Show-Me State Games Kick Off Friday Afternoon

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COLUMBIA - Organizers said Friday they expect more than 6,000 athletes to descend on Columbia this weekend for the annual Show-Me State Games.

The games' executive director, Ken Ash, told KOMU 8 News he expects about 6500-7,000 athletes to come to town for this weekend's round of games. He said the turnout is about average. He said organizers have taken this weekend's threat of rain into consideration. If it starts raining, he said organizers would postpone events for two hours at a time until the fields dry out. He said the games have never been rained in the 29 years they have been held out but have come very close.

This weekend's events include basketball, lacrosse and youth tackle football. Ash said the organization tried to avoid holding the games on Fathers' Day weekend but could not find a weekend in June that worked better for all of the facilities it needs.

Friday also marks the second day of competition for the 19th annual Show-Me Senior Games. Ash said he expects about 1400 competitors. The Senior Games are for anyone age 50 and over. Senior Games events include basketball, cycling and track and field events.

Both events run through Sunday, with the Show-Me State Games continuing on the weekends of July 19-21 and July 26-28.