Show-Me State Games officials preparing for excessive heat

Monday, July 18, 2011 | 8:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — During the next two weekends thousands of athletes will compete in the 27th annual Show-Me State Games.

The games started in 1985 as a project by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Health. The goal was to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for Missouri residents. Since then, the Show-Me State Games have grown to attract thousands of participants every year. 

“We’ve definitely seen growth since the games first started," said Emily Lorenz, a coordinator for the event. "The first year we had 600 participants, and it was only over one weekend. Now the games are three weekends.” The first weekend of games, the Senior Games, took place in June.

Lorenz said more than 28,000 athletes competed last year, and she expects a similar turnout this year.

The opening ceremony for the games is set to be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Hearnes Center. There is no cost to attend the ceremony, which is open to the public.

Carrying on the tradition of the Olympic-style games, there will be a parade of athletes and a torch lighting. MU softball head coach Ehren Earleywine will be the special guest, and the MU Golden Girls and Truman the Tiger will attend.


Intense heat this week is likely to be the biggest challenge for Show-Me State Game competitors. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory through the weekend, and temperatures are expected to reach triple digits, so athletes and spectators need to take extra steps to stay cool.

Officials for the Games are taking extra precautions with an excessive heat and humidity plan for outdoor sports. The plan includes:

  • Extra water stations and mandatory water breaks
  • More time between halves and quarters
  • Shortened games and longer breaks between games
  • Switching event times for the morning and evening to avoid the afternoon heat
  • Moving sports indoors if possible 


Some sports in the Games are still accepting registrations. Depending on the sport, registration may be available via mail, online, or on-site. Further information about available entries, schedule and location of each sport are available at the Games website.

Participation fees depend on the activity, with team sports tending to be more expensive than individual sports. Lorenz estimated that fees range from $20 per person to $350 per team.

Besides Missouri residents, out-of-state students and military personnel stationed in Missouri can compete as well. Residents of states that don’t have their own statewide competition can also participate in the Games.

The Senior Games are directed toward older athletes, but the upcoming two weekends are open to all ages. Athletes who competed in the Senior Games can also compete in the regular games. 

“We’ve had 2-year-olds running track and field and seniors well into their 80s or 90s swimming,” Lorenz said. “There’s a wide range. We really try to encourage people of all abilities to participate.”

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