2013 National Senior Games open in Cleveland Friday - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

2013 National Senior Games open in Cleveland Friday

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The 2013 National Senior Games opens Friday! There are 10,834 athletes competing.

The opening festival is Friday, July 19 from 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Mall B, next to the Cleveland Convention Center. This is a free event with activities, food vendors, a beer garden, live music and entertainment for both athletes and Greater Clevelanders. The evening will include the Torch Arrival Ceremony sponsored by AstraZeneca and a fireworks display, officially marking the opening of the 2013 Games.

"Cleveland will host about as many athletes for this competition as London did for the 2012 Summer Games," said Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President & CEO, David Gilbert. 

Athletes from all 50 fifty states, ranging in age from 50 to 101 (average age: 66), will participate in the sports competitions. Forty-one percent of participants will be ages 70 and up, proving that competition and physical activity can keep you young at heart.

Ohio-based athletes represent the largest state delegation (1,123 athletes), followed by 684 athletes from Tennessee and 589 from North Carolina.

The largest number of participants in a medal contending sport will compete in softball (1,765 athletes) while the horseshoes competition will feature just 99 athletes. Fifty-nine percent of the athletes are male.

One of the largest recurring multi-sport events in the United States, the 2013 National Senior Games is expected to draw more than 28,000 people to the Cleveland area between July 19 and August 1, and the estimated economic impact is $35 million.

The 2013 Games will utilize a variety of venues throughout Northeast Ohio for both sports and hospitality. Medal-contending competitions for the 2013 Games include pickleball, archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, race walk, road race, cycling, golf, horseshoes, racquetball, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track & field, triathlon and volleyball. Bocce ball and disc golf competitions will be held as demonstration sports during the event.

The new Cleveland Convention Center will host The Village sponsored by AstraZeneca - the hub of the event. The Village will feature daily programming, vendor booths and more and is free to the public for the duration of the National Senior Games.

As week one of sports competition comes to a close and another begins, the 2013 Celebration of Athletes sponsored by AstraZeneca will take place the evening of July 26 at Quicken Loans Arena. The event will be an intergenerational rock & roll experience for athletes, their families and friends, and visitors of all ages. The 2013 National Senior Games will rock the Q.

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