdoor spectating an absolute pleasure.
At Waldorf Schools, in 5th grade they study the ancient Greeks: their civilization, art, myths, political structure, and the events of the Pentathalon. As a culminating experience, many schools organize regional Olympiads (Wrestling, Long Jump, Discus, Javelin, Relay, and Sprinting), and train for the event all year. The trainer records the times and distances for each athlete all year, charting their progress and identifying their unique strengths. The focus is on beauty and form, as much as distance and speed.
Above, Jonas with the discus, his special event:
amazing to watch
When the five schools joined together last week at the campus of our gracious host school, The Bay School, the children were divided into City States...not by schools, but randomly.
So Jonas was on the Athens team, which was comprised of students from Maine, New Hampshire, and Quebec. (There were several Quebecois students who did not speak English! There was an interpreter!) In the above photo Jonas was wrestling with fellow Athenian, Seneb, from Quebec, who as you can see was determined and really very strong. Jonas held his own for quite some time before being overcome.
The city states spend the day competing with their team mates, but actually only against themselves, since the times and distances are measured against each individual athlete's former scores. The scores of an entire team are added together for a combined group score. Jonas was on the Athens team. Though javelin (above) was not his special event, he was so beautiful and bested his previous distances!
The mood of the day was reverent and filled with beauty. The children presented gifts and recited odes to the Gods, passed the Olympic torch around a circle of 80+ students, cheered for each other, and strived for their own personal excellence. In the spirit of the original Games, this was a festival of peace and fun. Jonas presented his school's gift for the Gods: a lovely Moss Garden made by the children (it was two stories, he tells me).
Each child had so much to be proud of throughout the long and strenuous day and I felt privileged to be present. It was a good day to be a mom, admiring her handsome, graceful, and talented boy.