Classroom Olympic Games

Grade Levels: 3 - 8


  • Students will practice measuring distance.
  • Students will appreciate the accomplishments of Olympic athletes.


  • Stopwatch or watch that measures seconds
  • Meter stick
  • Walking measurement wheel (or other device to measure multiple yards)
  • Gold medal results from Summer Olympics
  • Paper and pencils


  1. Select Olympic track events that you would like to measure.

  2. Set up the race courses. Use the 2012 Gold Medal results below, or more recent results if available. Have students mark a starting point and then measure the distance of the event. Label the finishing point (or the relay points) with stakes which identify the distance, the winning results, and the Gold Medal winner's name and country.

  3. Have students participate in the events and compare their results to the Gold Medalists'.

  4. Assign math problems comparing the student and medalists' results. Potential activities include: calculating the difference between the student and medalists' results, average the students' results, calculate the percent improvement students would need to achieve the results of the medalists.

2012 Men's Gold Medals

100-meter dash Usain Bolt, Jamaica 9.63 sec.
200-meter dash Usain Bolt, Jamaica 19.32 sec.
400-meter relay (4X100) Jamaica 36.84 sec.
Long jump Greg Rutherford, Great Britain 27 ft. 3.17 in. (8.31 m)
16-lb Shot-Put Tomasz Majewski, Poland 71 ft. 9.81 in. (21.89 m)
Discus Throw Robert Harting, Germany 223 ft. 11.80 in. (68.27 m)

2012 Women's Gold Medals

100-meter dash Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica 10.75 sec.
200-meter dash Allyson Felix, United States 21.88 sec.
400-meter relay (4X100) United States 40.82 sec.
Long jump Brittney Reese, United States 23 ft. 4.31 in. (7.12 m)
16-lb Shot-Put Valerie Adams, New Zealand 67 ft. 10.95 in. (20.70 m)
Discus Throw Sandra Perković, Croatia 226 ft. 8.86 in. (69.11 m)

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