Fenton Residents, Businesses Ready for Start of 2012 Olympics
The 2012 summer games begin with opening ceremonies Friday in London.
Excitement is building in Fenton and across the globe for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
As athletes train for their moment in the spotlight, Fenton residents and businesses are gearing up to support them and show their American pride. They may not leave the comfort of the home, but residents are joining in the fun by wearing Olympic and USA-themed apparel and planning their schedules around event broadcasts.
Fenton resident Nyoka Koleda is a huge Olympics fan. She likely will be glued to the television for the next couple of weeks watching her favorite events like the pentathlon, synchronized swimming and gymnastics. She said she’ll flip between the channels broadcasting the Olympics to find different events and will DVR whatever she can’t watch at the time.
What appeals to her about the Olympics is the sense of camaraderie.
“They have the whole nation behind them,” Koleda said of the athletes.
Her favorite Olympic moment was when figure skater Scott Hamilton won years ago. With her dad a figure skater himself, Koleda grew up watching the sport and the Olympics. She is passing the tradition along to her children, as they enjoy watching Olympic coverage as well.
“I hope we win lots of medals,” she said.
Although she’s never been yet, going to the Olympics in person and watching events live is one of her goals. In fact, she has placed this item on her bucket list, she said.
Area restaurants and sports bars are preparing for busy nights during some of the Olympics’ most popular events.
At Joe & Lewie’s Penalty Box, co-owner John Todorovsky said the winter Olympic Games a few years ago brought in some crowds – especially to watch the hockey games – and he expects the summer Olympics to do the same. He particularly anticipates popular medal events, like Michael Phelps perhaps going for Olympic gold in swimming as well as the basketball games, to be popular among customers.
What attracts people to the Olympics in general, Todorovsky said, is pride in their country. There is simply something special about watching an event like the Olympics with a crowd of people who all throw their support behind the same team.
The Olympics can also boost interest in featured sports, like gymnastics, boxing and archery. Pat Gleason, board member president of the Land-O-Lakes Bowmen in Fenton, likes that the Olympics bring attention to one of his favorite sports. He has been participating in archery for many years and loves every minute of it.
He also enjoys watching the Olympic Games, especially the archery, swimming and track and field events.
“It’s just amazing the competition level,” said Gleason.
Land-O-Lakes Bowmen operates a popular Junior Olympic Archery Development Program for children ages 6 to 18. Participants set personal goals for themselves, learn proper archery techniques under the National Training System (NTS) and develop their archery skills.
The goal is to expose as many young people as possible to archery, said program coach Mike Wisser, a USA Archery Level 4 coach, National Training System. He said the sport helps children develop skills that are useful in almost every aspect of their lives, like how to control emotions under pressure, take a deep breath when necessary and clear your mind to focus on the moment.
The Fenton program is growing in general, he said, as archery is one of those sports that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.