Senior Games to begin today! - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Senior Games to begin today!

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Senior Games getting set up on Mall B, Cleveland Senior Games getting set up on Mall B, Cleveland
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The 2013 National Senior Games open later this afternoon - 10,834 athletes are set to compete.

The opening festival is from 4:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on Mall B next to the Convention Center.

The athletes are ages 50 and over and will participate in 19 sports.

"Cleveland will host about as many athletes for this competition as London did for the 2012 Summer Games, and we are asking our fellow Greater Clevelanders to help us deliver an unforgettable event through one of our more than 200 volunteer roles," said Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President & CEO, David Gilbert. "The support we have received so far is overwhelming, and by filling the 7,000 volunteer shifts associated with the Games, we will be able to present the best National Senior Games experience yet - for both athletes and spectators."

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.

The Opening Festival will be 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.

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