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SPOTLIGHT
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Olympic fever

Published on -7/27/2012, 9:54 AM

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If you're not one of the 60,000 spectators filling Olympic Stadium in London for today's opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, you're still in good company. Like hundreds of millions others around the world, you'll be watching the athletes on television, your computer, or perhaps even your mobile device.

The games should be good. From archery to judo, water polo to rhythmic gymnastics, there's something for everyone. Perennial favorites such as gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball, track and field, and soccer will be filling the airwaves through Aug. 12. Even trampoline, rowing and badminton are on the schedule. In all, thousands of athletes from around the world will be competing in 32 events.

The United States has almost 600 athletes vying for medals this summer. Traditionally, the U.S. wins the most medals at each Games. In fact, America has finished lower than second in medal counts only once -- when we placed third in 1988. Of course, Team USA did not compete in the 1980 Games which were held in Moscow. That year, the U.S. led some 50 other countries in a boycott of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

This year's American team has the same lofty expectations. Swimmer Michael Phelps has the opportunity to become the most decorated Olympian ever.

The women's gymnastics squad features once again a solid crew of talented teens, including Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney. The men's basketball team appears poised to blow its competition right out of the gym. There are so many stories of challenge and triumph, rising above personal circumstances, or just flat-out domination of their sport, it would be impossible to list them all.

Suffice to say, Team USA is the odds-on favorite to top the medal count once again.

That success is enjoyed not just by the competing athletes. The Olympics offer America a chance to come together with national pride. Cheering on the red, white and blue is a regular pasttime enjoyed in public gathering places or in one's living room. The Olympics appeal to young and old alike.

We encourage everyone to take a break from the oppressive heat, the gridlock in Washington, the lingering effect of the recession, and random acts of violence, to simply soak in the Games.

The Olympics are designed in the spirit of peace, cooperation, and global harmony. The participants represent the best on the planet.

And it never gets old to hear the National Anthem played as yet another American is awarded the gold. U-S-A! U-S-A!

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

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