ST. GEORGE — A perennial favorite among the athletes and community alike, the opening ceremonies of the Huntsman World Senior Games features the talents of local youth, the inspiring Parade of Athletes, Southern Utah Heritage Choir and an impressive fireworks display. This year’s keynote speaker will be three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Debbie Meyer. The opening ceremonies take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday on the campus of Dixie State University at the newly named Legend Solar Stadium.
Both athletes and community members are invited to enjoy the opening ceremonies free of charge. The gates open at 6 p.m. A free shuttle is available from several campus parking lots to the stadium before and after the show. This year is extra special as the Senior Games is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Debbie Meyer joined Johnny Weismuller, Mark Spitz and Don Schollander when she was named among the world’s best swimmers of the century by sportscasters across the country.
At the age of 16, she brought home three gold medals in three different distances in the freestyle events. More than 40 years after that phenomenal performance in the 1968 Olympics, Meyer is still considered one of the greatest female swimmers of all time. For someone who never took a swimming lesson, her accomplishments are impressive.
After retiring from competition in 1972, one of her priorities continues to be working with young people.
“I have had such a rewarding career, and I enjoy sharing it with others,” Meyer said. “Perhaps I may inspire someone else to strive for their best.”
Meyer has conducted motivational clinics nationwide and in multiple foreign countries. She has coached from the grass roots level to NCAA Division I schools. She has also been color commentator for CBS Sports Spectacular and ESPN.
“The opening ceremonies is the time when we all come together, athletes as well as the community, to celebrate,” Huntsman World Senior Games CEO Kyle M. Case said.
“The Games were founded on the principle of fostering worldwide peace, health and friendship. Those three principles are on display at the opening ceremonies unlike anywhere else. It’s an incredible night.”
Admission for the Huntsman World Senior Games opening ceremonies is free for everyone, and the community is invited to attend.
The Huntsman World Senior Games is the largest annual multisport event for athletes age 50 plus in the world. Competitions for the Games begin on Monday and run through Oct. 15. For additional information go to the Huntsman World Senior Games website.
- What: Huntsman World Senior Games opening ceremonies.
- When: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m.; gates open at 6 p.m.
- Where: Legend Solar Stadium, Dixie State University campus, 700 East, St. George.
- Cost: Free.
- Additional information: Shuttles will be available at several DSU campus parking lots before and after the ceremonies.