Rochester tunes in to watch Olympic opening ceremonies - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester tunes in to watch Olympic opening ceremonies

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Many in Rochester were among the approximately 1 billion people that took in Friday night's opening extravaganza and parade of nations. Everyone tunes in to the Games for reasons special to them.

Every four years, the world comes together in the spirit of athletic competition.

Every four years, our televisions are turned on in support of the Red, White and Blue.

"And one of my great moments is like tonight with the seeing of the Olympics," says Will Wakefield of Rochester.

At Gramercy Park Cooperative, people gather to watch the opening ceremonies, some have been watching for years.

"The first Olympics I remember I had to see it on a news reel because that was before we had television back in 1948 which was, I believe, in London," explains Wakefield, "so now we're going full circle with London this year."

Watching it as long as Wakefield has is a source of pride.

"The Olympics have always represented to me an exciting moment every year, I wait for the next one right after one is over, and it has so much to do with the history of the world, the culture, the various sports, of course, every kind of sport."

At the Rochester Athletic Club, a group of men finish up their own athletic feat as the ceremonies began, biking the distance from Rochester to London.

"We wanted to do that in 30 days, so we chose 5 individuals, each representing one of the Olympic rings," explains Dan Donovan of Rochester, "to bike the distance collectively and together to reach the Olympic Stadium."

Taking part in their own act of athleticism is their way to show support for the U.S. competitors overseas.

"I think there's really pride for the United States in that it's fun to see the people from all the different countries compete at the highest level," says Donovan.

Whether you show support by watching or by riding a bike thousands of miles, the Olympics bring out a sense of pride for everyone.

"Can you imagine shooting 599 shots perfectly in riflery?" asks Wakefield. "Just the idea of how good these people can be to participate in some of these things is exciting."

Four years of built-up patriotism.

The opening ceremonies are always a sight to see and now that the games have officially begun, the support for competing athletes will grow to unmatched levels.

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