Fourth-graders stage wax museum of Olympic proportions

Some of the world's greatest athletes came to life Thursday as Fritsch Elementary fourth-graders staged a live wax museum composed of former Olympic champions.

Students dressed as gymnasts, boxers, swimmers, runners and more stood in frozen poses around the cafeteria.

A round cutout of construction paper served as a button. When the button was pressed, the students gave a brief biography of their athlete, then returned to the original pose.

"Hi, my name is Mary Lou Retton," began 9-year-old Kallie Lou Long.

Kallie gave the history of Retton's five gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes.

Although Kallie is also a gymnast, it was a more personal connection that made her choose Retton.

"My grandma's name is Mary and her middle name is Lou," Kallie said. "My middle name is Lou, too."

Teacher Sandra Morrison said the exercise was designed to improve the students' skill levels in many areas.

"It's a great experience for them to perform in front of people," she said. "It also boosts their creativity when they have to find their own costumes. It really has increased their level of confidence."

Lacey Ackerman, 9, enjoyed the performance aspect of the presentation.

"It's been fun," she said. "I like to act."

Lacey chose to impersonate Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast ever to receive a perfect score.

"She was born on my mom's birthday," Lacey said.

It wasn't all fun, though.

"I like getting up in front of people, but it was kind of tiring because everybody kept pushing my button," said Teresa Boyer, 9, who played track star Florence Joyner Griffith.

Johnny Joyce, 10, held a basketball in his hands and told of Larry Bird's gold medal for his role on the 1992 dream team.

However, it was not Bird's Olympic accomplishments that most impressed Johnny.

"He led the Boston Celtics to six championships," Johnny said. "That was cool."

Third-grader Amanda White walked through the museum with her classmates.

"I think it was great," she said. "We learned about stuff that was in the Olympics."

Diana Easby's fourth-grade class put on a wax museum on Wednesday featuring current Olympic athletes.

Morrison was pleased with the students' performance.

"I'm impressed with how well they pulled it together," she said. "I'm really proud of them."


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