Grand Rapids

State Games of America begin at Van Andel Arena

24 Hour News 8 web staff -

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- Thousands of athletes from around the United States and Canada have made their way to Grand Rapids to compete in the State Games of America.

Although the four-day Olympic-style competition started Thursday, the official opening ceremony was held at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids Friday night.

Michigan's flag bearer during the ceremony was Wayland High School junior Seth Sevenski-Popma, a track and field athlete that has overcome two brain tumors in the last four years. While the setbacks forced him to miss time competing, he was able to get back and participate in the State Games of America.

"I just want to inspire people. No matter where you are, no matter how skilled you are, if you're disabled," he said. "If you're this or you're that just give it your all. As long as you're trying your hardest that's great."

Throughout the weekend, there will be a total of 60 events in 48 sports in 35 venues around West Michigan. Event organizers expect the competition to generate $10 million for the local economy.


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