The 29th annual Cornhusker State Games will feature competition in more than 60 sports including the return of ice hockey and figure skating. Registration is now open for the mid-summer amateur sports festival, most of which takes place July 19-28 at more than 70 venues in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities.
Swimming, set for July 13-14 at Woods Pool in Lincoln will get the competitions started, but the Games officially begin at the July 19 Opening Ceremonies, headlined by the internationally-known Crevier Family and popular Nebraska cover band Groove Puppet. More than 12,000 Nebraskans are expected to participate with the help of more than 2,500 volunteers.
All registered athletes will receive a free shirt, yearbook, free meal and admission to SportFest/Opening Ceremonies and a chance to win one of 5,000 custom-cast gold, silver and bronze medals. Finishers in several events will receive commemorative medallions.
The annual Torch Run will be held June 20-28 in conjunction with the LiveWellNebraska.com Tour, with stops in Scottsbluff, North Platte, Kearney, Grand Island and Lincoln. Each tour stop will feature sports clinics conducted by Nebraska-born U.S. Olympic medalists Jordan Larsen and Curt Tomasevicz. The two will also appear and sign autographs at wellness fairs in each tour-stop community.
Besides Groove Puppet and the Crevier Family, the Opening Ceremonies features skydivers, fireworks, mascots, a parade of athletes and the lighting of the caldron by a mystery celebrity athlete. Participants and guests are again invited to the pre-Ceremonies party known as SportFest, which features a meal, inflatable games, vendor booths, celebrity athlete meet-n-greet and a sportsmanship rally, which is new to the event.
All who march in the parade of athletes will receive Sportsmanship For Life wristbands compliments of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Both SportFest and the Opening Ceremonies are held at Seacrest Field in Lincoln.
The Crevier Family, led by Bruce Crevier, his wife Diane and 12 kids, performs a show called Spin-tacular, featuring basketball handling/spinning, choreographed unicycle-riding and a finale mixing the two feats. The family has appeared at half-time shows at many NCAA and NBA locations around the country and on more than a dozen national television shows including Live with Regis & Kathy-Lee, the Today Show and the CBS Evening News. Bruce Crevier holds the world record for most basketballs spun simultaneously with 21.
Figure skating and ice hockey, which are both core sports for the State Games of America, had been part of the Nebraska Sports Council’s Winter Games from 1996-2001. Officials anticipate strong participation as local athletes can qualify for the national event by earning medals in the Cornhusker State Games. The Nebraska Sports Council is a finalist, along with San Diego, for hosting rights of the 2015 State Games of America.
Those interested can register or find more information, including a full list of sports offered, at CornhuskerStateGames.com or by calling 402-471-2544. July 1 is the final registration deadline for most sports, but individuals registered by June 17 receive a $5 discount; team entry discounts vary.
Officials also announced that corporate partners BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine had renewed their platinum-level commitments for 2013. Some 60 other Nebraska companies have also pledged sponsorship support at various levels.
The Cornhusker State Games are conducted by the Nebraska Sports Council, which also conducts the LiveWell Challenge Series, the Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run. Learn more at NebraskaSportsCouncil.com.