June 28, 2012
Olympic weightlifting athlete Sarah Robles, who trains in Mesa with Team Arizona, is among 13 Olympians spotlighted in the annual PBS celebration, A Capitol Fourth, airing at 7 and 8:30 p.m., July 4, on Eight, Arizona PBS.
America’s grandest Independence Day fête hosted by popular Emmy Award-winner Tom Bergeron ("Dancing With the Stars") kicks off our country’s 236th birthday with special recognition of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians en route to the London games. Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno leads the inspiring tribute to Team USA honoring past and present athletes from most every sport.
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The Olympic salute also features five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams conducting his “Olympic Fanfare and Theme.” Acclaimed British tenor Russell Watson performs “Because We Believe” (written and performed by Andrea Bocelli for the 2006 Olympics closing ceremony in Turin, Italy) to welcome the athletes to his native England.
Robles is the top-ranked U.S. women’s weightlifter in all weight classes and was the top U.S. finisher, male or female, at the 2011 World Championships. With the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, she joins a dozen competing U.S. Olympians as they are honored and cheered by a crowd of hundreds of thousands. Other athletes include Khatuna Lorig (Archery), Jennifer Gillom (Basketball), Daryl Homer (Fencing), Rachel Dawson (Women’s Field Hockey), Bobby Lea (Cycling), Marti Malloy (Judo), Arielle Martin (BMX Cycling), Amanda Clark (Sailing), David Wagner and Nick Taylor (Wheelchair Tennis doubles partners), Corey Cogdell (Shooting) and Suzanne Stettinius (Modern Pentathlon).
"A Capitol Fourth" also features appearances by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and two-time Tony Award-winner Matthew Broderick, performing songs from the hit Broadway musical “Nice Work if You Can Get It” with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara.
Other entertainers include acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty of "Smash;" singer-songwriter Javier Colon, who won "The Voice;" country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; and the National Symphony Orchestra. Probably the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation tops off the celebration. Watch a preview at azpbs.org/capitolfourth.