2016 Huntsman World Senior Games celebrates 30 years of sportsmanship

ST. GEORGE — Explosive fireworks, enthusiastic youth performers, an energetic Parade of Athletes and a keynote address from a three-time Olympic gold medalist highlighted the opening of the 2016 Huntsman World Senior Games Tuesday.

The ceremonies, held at Legend Solar Stadium at Dixie State University in St. George, highlighted the best in sportsmanship and athleticism with thousands of athletes from around the world competing.

Local youth performed and danced at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Huntsman World Senior Games Tuesday night. St. George, Utah, October 4, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News
Local youth performed and danced at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Huntsman World Senior Games Tuesday night. St. George, Utah, October 4, 2016 | Photo by Austin Peck, St. George News

“(It’s) fantastic for our area,” St. George mayor Jon Pike said. “We get to be involved, we get to attend, and frankly, I think be inspired by all these athletes.”

Pike said he heard some amazing stories talking with the participants.

“There are 11 athletes that have participated in all 30 Games that are here again,” Pike said. “The founder is in his 90s. He’s playing tennis in these Games. Just a million stories like that.”

The keynote speaker of the evening was Olympic gold medalist Debbie Meyer, whose priorities continue to be working with young people and inspiring others to strive for their best.

Meyer, of Sacramento, California, participated in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City and walked away with three gold medals in swimming. She is still considered one of the world’s best swimmers of all time.

The organizers were hoping for an athlete count of 10,950, one for each day the Games have been in existence. That goal has been surpassed with over 11,000 athletes participating in this year’s Games.

Competition began Monday for 13 events. The highlight of Monday’s competition was 85-year-old Paul Flanagan of Lincoln, California, smashing the course record for the 10K road race by more than five minutes.

The Games run through October 15 and spectators are welcome. For more information on what sports are played at what time, visit the Huntsman World Senior Games website.

St. George News Reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this story.

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Email: apeck@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • .... October 5, 2016 at 8:39 am

    What a fantastic and joyous celebration we had a fantastic time with friends and loved ones. Welcome all athletes. I hope you all enjoy your stay here in this wonderful community. Praise the Lord !

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