Like so many people around the world, I’ve been watching the Olympic Games. Yes, I’ve cheered on the swimmers, divers, and gymnasts, just to name a few. But what’s really been interesting to me is the design of the Olympics. The art of the Games, if you will.

From the Opening Ceremonies — to the various competitions — to victorious Olympians receiving their medals of achievement, I have been captivated by the art and design of the Olympic Games.

Clothing design is a special favorite of mine. From the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremonies, to the uniforms and warm-up/cool down clothes of the athletes — it’s interesting to see how countries represent themselves on clothing. In my opinion there have been several standout examples so far. The red and yellow dragon theme designs… the wild prints that several countries have used… sparkles… graphic elements, etc.

Then there are the various Olympic arenas. Personally, I don’t care for the color of the gymnastics arena or the volleyball courts, but I’m sure those selections made sense to somebody on some level.

And what about the logos? The block-y looking “2012” that I was unable to decipher until I asked my husband what it meant… NBC’s “London” logo that it shows during broadcasts… the font chosen to say “London 2012” at many of the event arenas…? Oh, and don’t forget the beauty and simplicity of our most enduring symbol of the games… the Olympic Rings. Brilliant! Love it or hate it, people spent time imagining and then creating all of these things and more for the games. I’ve made this point before and I’ll make it again:


Even at the Olympic Games. As teachers, we can help our students see this. Even if you don’t feel comfortable teaching an “art lesson”, how about helping students see the simple fact that art is everywhere in their lives? Help them begin to think about the idea that someone, somewhere had to first imagine an idea in their mind before it could be made into a reality and then shared with the world. Imagine the critical thinking that has to happen as options are explored and decisions are made about — well, virtually everything! Imagine fostering that kind of thinking and creativity in your classroom. You can.