Winnipeg students catch Olympic fever
Sochi, Russia may be the centre of the world's attention at the moment.
But of all the fans cheering on the Olympic athletes, some of the most vocal may be right here in Winnipeg.
Junior high students at Winnipeg's Stanley Knowles School caught the Olympic fever when their teachers surprised them Friday morning with a huge TV screen broadcasting the stunning opening ceremonies.
They were ready, though - they'd all been encouraged to wear red and white, the colours of Canada's uniforms at the winter games.
Some even sported Team Canada gear.
The CBC's Meagan Fiddler said the students were screaming with excitement and then went "absolutely crazy" as the Canadian team entered the Fisht Stadium, and for the Philippines' team, as well.
Chants of "Go, Canada, go!" broke out.
Student Joshua Pagtalulan said the experience was over the top. "Oh man! The room went crazy," he said. "I went absolutely insane. It's an amazing feeling. I felt my heart beating really fast. I felt like goose bumps!"
Raina Ignacia, a grade eight student, said the feeling was infectious.
"It's really amazing to see Canada there," she shouted over the cheering. "It's like I'm a part of it too!"
Teacher is former Olympic athlete
For one of the school's teachers, a former Olympian herself, it was a new way of looking at the games.
Sandy Maskiw played softball with Team Canada in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Maskiw said watching the Olympics with her students brought everyone together, under the banner of one country.
"We're constantly trying to celebrate everybody's own cultures and this is the time that we take all those cultures together and become Canadians."
Maskiw said her message to the students is, go for it.
"You just never know, she said. "You stick with things and go after your dreams."
Student Alyssa Esperanzanta said the kids look up to Maskiw.
"It's just great to know that everyone supports the Olympics and we have our own athlete here too, Miss Maskiw," she said. "I look up to her so much. She's a role model to me."
Games are learning tool
Stanley Knowles' vice principal, Andrea Powell, said the games are a learning tool.
"It's an opportunity to celebrate sport," she said. "It's an opportunity to teach about different events. I think there's a pride, a national pride that comes with Olympics that maybe you don't see every day or with other events."
And it's a chance to learn about new sports. Joshua Pagtalulan said he's looking forward to one event in particular, the biathalon.
"Because I've never seen it and I looked it up," he said. "It's really, really unique as a sport. It's dangerous. I actually can't wait for it."