Hagerstown resident Beverly Frentzel was living in France in 2008, when the Summer Olympic games were held in China, but that did not stop her from pulling for athletes representing the United States.
“I’m always rooting for America because we think we’re the best,” she said. “Then I will pull for France.”
Frentzel, 54, was born in the United States and grew up in Hagerstown. She moved back from France less than two years ago. She said she is excited about the U.S. Olympic basketball teams and swimmer Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals in 2008.
“I want to see us show everybody up in basketball,” she said. “I hope Phelps gets at least as many medals as last time.”
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which began July 27 and will run through Aug. 12, have sparked the interest of many area residents asked to comment for this story.
Daryl Trumpower, 54, of Hagerstown, said he is a fan of all aspects of the Olympics and enjoys watching the games.
“It’s another sports event for me to watch,” he said. “I like it, from swimming to track and field.”
Trumpower said he does not favor professional athletes competing in the Olympics.
“A lot of professional athletes didn’t show the incentive to compete that amateur athletes showed,” he said. “We had some professional athletes that wanted to be paid, and that is totally wrong.”
Greg Jones, 58, of Hagerstown, said he enjoys following the Olympics, mainly track and field and bicycling, but is against professional athletes competing in the games.
“Olympics means amateurs; it doesn’t mean professionals getting paid,” he said. “I like watching the competitions in the Olympics. I feel excitement and pride for my country.”
Not all area residents were heavily invested in the Olympics.
Michael Fink, 37, of Mercersburg, Pa., said he does not take a regular interest in the Olympics but there is usually something that will catch his attention.
“There’s not much I like in the summer Olympics, but I like the beach volleyball,” he said. “I watch the winter Olympics for skiing, though.”
Brad Miller, 33, of Chambersburg, Pa., said he will watch the major events, such as soccer.
“I follow it to see who gets the most medals,” he said. “I actually watched some water polo, which was kind of interesting.”
Joyce Martin, 58, of Hagerstown said she takes a minor interest in the Olympics, but they are not a priority for her.
“I enjoy watching some of the gymnastics and some of the diving, and the human interest stories are good,” she said. “I’ll watch the Olympics if I have the time, but if Steeler football is on, I make it a priority.”
Joel Rice, 45, of Hagerstown, said he enjoys watching the summer Olympics but prefers the winter games.
“I like the hockey and skiing events,” he said. “If they include golf, then the summer Olympics will become my favorite.”
Golf is to be added for the 2016 and 2020 summer Olympics. Rice said he likes watching the diving and swimming events, and other games he would not watch regularly.
“Things you don’t normally take an interest in, you find interesting in the Olympics,” he said. “It’s nice to see athletes not in the limelight get 10 minutes in the spotlight.”
Aaron Hanna, 31, of Hagerstown, said he is interested in the BMX racing in the Olympics.
“It’s more of a risk-taking event,” he said.
Hanna said the Olympics “is something for Americans to look forward to. ... It can be family-oriented and is good no matter what.”