Grand Rapids hosting postponed USA Masters Games this week

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The Olympic-style event will be held Thursday through Sunday at different venues across West Michigan. Courtesy USA Masters Games

The 2020 USA Masters Games will return after it was postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympic-style event will be held Thursday through Sunday at different venues across West Michigan. It will feature athletes 21 and older from 35 states who will compete in 24 events in 20 sports, which 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 and field and waterskiing.

“We are thrilled to be at this point of holding the long-awaited USA Masters Games in West Michigan,” said Hill Carrow, CEO of the USA Masters Games. “We have great partners in the West Michigan Sports Commission and State Games of Michigan who have demonstrated their organizational experience through hosting other multisport events. Plus, Grand Rapids’ excellent venues and hotel proximity make the region a natural fit.”

Grand Rapids was scheduled to host the event June 19-28, 2020. This year, the 2020 USA Masters Games will be held in conjunction with the Meijer State Games – Summer Games as its main events also will take place Thursday through Sunday.

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). Similar to the State Games, no qualification is necessary to compete in the USA Masters Games, and all athletes 21 and older are welcome regardless of ability. Event winners who compete in both categories will receive medals from the USA Masters Games for most sports events with a few sports also issuing medals for the State Games.

Grand Rapids is the third city to host the USA Masters Games since it began in 2016.

“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, 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.”

Athletes can register for most USA Masters Games sports until the day of the event.

Athletes can participate in the Opening Ceremony starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Meijer Sports Complex, 3300 10 Mile Road NE in Rockford. Additionally, athletes can watch the West Michigan Whitecaps play on the evening of Saturday at LMCU Ballpark, 4500 West River Drive, Comstock Park.

The 2020 USA Masters Games events are free to watch, and spectators can click here to find the times, dates and locations of each event.

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