JHS hosts inaugural Winter Olympics

IMG 0396JOHNSTON, IA. (Feb. 2, 2022) — Johnston High School held its inaugural Winter Olympics tonight, paying tribute to Friday’s kickoff of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games while also helping local athletes.

The JHS Student Council hosted a Winter Olympics event 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the school cafeteria and commons. The event featured “Minute to Win It”-style games based off Olympic sports.

“It was a fun way to bring students together, compete in fun games and raise money for paralympics in Iowa,” said Rachel Jensen, a high school science teacher who’s also co-sponsor of the JHS Student Council.IMG 0381

In Beijing, about 3,000 athletes from 91 countries are expected to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held Feb. 4-20. That includes about 80 U.S. athletes. The Beijing Olympics will feature 109 events across 15 disciplines in seven winter sports including bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, figure skating and skiing.IMG 0376

In Johnston, eight student teams competed in the JHS Winter Olympics representing the U.S.A., Germany, Ireland, Spain, Greece, the Bahamas — and even Mars. Student teams wrote down the top three countries they would like to represent, and each team was assigned a country. At the event, student teams dressed in their country’s colors.

“Teams were able to pick their countries,” said Catherine Reiher, a member of the JHS Student Council who ran the JHS Winter Olympics. “We actually had a team decide that they wanted to be Planet Mars and we told them that was fine. So it’s actually going to be an intergalactic challenge.”IMG 0401

With games ranging from speed skating to curling and pin the nose on the snowman, the JHS Winter Olympics was designed to be similar to the high school’s Rock Around the Clock and Senior Challenge events. Reiher said seniors have missed out on a lot of fun activities during the pandemic, and organizers were hoping to help make up for that.

Like the Beijing Olympics, the JHS Winter Olympics also awarded Olympic medals to winners.