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Olympic Blog: Walking with the Stars
LONDON — Attended by 80,000 fans and watched by billions on television worldwide — including 26.9 million in the host nation on the BBC for an 82 percent market share — the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony offered something for everyone.
Photo by: @trimanny
For those in attendance, including and especially the athletes, the Opening Ceremony marked one last chance to celebrate the Olympic spirit before turning to competition. For triathletes Manuel Huerta, Gwen Jorgensen and Hunter Kemper it was an opportunity to interact with their U.S. teammates before departing Saturday for a training camp in Guildford.
And they took full advantage, snapping photos with friends and favorite competitors in other sports. A huge Miami Heat fan, Huerta got the opportunity to meet newly minted NBA champion LeBron James. “This was amazing — an experience that I will always remember for the rest of my life. I’m even more excited to race now,” Huerta said. “Let the Games begin!”
Also a big basketball fan, Kemper snapped pics with Team USA hoops stars James, Kobe Bryant and fellow Wake Forest Demon Deacon Chris Paul, among others. “It was a night I will never ever forget!,” Kemper tweeted in the early morning hours of Saturday.
Jorgensen, a former Wisconsin swimmer and runner, connected with fellow Badger runners Evan Jager and Matt Tegenkamp, as well as former Big Ten Conference rival runners Bridget Franek (Penn State) and Geena Gall (Michigan).