State Games called a “home run” for city

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The final athlete participation count hit a near-record 10,312 with competitors from 48 states coming to Colorado Springs for the third straight year.Opening ceremonies were held on July 30 at the Colorado Springs World Arena drew a sellout throng of 9,522 fans to see 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medalist and hometown hero Henry Cejudo light the Games’ flame. The torch lighting capped a city-wide relay began at the United States Olympic Training Center.

A total of 10,312 athletes competed in 31 sports during the four-day State Games of America from July 30 to August 2.

The Games generated about $11 million in economic impact to the city, with 3,503 athletes from outside Colorado coming to town, and some 5,254 friends and family members with them, said Colorado Springs Sports Corporation spokesman Mike Moran.

He estimated that during the event’s four-day run, almost 70,000 athletes, fans, family, officials and volunteers were active in some aspect of the Games. During its three-year run in the city so far, a total of 31,577 athletes participated in the Games, with an economic impact of more than $33 million for the region.

And the turnout was spectacular in some categories.

Twelve sports set new State Games of America participation records during the event- 5K Road Race (739), Cycling (1,081), Flag Football (180), Judo (112), Racquetball (74), Shooting (183), Softball (585), Swimming (666), Table Tennis (84), Tennis (200), Volleyball (299) and Wrestling (320). Big turnouts also came from Basketball (102 teams, 1326 players) and Figure Skating (924 skaters)