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City to celebrate start of Olympics on Friday

July 27, 2012
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photo - An unidentified coach holds a ball during a practice session at the Beach Volleyball venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) Photo by
An unidentified coach holds a ball during a practice session at the Beach Volleyball venue at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) Photo by  

A free downtown event to celebrate the start of the 2012 London Games runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and will feature a synthetic ice rink, fireworks and two former U.S. Olympians, who will light a symbolic torch.

The Opening Ceremony of the London Games will be broadcast on a 15-by-27-foot screen at the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Tejon Street. It starts at 5:30 p.m.

There will also be autograph signings with former Olympians, a BMX stunt team, portable climbing walls, and a mini tennis court for kids, among other things.

You can skate for free courtesy of USA Figure Skating, get out on the "ice" with USA Hockey and throw a stone with USA Curling.

Former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and hockey player Bret Hedican, who are married, will light the local torch. The night will conclude with fireworks from a downtown rooftop.

The celebration coincides with the Rocky Mountain State Games Opening Ceremony. Athletes will gather at America the Beautiful Park about 4:45 p.m., march from there to the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Tejon Street, and then join the Olympics celebration. This is the final weekend of competition for the Rocky Mountain State Games.

Festivities at America the Beautiful Park include an attempt to break the world's record for the number of people wearing swim caps in one place. Organizers expect to give away 5,000 swim caps beginning at 3:30 p.m.

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