Details of the Meijer State Games of Michigan Opening Ceremony Released
Grand Rapids, Mich., June 13, 2019 — The Meijer State Games of Michigan kicks off the 2019 summer games with an Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 21. The Opening Ceremony will be held at Fifth Third Ballpark (4500 W. River Dr. NE Comstock Park, MI 49321). Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. and conclude around 9 p.m.
Entertainment at the will include Olympic day in the morning hours, an athlete parade, ballpark games, a stunt trampoline show, guest speaker Dick Fosbury, the lighting of the cauldron and more.
Olympic day begins at 10 a.m. and will include a race-walking tutorial by Olympian Gary Morgan, ballpark games and an opportunity to run the bases on Fifth Third Ballpark. The Visser Family YMCA children’s camp will be participating in this year’s Olympic day events.
The athlete parade will begin at 7:30 p.m., as athletes represent their sports by parading into the stadium. Athletes will be led by Grand Marshall Dakota McLaren. McLaren is one of Michigan’s two athletes, sponsored by the Secchia family, chosen to participate in the 2019 State Games of America in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Throughout the ceremony a series of three ballpark games will be played on the field. Hoop helmet, human sandwich and bungee battle will be played. Teams for each game will be comprised of athletes participating in the summer games in a sport-versus-sport style competition.
A stunt trampoline show will utilize professional athletes, upbeat soundtracks and comedy in an elite performance of flips and trampoline tricks. The show will end with world-famous sky-high belly drops.
1968 Olympic Gold Medalist, Dick Fosbury, will be the guest speaker at the 2019 opening ceremony. Fosbury is known to be the first to jump over the high bar backwards, creating the “Fosbury Flop.” Fosbury will also be lighting the cauldron to officially kick off the summer games.
Other Olympians in attendance at the opening ceremony will include race walker Gary Morgan, swimmer Pam Kruse and judo competitor Maje Omagbaluwaje.
Morgan competed in every US Olympic trial from 1984-2004 as a walker. He competed in the World Championships, World Cup, Pan American Games, and Goodwill Games. Morgan also competed in the men’s 20 kilometer walk for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Kruse is a native of Miami, Florida and now resides here in Grand Rapids. At 18 she competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where she received a silver medal for her performance in the women’s 800-meter freestyle.
Omagbaluwaje is a Nigerian judoka with a 6th degree black belt. He is a 3-time African Champion, 3-time USA National Champion, and has competed in 3 Olympic Games. Omagbaluwaje placed 7th at the 1987 World Championships and received a gold medal at the World Masters Championships in 2009.
Admission to the Opening Ceremony for those over the age of nine will be $5, as well as $5 for parking. All registered athletes get free admission to the opening ceremony. To purchase a ticket to opening ceremony, please visit https://www.stategamesofmichigan.com/summer-games-opening-ceremony.
Vendors will be set up as well prior to the opening ceremonies. Vendors include: Fine Design M, Dietz Sports, Sleep Number, MI Education Savings Program, Girls on the Run, Gift of Life Michigan
Meijer State Games of Michigan sponsors include: Meijer, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Metro Health, Fox Motors, Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Network of Michigan, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Peppino's, Subway, Jimmy Johns, Fifth Wheel Freight, Experience Grand Rapids, Lacks Enterprises Inc., SIBSCO, LIFE EMS Ambulance, Heglund-Sova Realty, Inc.
About the Meijer State Games of Michigan:
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is an Olympic-style, multi-sport event(s) that welcomes athletes regardless of age or ability level. The games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship, and healthy living among the residents of Michigan. Since 2010, Meijer State Games of Michigan has hosted over 65,000+ athletes. The Meijer State Games of Michigan has also contributed over $25 million in estimated economic impact to cities throughout Michigan.
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