FARMINGTON -- Students at Knowlton Elementary pretended to live the dream of an Olympian as they participated in their own Olympic Games on Friday.
In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games and as a culmination to their study of ancient civilizations, the three sixth-grade classes at Knowlton competed in mock Olympic events.
Dressed in Greek chitons -- which differ from togas because they are tied atop both shoulders instead of just one -- the students formed teams named for the original Greek city-states.
Boisterous cheers for Sparta, Megara, Athens, Corinth and Argos could be heard throughout the halls as pencils became javelins, paper plates became discuses and balls of elastic string served as heavy metallic shot puts.
Winners were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals and crowned with laurel wreaths while the national anthem of their Greek city-state played in the background.
"It's one of the funnest things in sixth grade," said Sydney Tebbs, 11. "It's a tradition."
For more than 10 years, the school has used these Greek Olympics to solidify the concepts taught about ancient civilizations.
"It helps them remember something about the Olympics," said sixth-grade teacher Sonya Nelson. "It's a great culminating activity."
Andrew Kirchmeier, 11, whose maternal grandparents were born in Greece, has a special connection to the Olympics.
His uncle, Steve Velis, was an Olympic torch bearer for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and his grandfather carried the torch for two separate Olympics.
To add authenticity to the school's games, Andrew displayed the torch his uncle carried.
"They light (the torch) with a magnifying glass and a leaf in Olympia," he said. "It's really delicate and so important."
He also explained how two torches are lit to ensure that the flame never goes out as it travels the world before the Games.
Although he was only 2 years old at the time, Andrew said he has memories of attending the ice-skating competition during the 2002 Games in Utah.
Sam Topete, 11, of team Argos, won the bronze medal in the discus throw.
"It's cool because, usually when I do things like this, I never win. This feels awesome to win a bronze medal."
Sixth-grade teacher Kirsten Reed explained how this activity also creates a connection to this year's Games in London.
"We talk about events they still do from the original games, as well as the modern events that have been added," Reed said.
"It's fun in an Olympic year to study the games."