A loud and enthusiastic crowd cheers on the biathletes at Thursday’s races — a crowd mostly made up of excited students from all around the county.
“You just get to scream as loud as you can as much as you want,” said 4th grader Gabe Flannery.
Students voices have been heard almost all week long at the Nordic Heritage Center. Thursday’s crowd included kids from Presque Isle, Mapleton, Van Buren, Ashland, and Mars Hill – teachers say they’ve been itching to get out here..despite the cold temperatures!
“They had layers on, they were excited, they were ready to come,” said Melissa Buck, a teacher at Zippel Elementary School.
Kids aren’t just supporting the United States..they’re cheering for every country. Many students were assigned countries to study before the biathlon – and they came out in full force supporting them.
“We made flags for Russia,” said Wu.
“Go France!” said Naomi Wood.
“I think it really encourages them to do better,” said 5th grader Meg Cassavant.
“These kids are going to remember this for a very very long time..they’re going to remember this when they’re raising their own kids,” said event director Jane Towle.
Teachers were happy to get their kids out of the classroom and give them this once in a lifetime experience.
“Becoming a teacher, you’re in it for the kids..and you want to provide them with the best experience of their life and that’s what we do every day and this is just one thing that we can bring them to,” said Buck.
Though these students will mostly remember seeing themselves on the jumbo tron and making noise with their cowbells, Buck says it’s really about connecting them to the world.