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Show-Me State Games kick off with opening ceremony Friday

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Show-Me State Games kick off with opening ceremony Friday

With a torch run, athlete parade and lighting of the cauldron, the Show-Me State Games have begun. The competition began officially with an Olympic-style opening ceremony Friday at Mizzou Arena.

Athletes from all across Missouri traveled to Columbia to compete in the Show-Me State Games, which will take place over two weekends. The games are open to athletes of all ages and abilities and include competition in 34 sports.

“The games bring the community together with the goal of competing while having fun,” volunteer Tyler Carey said.

In addition to the competition, the Show-Me State Games will also provide various vaccination stations for athletes and spectators to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine venues include Cosmopolitan Park at the Rainbow Softball Center, Columbia Sports Fieldhouse and the Holiday Inn Executive Center-Columbia Mall Expo Center.

Show-Me State Games athletes run through the finish line

Show-Me State Games athletes run through the finish line at the end of the torch run Friday in Columbia. Conducting the torch run in person was a last-minute change. “The run was one of the thrills of my life,” Anna Hargis, Shelter Insurance advertising director, said.

A decorated car sits in the parking lot

A decorated car sits in the parking lot outside Mizzou Arena on Friday in Columbia. The Show-Me State Games consist of 34 different events ranging from softball to mini-golf.

Kassidy Nolting embraces teammate Ashlyn Douglas

From left, Thundercats player Kassidy Nolting, 9, embraces teammate Ashlyn Douglas, 9, as they wait backstage with other athletes ahead of the parade Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The Thundercats are from Union, Mo., and will be competing in the U10 soccer competition.

The Glove Your Attitude softball team walks onto the court

The Glove Your Attitude softball team walks onto the court Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The team will play its first game against the Mid MO Raptors on Saturday.

Family and friends cheer as the athletes enter the arena

Family and friends cheer as the athletes enter Mizzou Arena during the 2021 Show-Me State Games opening ceremony Friday in Columbia. The opening ceremony was Olympic-style and included a parade and torch lighting ceremony.

The Citadel U16 soccer team carries a banner

The Citadel U16 soccer team carries a banner with team members' names on it in the parade of athletes Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Citadel U16 will play against Bayern STL on Saturday at Cosmo Park.

A volunteer picks up signs

A volunteer picks up signs Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. People of all ages from all over Missouri come to Columbia to participate in the games, which span over two weekends.

Callie Cox talks to the athletes

Miss Missouri, Callie Cox, talks to the athletes Friday at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Cox helped to lead athletes, coaches and spectators in the Show-Me State Games oath.

Chris Shearin passes the torch to Jalani Williams

Chris Shearin, left, passes the torch to Jalani Williams during the opening ceremony of the 2021 Show-Me State Games on Friday at Mizzou Arena. “Sports provides a space for expressing yourself,” Missouri track and field athlete Euphenie Andre said.

Missouri football player Jalani Williams

Missouri football player Jalani Williams walks with the torch Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The defensive back was one of four Missouri athletes featured in the opening ceremony.

Missouri athletes Chris Shearin, Jalani Williams, Cayla Kessinger and Euphenie Andre light the

From left, Missouri athletes Chris Shearin, Jalani Williams, Cayla Kessinger and Euphenie Andre light the Show-Me State Games torch Friday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The athletes ran around the stadium passing the torch, and Williams ignited the flame.

Miss Missouri Callie Cox signs an athlete's shirt

Miss Missouri Callie Cox signs an athlete’s shirt after the Show-Me State Games opening ceremony Friday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. “Sports opens an avenue for women to be empowered,” Cox said.

Athletes and their families gather outside the Mizzou Arena after the ceremony

Athletes and their families gather Friday outside Mizzou Arena after the opening ceremony in Columbia. Competition kicked off Saturday with sports including fencing, baseball, cycling and handball.

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