Cove Life Skills classes hold Olympic torch relay

Cove Leader-Press

Copperas Cove High School’s Special Education Department held their first ever Life Skills Olympic Torch Run Friday afternoon at the high school, with 40 students participating. 
The students lined up throughout the high school, beginning at Bulldawg U, near the old gym, and extending all the way to the cauldron located in the Special Education hallway. As students passed the torch to each other, running toward the cauldron became a group effort. 
The torch run coincided with the 2018 Winter Olympics held in South Korea, which also began on Friday. The torch was made by CCHS staff Karon Todd and Jason Walwyn, while the cauldron and flame were made by Yoko Simpson. 
Prior to the torch run, students and staff selected a country that was not the United States to cheer for and decorated the classroom doors accordingly. The four classrooms represented Norway, Switzerland, Canada and France. The students have also done research on what their selected country is like and which athletes from that country will be competing, according to Tina Carter, whose students chose Norway. 
Throughout the month, the students will also be participating in various activities related to the Olympics, such as building a slalom ski course out of toothpicks and “snow” made from baking soda and shaving cream or competing in luge races using swimming noodles and marbles. There will also be a hockey game between a Team USA and Team Russia. Other activities include designing costumes for figure skating and team costumes similar to what athletes from each country wear. The closing ceremony will be held February 26. 
Throughout the Olympics, each class will keep track of the number of medals their selected country wins. For every gold medal won, the teams will hold a ceremony complete with that nation’s anthem, hanging a gold medal in the hallway. 
Todd, who is Team Canada with Walwyn, said their class felt Canada’s team would win more medals than the other countries. 
Todd also explained that this series of activities will allow students to learn more about outside of the United States. After the torch run, the students worked on making passports and learned facts about the four selected countries and South Korea, since that is where the Olympics are being hosted. 
“It’s kind of like they’re traveling but we’re still in our classroom,” Todd said. “So it’s giving them a chance to actually learn more than what they see around here in Texas.”
Taina Salame, 16, was one of the students who ran with the torch. Salame is rooting for France and said her favorite part of the torch run was the running. 
CCHS Principal Miguel Timarky joined the students at the end where Ashley Hulm, 16, used the torch to “light” the flame in the cauldron. 
Timarky said that having other students watch this group of students run through the halls and have fun was a big thing. 
“It’s just not all about books,” Timarky said. “It’s about having, to me, a great time at the high school. You got to have fun at the high school.”

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