GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Good things come to those who wait – like the opportunity to host the rescheduled 2020 USA Masters Games, now June 24-27, 2021 in West Michigan.
The USA Masters Games is a multisport, Olympic-style event for athletes 21 and older, featuring athletes from 35 states competing in 24 events in 20 sports at venues across West Michigan. Only the third edition of the USA Masters Games since it started in 2016, the 2020 Masters Games* was awarded to Grand Rapids initially to host it June 19-28, 2020. It was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions.
“Hosting the Masters Games is a shot in the arm for West Michigan and an important signal that sporting events are back,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC), the local event organizer with the Meijer State Games of Michigan. “Just as the 2020 Olympics were postponed until 2021, we made a similar call to postpone the Master Games until pandemic restrictions were lifted, vaccines were available, and athlete and spectator safety could be managed easier. This is an exciting time to celebrate the resurgence of sport, both nationally and across Michigan.”
The USA Masters Games will be held in conjunction with the Meijer State Games – Summer Games whose main weekend also is June 24-27. For most sports, athletes 21 and older registering for the Summer Games will automatically be registered to compete in the USA Masters Games (a few sports such as Water Skiing and Rowing let athletes 21 and older select in which event they prefer to register).
“It is an honor to host the third USA Masters Games in the event’s history,” said Eric Engelbarts, executive director of the Meijer State Games of Michigan, the local event organizer with the WMSC. “Our track record in hosting multi-sport games events – from our annual Meijer State Games over the past decade to the 2017 State Games of America – makes this a natural fit for our region and another feather in our cap for hosting the top national multisport events.”
USA Masters Games sports include 5K, Archery (3D and FITA), Basketball, Bocce Ball, Bowling, Cornhole, Cycling, Disc Golf, Figure Skating (USFS), Footgolf, Golf, Pickleball, Rowing, Rugby, Shooting Sports (Air Rifle and Air Pistol, SBR, Skeet), Swimming, Taekwondo (virtual), Tennis, Track & Field and Waterskiing. While the main weekend is June 24-27, Pickleball and Cycling events are done, with 320 Pickleball athletes alone participating.