SPORTS

Fun is key to Iowa Games

Annual event nears with registration starting today

Abbie Steil of Cedar Rapids flips a 175-pound tire during the tire flip event in the women’s division of the Strongman competition at the Iowa Games in 2009. This year’s games begin July 11. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Abbie Steil of Cedar Rapids flips a 175-pound tire during the tire flip event in the women’s division of the Strongman competition at the Iowa Games in 2009. This year’s games begin July 11. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

It’s a day any Iowan can be an athlete.

It’s a day you can throw on a pair of sneakers and compete in any number of more than 60 different events.

It’s a day where people of all ages across the state come together for fun and competition.

The 28th Iowa Summer Games are fast approaching and the first deadline — for ultimate (disc football) — is Wednesday.

The Iowa Games competition begins July 11 and runs through July 27. Opening ceremonies are July 18 and NBA rising star Harrison Barnes, a former Ames prep, is the keynote speaker.

Executive Director Clarence Hudson has aspirations to make the Iowa Games one of the “prides” of Iowa.

“When people travel they can tell people that in Iowa we have corn and the Iowa Games,” he said.

His passion for the Iowa Games goes beyond just the events, to what the Games mean.

“It’s not about the superstar, it’s about the average, every day Iowan,” he said. “It’s the memories that we’re building.”

He added a “three-letter word is key — fun.”

Hudson said the Iowa Games are one of the best state games in the United States, along with Nebraska. The Games attract somewhere between 8,000 to 15,000 participants each year with a variety of skill levels.

The Iowa Games also are a qualifier for the State Games of America, which will be held in Lincoln, Neb., in 2015.

For more information about the Iowa Games, or to sign up for an event, go to www.iowagames.org.

(Editors’ note: Nick Hogan will be a senior at Cedar Rapids Prairie in the fall. He is interning at The Gazette this summer through Kirkwood’s Workplace Learning Connection.)

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