Mid-South has Olympic fever - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Mid-South has Olympic fever

The Mid-South has Olympic fever, and the excitement from Beijing is hard to ignore. 

Many Mid-South swimmers and gymnasts are watching every second of the summer games.  The early success of the U.S. teams in gymnastics and swimming is inspiring the hearts of all ages.
"Everybody's talking about it, the excitement...you can feel it in the air, everybody comes to school saying, 'did you see that last night?'" SBEC athletic director Brad Kimberlin said.

At Southern Baptist Educational Center in Southaven, athletics is a big deal, and for several young athletes like Katie Hughes, the USA's silver medal-winning women's gymnastic's team makes her want to push even harder. 

"It's very motivating. After you watch it, it just makes you want to go out there and do it,"  Hughes said.
"Like when you see their excitement and everything it just kind of gives you chills, you know when you see that and how you can compete on a high level in high school or whatever your in," senior Josh Lancaster said.

14-year-old Katie Liggon began swimming competitively at 5-years-old. She said if they can do it, so can she.

"They're the same as me, just like they're not any different, they just work real hard and I have a chance to be as good as them," Liggon said.

Senior Grant Phillips is a basketball player who thinks the current team will 'rebound' and come home with a gold medal. He is proud to be an American.
"It's a lot more fun. It makes you proud. I mean the last Olympics, it was pretty embarrassing you know and so it makes you really proud to be an American and you feel part of the team," Phillips said.

"I think a lot that could be me someday and that just makes me excited and just want to do more," Hughes said.

All of the students I spoke to said they have been inspired not only to work harder in their respective sports, but in the classroom as well.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.

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