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CEDAR CITY — The Utah Summer games are back this year with over ten thousand participants, over thirty sports, and a month long of fun.
Games begin June 7th, with Fencing and Pickleball, and continues throughout the month with a huge variety of sports. On June 14, the opening ceremonies and an athlete social will begin at 5 p.m. at the Eccles Coliseum at Southern Utah University.
Opening ceremonies include the March of Athletes, the induction of former athletes in to the Hall of Honor, the Lighting of the Cauldron reminiscent of the torch lighting during the Olympic games, and performances by the widely popular and hilarious Fuel TV stars, the Thrillbillies, topped off with a fireworks show.
Soccer continuously reigns as king of the Utah Summer Games, with 177 teams registered to play this year, followed closely by basketball. But Casey McClellan, Director of the Utah Summer Games, insists that popularity lies in the opinion of the athlete.
"It's hard to say that one [sport or event] is more popular than any other because in any particular sport the athletes and participants think its the most important event there is!"
Don't feel intimidated by the competition either, because all events are open to all skill levels, while some sports have been divided either by gender or age groups.
"We get a mix of both very competitive athletes and novice athletes participating for the first time. I think that's what makes us unique." McClellan said.
There's a place for everyone at the Utah Summer Games, with bowling events for everyone, including the physically and mentally disabled. McClellan admits, it is one of her favorite events of the whole month.
"They bring a smile to my face because they compete with no regard to winning or losing, but more importantly having fun and enjoying each other!"
You can check out the list of all the sporting events, schedule, and get more information about the opening ceremony, by visiting UtahSummerGames,org. If you wish to participate, register here and if you wish to volunteer, do so here. For tickets to the opening ceremony, they may be purchased here.