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Let the Games begin

Street Smarts

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The 2012 London Olympics begin on Friday, and the home of the U.S. Olympic Committee is kicking things off with a big downtown celebration. But are people in Colorado Springs ready to cheer?

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Shelton Tillett of the Prospect Lake area is a lab technician

Characterize your attitude toward the upcoming Olympics. I'll watch some of it, probably, but it has little to do with real-life issues.

Which events are best to watch? Soccer, cycling, running, swimming, volleyball — they're all good.

What's your most vivid Olympic memory? When the Ethiopian, Abebe Bikila, won the [1960] marathon running barefoot in Rome.

If you could be an Olympian, which sport would it be in? Soccer. I like midfield best, but I play every position. One time I played goalie within a week of having my appendix cut out. I love soccer.

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Paul Rivest of northern El Paso County works for a mortgage company

Encapsulate your attitude for the upcoming Olympics. It's nice to get people together from different cultures and nations in something besides a battlefield.

What are the best events to watch? Track and field and swimming, especially the sprints and short swims.

Relate your fondest Olympic memory. Mark Spitz winning all those golds in Munich [in 1972].

Will you attend the Olympic Downtown Celebration on Friday? Not me. I don't like crowds, and with all these terrorists running around, it has a big, bull's-eye target on it.

If you were an Olympian, what would your event be? The decathlon. You have to be such a well-rounded athlete.

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Terry Gretsky of the west side is an administrative assistant

What's your read on the upcoming Olympics? It's gotten commercial, and the politics of it all has become an interesting sidelight, but it's wonderful to watch the skill level of the athletes.

Which Olympic events do you tend to most look forward to? I like the diving events. Wrestling is exciting, too, because I have a son who wrestled in high school. And I know someone who helps train the boxers, so I know a few of them.

What's your most vivid Olympic memory? Nadia Comaneci in '76. She was an underdog, there was a lot of press about her famous coach, and she was such a little waif of a thing, but she really brought it — the first to get a [perfect gymastics score of] 10. I really pulled for Michael Phelps in the Beijing Games, too, and I was amazed by Usain Bolt.

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