Covington square adorned with Olympic decorations - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Justin Hanson

Covington square adorned with Olympic decorations

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Business owners around Covington's Court Square are celebrating this year's Olympic games by decorating the town in all things China.

In fact, many visitors to the town square will likely walk away with a case of Olympic fever.  From the outside in, stores are all around adorned with Olympic pride.

"We wanted to do something to celebrate the Olympics and show our USA pride and also say China, 'We're glad yo have you among the rest of the people,'" said business owner Wayne Rhodes.

From Japanese lanterns to gold medals and Olympic rings, shops have gone all out.

"It's just exciting. It's about America and what we stand for. Our pride - our American pride," said business owner Debbie Apfel.

The effort started as a marketing strategy for the August 8th opening ceremonies, and has blossomed ever since.

"You could feel the spirit of the Olympics. All the shops were decorated, lots of people going in and out, having fun, it was really great," said store employee Kasia Gage.

Gage recently moved to Covington from Poland.  She said she has been glued to the games from the very start.

"We're staying up till midnight. It's really hard to get up the next day, it's true," she said.

But despite the late hours, many are hoping Americans will wipe out the competition.

"We stay up too late and come in late because of it but yeah, we've been watching Phelps and watch the medal count," Rhodes said.

"I'm not tired because its exciting. If it was boring then yeah, you'd be kind of down, but it's not boring, it's exciting," said Apfel.

A town miles away from Beijing but close to athletes in spirit.  Business owners said they are planning to keep their decorations up until the closing ceremonies, which are set for Sunday, August 24th.

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.

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