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Northwoods students show their Olympic spiritSubmitted: 02/21/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Northwoods students show their Olympic spirit
EAGLE RIVER - Some local elementary schoolers proved you don't need to be in Sochi to feel the Olympic spirit.

Elementary schoolers in Eagle River could fool you into thinking you were in Sochi.

Students ditched their school books for flags and athletic gear to participate in the 2014 Eagle River Elementary Olympics Thursday.

"We have speed-skating. We have curling. We have scooter hockey. We have snow soccer. We have the biathlon and we also have a snow sled race," said Physical Education teacher Trina Burr.

Fellow students also demonstrated their athletic skills.

A Northland Pines High school student put on a figure skating show for the kids.

And the Special Olympics snowshoe team demonstrated their skills.

Before the competition began, more than 300 students and teachers gathered in the gym for the opening ceremony.

Just like the opening ceremony in Sochi, there was song and dance, and even a pledge.

Eagle River's own Olympian, 2010 women's hockey silver medalist Jinelle Zaugg- Siergiej offered some advice to the competitors in a video message.

"I want to make sure that you guys take away just part of what I learned throughout my experience. And one is never to give up. Two is to make sure to make yourself some goals and don't let anything stop you from reaching those goals," she said.

Maddie Jovanovic's class represented Great Britain. Like all other classes, they spent the last few weeks learning about their country.

"We learned about the accents and they have different names and stuff for what we say. It's cool," explained Jovanovic.

Many of the elementary schoolers have been watching the Olympics.

One sport stands out as a favorite: ice hockey.

But Maddie Jovanovic's favorite sport to watch is figure skating. It's inspired her to take lessons.

"It's fascinating to meI want to do figure skating because I want to improve on my skating so I want to take lessons and stuff," she said.

Even though the students competed against one another, they could all agree on one thing: they would love to represent the United States in the REAL Olympics. And they already know how they'd feel.

"Very cool...kind of nervous," said 3rd grader Alex Carrillo.

"I want to be an Olympian because I want to be good at sports," said 2nd grader Joseph Brown.

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