Los Angeles Kids Celebrate Olympic Day, in Spirit of Rio Games

Los Angeles is getting into the Olympic spirit, with only a little over a month left for the Rio Games, with Olympic Day.

The event is celebrated every June 23 in cities around the world. Some 500 kids from different LA schools get a chance to meet Olympic athletes at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The day was kicked off by the lighting of the Coliseum Olympic Cauldron, a symbolic gesture to get the kids excited for the upcoming games in Rio.

The kids were able to meet Olympic athletes, such as swimmer Janet Evans.

"I decided I would do anything to one day become an Olympian and represent my country at the Olympic games," said Evans.

The important thing was not to win, but to take part, said Jada Williams of the LA Academy Middle School.

The kids also got to try sports that they may have never tried before, such as archery, bowling, and badminton.


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"To be out here and show these kids one of the sports not that popular in the U.S. to what it's about is a fun day for me as well," said Olympic badminton athlete Howard Shu.

Olympic Day is not only meant to get the kids into the spirit of the Olympics but to teach kids about fitness and good sportsmanship.

John Naber, an Olympic swimmer from 1976, said the event is a perfect way for older Olympians to share the joy of competition with a new generation.

"The Olympic characters and ideals are so important: sportsmanship, teamwork, hard work, overcoming obstacles, this is what goes on in Olympic Day," he said. "It's not about gold medals and winning, it's about playing and learning and discovering and sharing."

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