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Olympic Cards

Age 5 to 11
Challenge Level

Olympic Cards

Here is some information about $2$ Olympic athletes who have won gold medals:


You will find a full set of $24$ cards with information about $24$ different medal winners on these cards. You can print them out and cut them out to play a game with your friends by downloading these sheets.

If you're not sure how to play see here.

You can decide what value to give to the different items that go with each athlete and that may change the winning cards.
How important is the date that the athlete won their medals?
How might you deal with the information about the nationality of the athlete?
How is it shown on the cards?


Photograph acknowledgements


Why do this problem?

This game/activity can prompt pupils to discuss the various pieces of information and allocate points accordingly. Usually the information is numerical but here we also have the national flag and the year in which the golds were achieved to be considered.

Possible approach

You can print out sets of cards by downloading this file Children can play the game in groups of $2$ to $6$ so you will need an appropriate number of sets of cards for each grpup to have a complete set.
The activity could be introduced by getting the class to compare the information on just two cards, gradually extending this to larger sets of cards.

The pupils need to decide how they rate the value of the flags for each of the countries involved.
You may decide that the children should find out what countries the athletes come from or you may provide them with that information  from here. They may decide that the information about the country of origin isn't relevant to the scoring of the game. They may decide that the most recent results score higher than older results but the discussion will support them in interrogating the data available.

Just in case you or your pupils do not know how to play the game then here are some instructions:

  • Any number of pupils can play.
  • Deal out the cards.
  • Pupils hold their cards so that others cannot see them but in a stack so that they can only see their top card.
  • The pupil who starts chooses one piece of information from their top card.
  • The other pupils read out the same piece of information from their top card.
  • The pupils with the best (most, highest . . . etc) card wins and gains all those top cards from the other pupils and places them at the bottom of their own stack.
  • That winner starts the next round.

Key questions

How did you decide about the "value"of the flags/countries?
What further information would be good to use?

Possible support

If the children find it difficult to work with all the information on the cards, they could focus on one aspect at a time.

Possible extension

The children could create more cards of their own.

Photographic Acknowledgements:
Asafa Powell
David Neville
Florence Griffiths-Joyner
Jeremy Wariner
Kenny Harrison
LAShawn Merritt
Michael Johson
Michael Frater
Nesta Carter
Samuel Wanjiru
Usain Bolt
Yelena Isinbayeva
Yelena Slesarenko
Francina Blanker-Koen
Marie-Jose Perec
Tonique Williams-Darling
Hildegard Falck
Doina Besliu-Melinte
Hasely Crawford
Valeriy Borzov
Livio Berruti
Konstantinos Kenteris
Annegret Richter