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San Diego Athletes To Compete In 2016 Olympics

Associated Press / Elise Amendola
Meb Keflezighi, left, of San Diego, and Hilary Dionne, of Boston, finish the Boston Marathon, April 20, 2015 in Boston.

San Diego Athletes To Compete In 2016 Olympics
San Diego Athletes To Compete In 2016 Olympics GUEST: Mark Zeigler, sportswriter, The San Diego Union-Tribune

The Olympics and real are already off and running. The official opening will not kick off until tonight or go there have been so many stumbles that many are watching to see what will go wrong. Mark Zeigler is there with the latest. What are you seeing or people talking about? All Olympics have these moments before the game starts where you have 10,000 journalists in the city and picking apart every little detail in finding every little possible problem. It happens in every Olympics. The difference is that these problems are much greater and much broader and much more serious than usual. So I think the theme heading into the Olympics is you say the cable start in the athletes will start competing in this will go away is whether it will go away this time. It is really 50-50. I think there are so many issues here that this may be all we care about during the games. Are you experiencing any of the problems? Yes. Not having hot water I still have no light bulbs in my village. I haven't had a total -- toilet exploded like a colleague did or robbed like other photographers have. I haven't been shot at. Some were shot out. They've had their problems and other Olympics in this is no worse than those. The only thing is there such a huge endeavor that they're so much that can go wrong and hopefully it won't. Smack it sounds like your spirits are high but an issue is the threat of Zika virus infections and water pollution. What precautions are taking like swimmers and sailors? The swimmers and sailors are going to wear full bodysuits that a been treated with antibacterial fabrics and coding. -- Coding. I think that is pre-much everywhere that is when. The Zika virus is not an issue at all. It is a non-issue for me so far. I've seen one mosquito here in a week. They have sprayed a lot of the venues. We will see the opening of it tonight. I don't think that will be a problem. I think the water is going to be a problem. And if it is a problem they will not know for a couple of weeks. A talk about more positive things. What are some of the top stories you'll be interested in? I will be going to many of the big events in writing columns about them. Michael Phelps and swimming. I think that's really the headline event for me. We have 106 team local athletes. That is quite a few. I will be tracking their progress as well. I will going to archery tomorrow because it is based at the training center in Chula Vista. They have chance to win a metal. Any tips for what athletes might win medals quick I think what if you will do it. It is really blossomed in the last few years. I think they will win at least possibly five medals. The archery guys could win a team metal and individual metal. You have said you go people that are not Ewald of -- volleyball teams that will probably win medals. I think Sandeno probably will be double figures. There is a team of refugees. To they stand a chance of winning a medal this time right No, I don't think so. I think a lot of them will be athletes and you will see in the finals. I think they are unique spirit of competing in participating. I think that is there point. There big statement will come tonight at the opening ceremonies. That will be a huge moment in the biggest moment for them. I think they won't fade into the background because you will not see them in morning heats after that. I don't think that matters. The fact that there here and competing is one think that the Olympic Committee has done right in so much that they been criticized for but that is one thing that what well. Thank you so much. My pleasure.

Champion distance runner Meb Keflezighi will lead a parade of athletes with San Diego connections into the 2016 Olympics, which get underway officially Friday night with the opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro.

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Keflezighi, a native of Eritrea who resides with his family in Old Town but trains at altitude in Mammoth, will take part in his fourth Olympics. The 41-year-old will compete in the marathon on the last day of the games, Aug. 21. He won a silver medal in the event in 2004.

More than 100 competitors with local ties — who either grew up in San Diego, attended college here or prepared at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista — are in Brazil. Their sports run the gamut from track and field to sailing.

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Besides Keflezighi, fellow marathoner Desiree Davila Linden of Hilltop High School in Chula Vista, water polo star Jesse Smith of Coronado High, volleyball blocker David Lee of Granite Hills High, track star Charles Jock of Mission Bay High, Bonsall race walker John Nunn, equestrian rider Steffen Peters of San Diego and rising Rancho Santa Fe tennis player Coco Vandeweghe are just a few in the contingent.

San Diego State University will be represented by discus thrower Whitney Ashley and triple jumper Shanieka Thomas. Sarah Attar of Escondido High will represent Saudi Arabia in the 800-meter run for a second time.

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A sold-out watch party for the opening ceremonies will be held aboard the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on the downtown San Diego waterfront, will include appearances by Olympic athletes and demonstrations of their sports.