LINCOLN, Neb. (March 5, 2015) — The 2015 State Games of America (SGA) will begin with high-flying theatrics and patriotic flair at the Opening Ceremonies, July 31, at Memorial Stadium on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The competition begins July 31 at sites in and around Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and concludes August 2.
The Army’s Golden Knights parachute team and Nebraska native Brian Deegan’s Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross daredevils will headline the event. The Golden Knights are known for their precision execution of aerial acrobatics as they fall from the sky. Metal Mulisha, featuring veteran riders Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Derek Garland and Matt Buyton, will show off their two-wheeled version of aerial acrobatics as they take off from the ground on their motocross bikes.
USA Olympic track & field and bobsled athlete Lolo Jones and Olympic wrestling gold medalist Jordan Burroughs will participate in the lighting of the SGA cauldron at the ceremonies. Jones and Burroughs have been named SGA Athlete Ambassadors and both athletes will be involved in other special events during the competition.
The Star-Spangled Banner will be performed at the ceremonies by the winner of a nationwide competition. Contestants must submit performance videos to YouTube by April 6. Judges will select five finalists and the winner will be determined by voter on the State Games of America Facebook page. Entry information is available at SGA2015.com.
Officials expect more than 20,000 total participants, including 13,000 Nebraskans and 7,000 qualifiers from across the nation. Athletes from 35 states have already registered for the ninth edition of the biennial national sports festival which features competition in 60 sports for athletes of all ages and abilities. Registration for non-Nebraska athletes closes May 15 in most sports. Nebraska athletes can register through July 1. All registered competitors receive free admission to the Opening Ceremonies.
Other Opening Ceremonies attractions include the famous Crevier Family performing unicycle and basketball stunts, mascot shenanigans and a fireworks display. More fun is planned outside of the stadium with a pre-event meal for competitors, live music and inflatable games.
The State Games of America, a property of the National Congress of State Games, was previously held in St. Louis, Missouri (1999 and 2001), Hartford, Connecticut (2003), Colorado Springs, Colorado (2005, 2007 and 2009), San Diego, California (2011) and Hershey-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (2013). The 2015 edition, hosted by the Nebraska Sports Council, is expected to be the largest ever. The 2017 Games will be held in Grand Rapids, Mich.