5 Things You Didn't Know About The State Games

By: Megan Sauer

Since1978, states from across the country have invited local athletes of all ages and abilities to come together and compete in their respective State Games. Now, there areover200,000 athletes from30 different states that participate in the State Games every year. They bring withthem approximately 100,000 volunteersand1.2 million spectators to cheer them on and support the Games. While most states'events typically consist ofsoccer, basketball, and football tournaments, there are states likeFlorida that host more unusual events such as dominoes and artistic roller-skating.In anticipation of the 7thbiennialState Games of America, here is a list of 5 unique facts you didn't know about the State Games.

1. The first State Games was hosted at Syracuse University in New York

Photo courtsey of facebook.com/eswgames
After their bid for the1980Olympics was denied, a committee organized by the governor of New Yorkinitiatedthe Empire State Games. These games were designed toattract world-class athletes and aspiringOlympians to the State of New York.

2. Missouri's State Games Hosts the Most Athletes

Photo courtsey of facebook.com/showmestategames
The inaugural Show-Me State Games was in 1985. Because of its outstanding participation year after year, it was selected to be the first and second host of the State Games of America.There were over 32,000 athletes in 2015 that competed in winter and summer events, bringing in an estimated 64,000 participants and spectators to the city of Columbia.
3. The Iowa Games Offer The Most Events

In celebration of their 30 year anniversary, the Iowa Games offered 60summer sports and26winter sports in 2016, drawing in an estimated 17,000 athletes. Iowa's Games also host adaptive sporting events to accommodate participants of all athletic ability. Included in their86total events, theIowa Gamesfeature unique events such as snowshoeing, sport skydiving, andkubb.
4.The Games Go Viral
One of the most positive attributes of the State Games of Americais itssocial mediapresence. A majority of the games have websites and Facebook pages toeffectivelyrelease informationto the broadening demographic of State Games participants. The Iowa Games, Powerade State Games of North Carolina, the Meijer State Games of Michigan, and the CornhuskerState Games in Nebraska all have Facebook pages that have reached well over 5,000 likes each.When the Cornhusker State Gameshosted theState Games of America back in 2015, they generated over 7,600 likes for the official State Games of America's Facebook page.

5. More States Are Added Every Year
There are currently 30 States nationwide annually hostingState Games. That number increases each year as more and more states look to join the State Games movement.The newest states to be added areSouth Carolinasponsored byNotusSports, the Granite State Games in New Hampshire, and the Wyoming State Games in Wyoming.