Sweetwater High School graduate Spencer Curtis plans on watching Friday’s opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games as part of the free public viewing party on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway.
Curtis, who starred this past spring in the high jump, pole vault, long jump and triple jump for the South Bay League champion Red Devils, is excited about Friday’s novel event.
The public viewing party also includes a meet-and-greet with U.S. BMX Olympians before they leave for London, an archery demonstration with resident athletes from the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, photo opportunities with a real Olympic torch and participation in a juggling contest with members of the 2012 Paralympic soccer team.
“It sounds pretty cool,” said Curtis, the reigning San Diego Section Division I champion in the boys high jump and a state meet qualifier in the event. “I want to follow the decathlon and the rest of the events and look up the bios of each athlete and see where they came from. A lot of the Olympians from other countries get paid but the U.S. Olympians don’t. I want to learn about their workouts and see if I can copy them. I really want to go to the Olympics someday.”
Curtis has already identified his event: the men’s decathlon. He set a school record with 5,385 points in winning the San Diego multi-event decathlon championship in June at Cuyamaca College and will continue his track career at Mesa College.
His best in the high jump is 6-7 and 13-0 in the pole vault. His personal best marks in the long jump and triple jump are 20-9 and 42-11.5, respectively.
He was unable to attend a national regional qualifier in Chino earlier this month because of a combination of untimely injuries. He currently sports staples in his leg from a deep gash wound.
He had planned on competing in the national high school decathlon championship in Baltimore, Md.
Now it’s time to heal and get back to training.
“One of the things I didn’t like was trying to stay in peak mode all through the summer for these championship meets,” he said. “I finished all my hard workouts in May in time for CIF and in peak mode you’re just doing stretching exercises and maybe two laps around the track to keep in shape. If I’m not at my best, I don’t want to stay in peak mode too long. I want to keep training. I want to try to be the best.”
Already pushing toward the clouds at 6-5, Curtis believes he is now starting to go through a growth spurt. If he manages to put on any more height, he’ll likely raise the bar in the high jump even higher, perhaps someday even to Olympic proportion.
Admission to Friday’s event aboard the U.S.S. Midway is free and typical British food and beverages will be available for purchase. Think bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), fish and chips and meat pie (chicken and mushroom). Lightweight lawn chairs and blankets will be allowed.
The family-centered program is co-sponsored by the Chula Vista OTC and will feature a kids activity zone provided by the YMCA of San Diego County.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Broadcast ceremonies by NBC-TV, which will be carried on two giant television screens, start at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Web site at www.midway.org.
How to stay connected
TELEVISION: NBC-TV and its cable/digital affiliates will provide comprehensive English-language coverage of the London Games, beginning with the opening ceremonies on July 27 and ending with the closing ceremonies on Aug. 12.
INTERNET: The United States Olympic Committee’s Web site at www.usoc.org will provide timely updates. Other sites to browse for up-to-the-minute results are www.NBCOlympics.com and www.London2012.com.