Aug 3, 2010 12:14 AM
Colorado Springs - The 2010 Rocky Mountain State Games won't officially bring down the curtain on activity until September 19 with the conclusion of figure skating competition, but the scorecard for the big weekend appears to be a good one.
With the skating competition remaining, and more inline hockey this coming weekend, final numbers for athlete registrations won't be available for some time, but it appears that the tally will be around 6,500, a good shot in the arm of some $6.5 million for the local economy when families and friends of the athletes on hand are added into the equation.
"We could not stage an event like this and make it worthwhile for these athletes without the incredible support of our sponsors, and the effort of hundreds of volunteers, our dedicated sport commissioners, and the officials who make sure the sports and venues are ready and working," said Osborne. "State Games are unique, and important to the fabric of amateur sport. Colorado Springs proved again why its reputation as a top sports destination is the best."
Note: The dates for next summer's 2011 Rocky Mountain State Games will be July 29-31, with final details on venues to be announced.
Athletes from 119 Colorado cities and towns came for the competition, as did a small collection of athletes from four Wyoming towns - Laramie, Douglas, Gillette and Tie Siding.
"We're pleased, for sure," said Osborne. "Everybody worked hard to make it a positive experience for the athletes and their friends and families, and I think we got it done."
The Opening Ceremony on July 30 at the Colorado Springs World Arena attracted a crowd of 4,400, and they were treated to a colorful evening of entertainment and high energy performances, capped by the lighting of the Games' torch by 2010 U.S. Olympic Bobsled gold medalist Steven Holcomb.
The weekend produced some memorable performances on the fields of play:
University of Kansas sophomore-to-be Mason Finley (Salida), heaved the discus a record 197-8, the 12th-best toss in the nation in 2010 and a State Games record. It eclipsed his Big 12 Conference winning throw of 197-5 and his NCAA second place finish (191-5).
Two-time U.S. Olympic skeleton performer Katie Uehlander (Breckenridge) opened her campaign to become one of the few Americans to compete in both the Olympic Winter and Summer Games by winning the Women's 63kg weightlifting event at the Olympic Training Center as USA Weightlifting coaches and officials watched.
Eight-year-old swimmer Liberty Ricca (Colorado Springs) won six gold medals in the pool at Cheyenne Mountain High and stamped herself as an athlete to watch. She's also a promising triathlete.
Former Colorado State University track and field star Kelli Kunz (Golden) won five gold medals in the action at Lewis-Palmer High, taking the 100m hurdles, 100 meters, 400m hurdles, high jump and shot put.
Sprinter Jeremy Rankin (Aurora) set a new State Games mark in the 100 meters with his 10.86, breaking the old Mark of 10.91 set at the 2007 State Games of America by Evant Orange of Compton, CA.
Shooters Larissa Wright (Woodland Park) and Ross Sagehorn (Fort Lupton) each took home three gold medals in the competition at the USA Shooting Complex at the Olympic Training Center.
Rocky Mountain State Games participation records were set in badminton, gymnastics, shooting, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and weightlifting.