CLEVELAND -- With less two months until the start of the 2013 National Senior Games presented by Humana, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commissionwill host 10,834 athletes -- ages 50 and over -- for two weeks of intense competition in 19 sports.
With the influx of that many athletes and their families and friends, the Sports Commission also renewed its call for volunteers to assist with thisevent.
Leading up to and throughout the Games, there are more than 7,000 volunteer shifts to fill; with roles and responsibilities ranging from greeters to scorekeepers to managing event entertainment to retrieving javelins during the track and field competition.
"Cleveland will host about as many athletes for this competition as London did for the 2012 Summer Games, and we are asking our fellow Greater Clevelanders to help us deliver an unforgettable event through one of our more than 200 volunteer roles," said Greater Cleveland Sports Commission President & CEO, David Gilbert.
Athletes from all 50 fifty states, ranging in age from 50 to 101 (average age: 66), will participate in the sports competitions. Forty-one percent of participants will be ages 70 and up.
Ohio-based athletes represent the largest state delegation (1,123 athletes), followed by 684 athletes from Tennessee and 589 from North Carolina.
The largest number of participants in a medal contending sport will compete in softball (1,765 athletes) while the horseshoes competition will feature just 99 athletes.
Fifty-nine percent of the athletes are male. One of the largest recurring multi-sport events in the United States, the 2013 National Senior Games is expected to draw more than 28,000 people to the Cleveland area between July 19 and August 1, and the estimated economic impact is $35 million.
The 2013 Games will utilize a variety of venues throughout Northeast Ohio for both sports and hospitality. Medal-contending competitions for the 2013 Games include pickleball, archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, race walk, road race, cycling, golf, horseshoes, racquetball, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track & field, triathlon and volleyball. Bocce ball and disc golf competitions will be held as demonstration sports during the event.
The new Cleveland Convention Center will host The Village sponsored by AstraZeneca -- the hub of the event. The Village will feature daily programming, vendor booths and more and is free to the public for the duration of the National Senior Games.
The 2013 National Senior Games will begin with the Opening Festival on July 19 from 4:30 - 9:30 p.m., during which the lighting of the Senior Games cauldron will take place on Mall B in downtown Cleveland, next to the Convention Center.
The Opening Festival will be a free event with activities, food vendors, a beer garden, live music and entertainment for both athletes and Greater Clevelanders.
The evening will include the Torch Arrival Ceremony sponsored by AstraZeneca and a fireworks display, officially marking the opening of the 2013 Games.
As week one of sports competition comes to a close and another begins, the 2013 Celebration of Athletes sponsored by AstraZeneca will take place the evening of July 26 at Quicken Loans Arena.
For more information on the 2013 National Senior Games, visitwww.Cleveland2013.com