Derrick Peterson, a former Missouri track standout who will compete in the 800-meter run at next month’s Olympics in Athens, Greece, will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies for the Show-Me State Games. He will speak at 7 tonight at Hearnes Center.
It is the 20th summer the Games, an Olympic-style festival for Missouri amateur athletes of all ages, will be held in Columbia. Competition takes place for the next three weekends at sites throughout the city.
Peterson placed third in the finals of the 800 at the 2004 Olympic Track and Field Trials on Monday in Sacramento, Calif., to earn an Olympic berth. It was Peterson’s second Trials. In 2000, he missed qualifying for the 800 finals by one-hundredth of a second.
As the keynote speaker at the Show-Me State Games, Peterson joins an illustrious group. Past speakers have included Mia Hamm, George Foreman, former President Bush and Ozzie Smith.
Peterson is a six-time All-American, winning the 800 at the Big 12 Conference indoor and outdoor meets each of the four years he was at Missouri. He set the American collegiate indoor record in the event (1:45.88) at the 1999 NCAA indoor meet in Indianapolis and won the 1999 NCAA outdoor meet in 1:46.97.