Thousands Come Seeking Gold
There’s more gold in Southern Utah than most know, and it should be no surprise just how it gets there.
“There’s gold in them thar hills!” A phrase with roots in the California Gold Rush has come to symbolize the driven 49er prepared to pay whatever physical or emotional price required to strike gold. This kind of driven and dedicated gold-seeker exists today, and over 10,700 (a new record) of them are coming to the colorful hills of Southern Utah from October 6 – 18, 2014. The gold they’re seeking, however, is round, hangs from a ribbon, and is only given to the winners of 27 sports at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah.
Since 1987, the Huntsman World Senior Games has steadily grown to become the largest annual multi-sport event for people aged 50 and over in the world. That’s right. The Huntsman World Senior Games welcomes the most in annual numbers of athletes, fans, sponsors and even spectators. And for many people around the planet, it’s no surprise that the Huntsman World Senior Games is gaining a reputation for the best run event of its kind on planet earth.
“I have competed in the top senior games in the world and without hesitation the St. George Games are the best organized of them all. Plus, their Opening Ceremonies, Sport Socials, Concerts and Dances are by far the most impressive and fun,” says Barbara Gicquel, a resident of Salinas, California and nationally recognized cyclist in her 70s. “I recently won three Gold Medals in Torino, Italy, and I’m training hard to take the Gold at the Huntsman World Senior Games this October.”
St. George residents and Games athletes Norm and Kathy Frable also travel to various senior sporting events around the world. “We love to travel, compete, and make new friends in senior sports,” says Norm, “but there’s nothing out there quite like the Huntsman World Senior Games. The Games is an amazing event that the city, and even the country, should be proud of.”
Not only do Norm and Kathy compete, they also volunteer as the Sports Directors for Racewalking.
“Our favorite sports are Racewalking and Powerwalking, both of which are growing in popularity, and that makes us happy.” Kathy adds, “Whatever your sport, from track to triathlon, or basketball to badminton, there really is something for everyone at the Games.”
Kathy also points out that the Huntsman World Senior Games offers 5-year age brackets so people can compete against athletes their own age, and both recreational and competitive skill levels.
“Because you’re competing at your skill level and in your age group, the chances of taking home a medal are much higher,” says Kathy.
“It’s hard to name one reason why the Games has done so well over the past twenty-eight years,” says Kyle Case, CEO of the Games. “Our location is beautiful, our community is friendly and supportive, our donors and sponsors see the financial benefit the Games bring and support us generously, our volunteers are dedicated and our full-time staff works hard all year long to make sure things go off smoothly. We’re blessed to have so many things going for us; and we plan to continue using these assets to remain the best senior games in the world.”
Case says that the Games brought in a conservative estimate of $15.4 Million into the region’s economy last October. So while thousands will come to take away gold, they are gladly leaving millions of dollars for the opportunity to try. Plus, they are inspiring generations young and old to get active, to live healthier and to live longer. And that message alone is worth more than gold.
Kyle M Case / Huntsman World Senior Games
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