GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thursday is a big day in the world of sports in West Michigan, as the 2020 USA Masters Games officially kick off. It’s happening a year later because of the pandemic and Grand Rapids is the third city to ever host it.
The USA Masters Games is a multisport, Olympic-style event. Athletes from 35 states will compete in 20 different sports at venues across West Michigan.
The event kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday. It’ll be held in conjunction with the Meijer State Games. No qualification is necessary to compete and all athletes 21 and older are welcome regardless of ability.
“This is kind of like the signal that sports are back here in West Michigan and bringing people into town, having them stay at hotels, eat in restaurants, shop at businesses and spend their money in the local economy to be able to help get us up and running,” said Eric Engelbarts, the executive director of the Meijer State Games.
“It just gives me an opportunity to be out there, and I like being an ambassador for senior citizens to show them you can still do this stuff if you train smart and take care of yourself over the years, so it’s an honor to be out there,” said athlete Rob Norris.
Sporting events are free to watch throughout the weekend. A list of dates, times and locations can be found online.