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Bull an Olympic fanatic
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Ceres resident Tracy Bull was just eight years old when he watched the 1972 Summer Olympics.

A huge fan of swimming and track and field, Bull rooted for Americans Mark Spitz and Steve Prefontaine.

Spitz won seven gold medals.

Prefontaine, a three-time NCAA Men's Cross Country champion, placed fourth in the 5,000 meters.

"That had an impact on me," the 48-year-old husband and father of two said.

Tracy's passion for the Olympics hasn't waned in the last 40 years.

He's dedicated 16-18 hours of his time each day to the 2012 Summer Games.

"I never miss it," Bull said. "It's 17 days of pure ecstasy if you're a sports fan. I'm not far from the norm. I guarantee there's someone watching more than me. The only time I'm not watching is when I'm sleeping."

Tracy enjoys watching swimming the most.

He hasn't missed a single minute.

He even taped and studied races from the Olympic trials.

American swimmers have accounted for the majority of the United States' medals with Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Allison Schmitt, Rebecca Soni and Dana Vollmer leading the way.

"Countless kids were watching the races over and over," said Bull, Ceres Dolphins Swim Club President and Ceres High varsity boys water polo head coach. "Those are the athletes they're emulating. There's not an athlete who hasn't dreamed of going to the Olympics."

The under-water video cameras being utilized at the Olympics offered valuable lessons for Dolphin members.

"The technology they're using is a godsend to coaches across the country," Bull said. "To be able to see under water gives our athletes a whole different perspective. It allows them to visualize what we're talking about. They're able to pick out mistakes swimmers are making."

When asked if swimming would grow in popularity because of the strong showing by Americans at the 2012 Olympics, Bull said:

"You're going to see a surge in numbers. It's a sport you can do a long time and be competitive right off the bat. People will watch it if you put it on and hype it up."

Tracy will be glued to his television during the 2016 Olympics. The host site is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"I won't miss any of the coverage," Bull said. "I'll sleep in September."