San Francisco Catches Olympic Fever

The City is ready for 10,000 people to show up for an Olympic party.

7-31-2012 3-38-11 PM

The athletes themselves may be competing thousands of miles away  in London, but San Francisco is getting into the Olympic spirit by hosting  two real-time big-screen viewings of the games in Civic Center Plaza next  week.
    On Tuesday, Aug. 7, and again on Saturday, Aug. 11, the San  Francisco Recreation and Park Department will host Olympics viewing parties with space for 10,000 viewers, parks and recreation general manager Phil  Ginsburg said Tuesday.
    Ginsburg made the announcement in front of City Hall, flanked by  several former Olympians, former Mayor Willie Brown and British Consul  General Priya Guha.
    The announcement was preceded by an American flag-raising ceremony  featuring about 30 elementary school-age campers from the recreation and  parks department's Athletic Camp summer program.
    "We intend to do what we do best -- celebrate," Brown said as the  flag went up and the campers recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
    Brown spoke about San Francisco's bid in 2002 to host the 2012  Summer Games. The city, through the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, was  a top contender, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
    However, the city is proud of the many Olympians with Bay Area  ties who are competing in London, Brown said.
    Ginsburg introduced three Olympians with Bay Area ties:  pentathlete Marilyn King, rower Ted Murphy, and water polo player Sean Nolan.  
    The three athletes shared advice for the young campers about  achieving their goals and dreams. Murphy, a silver-medalist and two-time  Olympian, told the children to persevere despite obstacles.
    "The truth of the matter is, I wasn't very good at the start," he  said.
    The campers then posed for a photo with the athletes, city  officials and sponsors of the upcoming Civic Center screenings, and cheered,  "Get out and play!"
    The two live broadcasts will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. The events will include rides and games for children.
Bay City News

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