The Olympics aren’t for another two years, but every year Oregon puts on its own Olympics in the State Games of Oregon. The two-month festival is organized by the Oregon Amateur Sports Foundation and is accessible to all Oregonians.
The State Games started back in 1986 with only 11 events to choose from. Around 4,300 people participated in the games that then lasted just one weekend.
The State Games now consist of over 15,000 participants and run from June 1 through July 21, with a much larger variety in athletic competitions. Athletes can compete in anything from wrestling or baseball to table tennis or water polo.
The fees for each event varies. It also depends if the sport athletes register for is an individual or team sport. Wrestling, for example, is $10 per athlete, and cycling is $25 per cyclist. Soccer, on the other hand, costs $300 per team and guarantees at least three games.
Most events only run for one day. But events like basketball and swimming run longer because the number of athletes and length of the games. All of the events are scheduled for the weekends, which gives a better opportunity for most competitors to attend.
Events are held at different locations throughout the Portland Metro area. Many of the events are held in local high schools, community colleges or athletic centers. A few events are located just a ways out of the Metro area because of the need for certain terrain. The mountain biking event, for example, is held at Mt. Hood Ski Bowl in early July.
To register for an event, athletes can either call the Oregon Amateur Sports Foundation at 503-520-1319 or log on to www.stategamesoforegon.org. The OASF can also mail you a registering handbook that lists each event, costs and scheduled times.
On July 13 and 14 the OASF puts on a Celebration of Athletes at the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation center. This event will feature the lighting of the 2002 State Games of Oregon torch. The Celebration of Athletes is free and open to everyone.