Fred Garver winks to Kimberly Earnest after they successfully light the torch together

Fred Garver winks at Kimberly Earnest after they successfully light the torch together at the Show-Me State Games at the Mizzou Arena on Friday, July 21, 2018. Garver and Earnest were the 2017 Athletes of the Year, with Garver tying for first in the 40-49 men’s disc golf competition and Earnest finishing first in the triathlon and fourth overall. Garver battled with and overcame cancer multiple times and lost the ability to speak. “He has lost his voice but not his smile or spirit,” host Jim Riek said. The Show-Me State Games’ 2019 festivities will begin this weekend.

In their 35th year, the 2019 Show-Me State Games will feature two new sports — motocross and darts.

Competitors in these new competitions will gather Friday at Mizzou Arena with athletes from 32 other events to kick off the annual program.

The opening ceremony is free to the public and will start at 7 p.m. with the national anthem, followed by a parade where athletes have the opportunity to represent their sport. After the torch enters the stadium, the lighting of a cauldron will officially kick-start the 2019 summer games.

The games will take place Friday through Sunday and continue Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28.

This year, the program is working more closely with MU Health Care to prepare for a heat wave that is expected this weekend.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning Tuesday that warns that heat indexes could hit well above 100 degrees.

The organizers are trying to educate athletes by sending out emails and posting tips on social media on how to better take care of their bodies.

Emily Lorenz, media and marketing coordinator for the games, said they are constantly looking at the weather forecast and trying to achieve flexibility in activities when needed.

“We might have more water breaks or shorten game times, but nothing is official yet,” she said.

Lorenz said it is hard to predict the number of athletes and visitors expected this year, as people are still registering for events. Several sports, such as martial arts, cycling and fencing, will provide on-site registration for both weekends.

“It will roughly be in the thousands,” she said.

Team sports such as basketball and baseball tend to be more popular among the participants, Lorenz said. However, individual events like wrestling, track and shooting also attract athletes each year.

The Show-Me State Games are nonprofit and hosted by the University of Missouri to provide Missourians the opportunity to participate in “activities of health, fitness, family and fun.”

Supervising editor is Olivia Garrett.

  • General assignment reporter, Summer 2019. Studying Magazine Design. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

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