HARTFORD - Thousands of athletes from around the state of Connecticut converged on Trinity College in Hartford this past weekend for the start of the 12th annual Nutmeg Games . . . the state's own version of the Summer Olympics.
HARTFORD â Thousands of athletes from around the state of Connecticut converged on Trinity College in Hartford this past weekend for the start of the 12th annual Nutmeg Games . . . the stateâs own version of the Summer Olympics.
Athletes of all ages â from kids to adults â are participating in 29 different sports ranging from baseball to fencing, from figure skating to softball. The Games â held in Hartford for the fourth consecutive year â are endorses by the Governorâs Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, governed by the National Congress of State Games, and recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the Official State Games of Connecticut.
Many Newtown athletes participate in the Nutmeg Games every year, bringing home several Gold, Silver or Bronze medals.
Opening ceremonies for the 2000 Games was held Saturday, July 29, at the Hartford Civic Center. The ceremonies included a parade of athletes, lighting of the torch, a block party from 4 to 6 pm, and appearances from Connecticut Olympians like Lindy Reminging (1952 100-yard dash Gold medalist) and Vin Baker (2000 USA menâs basketball team).
âI am extremely excited about this yearâs games,â said executive director Bill Mudano. âI am also encouraged by the increase in the number of teams and athletes, particularly in some sports that have been down in recent years.â
The Nutmeg Games began in 1989 as an idea fostered by Mudano and supported by Connecticut legislators. The first competition was held at Eastern Connecticut State University and included about 1,200 athletes.
Since those humble beginnings, the Games have grown dramatically. Even though loss of state funding, and other setbacks, created major financial hurdles, the support of vendors, site directors, volunteers and the private sector has enabled the Games to survive.
Last year, more than 8,000 athletes participated and every town in the state was represented by at least one athlete.
âWith substantial funding and support from scores of Connecticut private businesses,â said Mr Mudano, âthe state of Connecticut, and hundreds of individual patrons, the Nutmeg State Games are on solid financial footing and facing the future with pride and confidence.â
For the 12th annual Games, Walter âDocâ Hurley was presented with a Living Legends award.
Team sports represented in competition include baseball, basketball, rugby, fast pitch softball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and roller hockey. Individual sports include cycling, fencing, figure skating, gymnastics, judo, road race, shooting, swimming, Tae Kwan Do, tennis, track & field, and wrestling.
For physically-challenged athletes, there is the road race, swimming, and track & field to compete in.