Jul 19, 2014 12:01 AM by Posted by Greg Smith
With 21 sports on tap for this weekend for some 3,400 athletes at the 13th Rocky Mountain State Games in Colorado Springs, the host Colorado Springs Sports Corp is hoping for the best Games in its history.
"Safety for our athletes and good weather, plus everybody having a memorable experience in Colorado Springs are the things we hope for," said Tom Osborne, President & CEO of The Sports Corp. "This is Colorado's largest sports festival in a sports-loving city where just about every sports you can imagine has been contested since the United States Olympic Committee moved here in 1978 and the Sports Corp took over the Rocky Mountain State Games."
A 41-sport event taking place over two big weekends at 36 venues spread across the city is an Olympic-sized task, yet the Sports Corp has managed to find 900 volunteers in the city who are willing to give their time and energy to the event in hundreds of capacities simply because they love sport and want the city to shine.
Sports Corp officials aren't being cocky or noisy about it, but the fact remains that as of this morning, 8,014 athletes have registered to compete, and that's already the second highest in the history of the event, with 9,312 on hand last year.
Registration in some sports is open at: www.rockymountainstategames.org
Typical of the new sports added for 2014 includes Lacrosse, which registered 77 team and 1,694 athletes. Elite and high school competition took place last weekend, with middle school and youth competition starting today at the El Pomar Youth Park starting at 1:00 p.m.
Basketball has lured 76 teams and 912 hoopsters for its competition which starts at 12:00 Noon today at Cheyenne Mountain High, Manitou Springs High School, Manitou Springs Middle School and the Colorado Springs School.
Starting time for basketball at ball four venues are 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday for those that are hoops-crazy.
Also on today's program are Soccer (12:00 Noon at Cottonwood Creek Park) and Inline Hockey at 6:00 p.m. at the Xfinity Sports Arena, 3325 Meadow Ridge Drive, in Northern Colorado Springs where some 320 skaters will show their skills.
Other athlete registrations blessed with a high popularity factor include Cycling (1,162), Swimming (412), and the popular downtown Colorado Springs Color In Motion 5K Run that starts at 8:00 a.m. next Saturday at Tejon & Colorado and finishes at Antlers Park.
This one of a kind sport/run/color hybrid now has 1,566 entries willing to experience something in sports they never likely knew existed.
Never let it be said that the Sports Corp ignores animal/athletes in the Games. To date 96 handlers and their 96 four-pawed athletes have signed up for the Dog Agility competition, set for July 25-27 at America The Beautiful Park.
The sport, new last year, has the handlers leading their dogs through jumps, tunnels, poles and other obstacle with penalties for misses and mistakes.
But the big extravaganza will take place next Friday, June 25, when the annual Olympic Downtown Celebration is combined with the Opening Ceremony of the Rocky Mountain State Games.
The Olympic Downtown Celebration has become one of Colorado Springs' most popular events since its thrilling debut in 2012 on the evening of the Olympic Opening Ceremony in London.
This summer's event should provide the same kind of excitement and entertainment that has attracted as many as 15,000 fans downtown to celebrate the presence of the United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympics and some two dozen National Governing Bodies of sports on the Olympic and Pan American Games programs.
A ceremonial lighting of the State Games cauldron will take place around 7:00 to signal the opening of the Games, which are held July 18-20 and July 25-27. The celebrity torch lighter will be figure skater Jason Brown, who won a Bronze Medal in the Team Event for the USA in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
The evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and concludes at 10:00 with a ninety-minute free performance by American country music star Josh Gracin, thanks to the tireless work and support of downtown business owners Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli, with the support of Budweiser and Cowboy's Downtown.
Then, it's on to a big weekend with another 20 sports including the staples of the Games like Track & Field, Tennis, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Baseball, Archery, BMX and Weightlifting.
The country music star's performance concludes a full evening of entertainment that includes something for everybody to enjoy.
Friday, July 25 Olympic Downtown Celebration & Rocky Mountain State Games Opening Ceremony:
Concert stage 5:00-10:00 with local acts and concluding with Josh Gracin (approx. 8:30-10:00 pm)
Budweiser Beer Garden
Denver Broncos Appreciation Celebration (includes kids area, autograph sessions, Alumni Players, cheerleaders and Miles)
X-pogo Stunt Team (extreme pogo stick performances)
Sports Booths with demonstrations, activities and giveaways
Kids Zone with inflatable play rooms
Carnival food vendors
McDonald's play area
Memorial Health Booth
Finish line for the RMSG 5K - with music by Celebration Station
Fun and entertainment for the whole family
There is no charge for the evening, it's absolutely free to the public and it's an experience that all ages will enjoy.