Has World Cup fever reached Summit County?
The World Cup of soccer begins today in Munich when Costa Rica meets Germany at 10 a.m. Hundreds of thousands of people across the world are holding their breath in anticipation of the big event, but how many people in Summit County are truly gearing up for the month ahead?Ill watch it if its on, Friscos Molly Olenius said. I have a few friends that are into it, but I dont really follow it.Olenius take on the 2006 World Cup seems to be indicative of many local opinions in a county where the words World Cup connote skiing much more often than soccer.If Olenius falls in the middle of the spectrum of World Cup interest, there are certainly extremes on either side of her.Is that hockey? Friscos Melissa Vanhulsentop asked in response to a Summit Daily survey. Because there is a cup in hockey, isnt there?Scott Donnelly, assistant director of the High Country Soccer Association, seems to be Vanhulsentops polar opposite.Im thinking I might just quit my job and plant myself in front of the TV, Donnelly said. I wish I could.Rebel sports owner Kevin Cahle summed up the sentiments of a casual sports fan.I guess Im just like the rest of America passive, Cahle said. (Americans) arent rabid about the World Cup like most of the other countries that are in it.Cahle said his relative apathy toward soccer may be related to his middle age.I wish it was bigger when I was young, he said. Im 42 years old and soccer was just a PE class in my day.Julio Mora, who coaches an under-12 boys soccer team for the High Country Soccer Association, said most of his players are looking forward to the World Cup.My kids are so excited about it, especially because theyre out of school, Mora said. A lot of them are planning on watching all the games. Forty to 45 percent of the team is from Mexico, so a lot of the kids will be watching both Mexico and the U.S.s games. Ive also heard some comments about them watching the Brazilians, because those guys are amazing.Soccer is definitely growing in the younger demographics, Boulders Jeremy Cutler, who taught and coached youngsters in the Washington, D.C., area for several years, said when surveyed on Thursday. Today, if you talk to a 12-year-old about pro soccer, they might know something about it, whereas 10 years ago they probably wouldnt have.According to Cutler an average, ordinary, middle-age sports fan its the intangibles of this years tournament that have peaked his interest.The commercials have been awesome, Cutler said. Like the one about the Ivory Coast stopping their civil war to unite for the World Cup. … Its very moving.Cutler finds the presence of Togo in this years tournament to be another intriguing factor.Youve got to be fired up to root for a country youve never heard of, he said. Togo is that really a country? … All you have to do is put 50 cents on Togo in Vegas and if they win, youll be a billionaire.In addition to the Cup-opening Costa Rica-Germany match this morning, ESPN2 will also broadcast the Poland-Ecuador match at 1 p.m.Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
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