Show-Me STATE GAMES Ready to Resume
COLUMBIA - Even with predicted heat warnings, the popular Show-Me STATE GAMES will resume its summer schedule this weekend in the heart of Mid-Missouri. The games will offer athletic competition for all ages and ability levels as well as events for the athletes and community alike, including the Audrey Walton Opening Ceremonies.
The Audrey Walton Opening Ceremonies will kick off the weekend's festivities on Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. at the Hearnes Center and will be free to the public. The ceremonies will also feature a special guest, MU softball coach Ehren Earleywine, who was named the 2011 Big 12 Softball Coach of the Year. Earleywine's list of accolades in just five years at MU is impressive, boasting four consecutive regional championships, two Big 12 titles, three 50-win seasons and three straight Women's College World Series appearances.
The ceremonies will also feature the traditional parade and oath of athletes along with the lighting of the torch. Any athletes who are interested in participating in the parade should meet in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse, located on the south end of the building, at 6:30 p.m. to get into the lineup.
The GAMES have been an annual event since their establishment in 1985, and provide an opportunity for thousands of athletes to strutt their stuff in a variety of sports, ranging from soccer to tennis to wrestling. And it is still not too late for interested athletes to participate in this weekend's competitions. Spots are still available for some sports on-site, including the triathlon, cycling, wrestling, powerlifting and miniature golf, among others.
One of the most notable athletes who will be at the GAMES this weekend is Strongman Steve Schmidt, who will be performing at the powerlifting competition on Sat., July 23 at Lange Middle School. Schmidt is capable of executing many extraordinary feats, such as bending horseshoes with not just his hands, but his teeth too. Schmidt's impressive incisors are even capable of tearing through license plates.
The weekend's schedule also includes the Audrey Walton Youth Leadership Program, a three-day leadership summit for Missouri high school juniors and seniors.
The Show-Me STATE GAMES is taking extra precautions due to the aformentioned heat warnings, including adding extra water breaks, shortening some games and collaborating with University Healthcare Emergency Service personnel to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators alike.
The GAMES began earlier this summer, with the Show-Me STATE GAMES of the Midwest and the Missouri State Senior Games held June 10 through June 12. The 2011 GAMES conclude next weekend, July 29 through July 31.