Olympics: Passing on the Torch of Traditions

Countdown for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea is happening in our household. Ever since our daughters were itty bitty we would make watching the Olympics a family event. Kickoff was the Opening Ceremonies but preparation occurred much before that night. There are some great ways to incorporate learning, fun and family traditions into the Olympics. Throughout the article, I have included some links that you can use to jumpstart your Olympic celebrations at home.

Research the Host Country

Spend some time learning about where the Olympics will occur. Print out a flag, get books from the library and watch videos on YouTube about the host country’s culture, government and history. It gets a momentum going and can give insight and connections into events that occur during the ceremonies. Here are some helpful links:


Facts for Kids

South Korea Culture video: Making of Kimchi

Korean Culture video

Printable South Korean flag

Winter Olympics

Identify the different sports in the Winter Olympics. Choose some to watch that are family favourites and then choose one or two to learn about that are unfamiliar to your family. Look up some of the athletes that are competing before the ceremonies so you can look for them in the Parade of Nations. Here’s a link:

Winter Olympics 2018


On the night of the Olympic Ceremonies, we enjoy cuisine that is from the host country. Now this may sound overly ambitious but it has become some of our most special family memories. Look up recipes and food that are part of the host country’s culture. Find some easy recipes and then maybe choose one that is a little more time consuming. We would make a list of the ingredients and go shopping together. No “Little Red Hen” happening in our house, everyone becomes part of the cooking process. When it was in Vancouver, BC we enjoyed maple glazed Salmon, poutine and Nanaimo bars. London celebrations began with tea and crumpets at a English tea room the afternoon of the ceremonies and then home to make Yorkshire pudding, bangers and mash and Toad in the Hole. Russia had us making beet borscht, piroshki and Bubba Romovaya cake.

So what are the recipes for this year? Now that the girls are older, they were responsible for planning the menu. Here are two of the web links that they found most user friendly and authentic.

Blog for a Korean mom’s home cooking

Blog: Kimchimari

Parade of Nations

Hanging a World map on the wall in our family room allowed us quick access to look up a country throughout the parade. As well, throughout the Olympic Games, it’s great to have a map for reference. Costco sells wall maps that are perfect for this purpose.

Recording the Results

We use a whiteboard to keep track of Canada’s medal wins as well as the top few countries. Every morning at breakfast we would do a quick medal count. It’s also a fun idea to do some predicting before the games commence as to the country that will get the most medals, number of gold/silver/bronze for your home country etc. Make it a fun family competition!

One of the special things about the Olympics I treasure is seeing countries come together. In this day when there is much hatred and darkness, it is a light to celebrate determination and perseverance of athletes and the hope brought forth by countries coming together.

Well I hope these few ideas and links will be of help for you in developing your own family traditions around the Olympics. Traditions are a great way to make family memories and it warms my heart that our daughters still look forward to these traditions even into their teen years. Hopefully they will continue to hold onto some of them as they have their own families and create new ones to pass down the torch of tradition as well.

So cheer hard and enjoy the games, my friends!

Let me know in the comments below if you found these ideas helpful.

May your day be filled with joy and your cup with coffee,


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