St. George, Utah – Since its inception, the Huntsman World Senior Games has been a place to chase dreams. For more than three decades the Games has provided a venue where with enough patience, hard work and dedication, athletes can be amazing. That opportunity is part of what has helped the annual sports festival grow into the largest event of its kind in the world for athletes age 50 and better. The Games take place each October in St. George, Utah, and are open to athletes from all around the world and of all skill levels.
In 2019, the Games will welcome a record number of participants, over 11,000, to Southern Utah. All 50 of the United States are represented and athletes from more than 29 different countries will take the playing field, competing in 32 different sports from October 7 – 19, 2019.
Each athlete brings his or her own story and measure of inspiration, but perhaps none more than Linda Cohn from Northridge, California. Cohn didn’t begin her track and field career until she was 50 years old. She’d always watched the Olympic Games every four years, and like many wondered “What if…” Family and other responsibilities prevented her from chasing down that dream initially. In her 40s she heard about the Huntsman World Senior Games and the year she turned 50, she decided to give the javelin a try. Her first event didn’t bring a gold medal but instead an overwhelming feeling of emotion as she stood on the javelin runway for her inaugural attempt. That day she knew that she had found her passion and she has never looked back. Today, Cohn is a world record holder, posting a distance of 37.22 meters in the women’s 65+ age group. She will compete once again this year alongside thousands of other dream-chasers and try to better her best.
“The Games is a total experience,” says Kyle M Case, Games CEO. “We know that athletes can play their sports at home, so when they come to the Games we want to give them something special. Whether you are competing or not, there is something exhilarating about the World Senior Games. We want our athletes to feel that exhilaration and we want the community to as well. These competitors show us all what it takes to work for our dreams. Our invitation to the residents of Washington County is to come and celebrate that with us.”
On Tuesday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. the Games will officially welcome the athletes to the community at the opening ceremonies. Following the tradition of the Olympics, the ceremonies feature a parade of athletes, singing and dancing and a huge fireworks display. This free and family-friendly event takes place at Trailblazer Stadium at Dixie State University. It’s a high energy show that is free to the public. Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Leah Amico, will give the keynote address, providing entertainment advice on how to reach your own dreams. Borrowing a line from Billy Joel, the theme of the show is “River of Dreams,” and will feature some of the Piano Man’s best work.
In addition to the Opening Ceremonies, the Games hosts the free Concert & Celebration on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. This upbeat show takes place in the Dixie State University Burns Arena and continuing the theme, features Joel the Band, a Billy Joel tribute that is bound to please. Come and enjoy some of the all-time greatest music and rock and roll your way down memory lane. The community is encouraged to attend and should plan to bring the entire family.