Flint kicked off a celebration of youth and athletics July 10 with the launch of the 62nd Greater Flint Olympian Games.
Opening ceremonies of the event that’s helped produce pro sports figures like retired NBA star Glenn Rice and track standout Gina Gail were held on the Southwestern Classical Academy football field Tuesday morning, following a fitness walk.
Supported by the Crim Fitness Foundation, the opening series of events included lunch and the Olympian Games Field Day and Olympian Sport Skills exhibition. The competition and series, which can lead to opportunities for youth to participate in the CANUSA Games, will culminate July 26 at the Greater Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games Appreciation and Recognition Dinner at First Presbyterian Church, 746 South Saginaw St.
Formed from the efforts of the Canadian and United States Amateur Athletic Unions, CANUSA is one of multiple, sanctioned athletic events held between American and international youth throughout several decades. Flint was identified with a city of comparable size and other similarities, resulting in the pairing with Hamilton, Ontario, in 1957.
Local athletes who qualify in the Greater Flint Olympian Games may compete against Hamilton youth at CANUSA, regularly alternating travel to the United States and Canada. This year’s 61st CANUSA Games begin Aug. 10 in Hamilton.
Apart from competitive athletics, a key component of CANUSA is the alternating location, which finds visiting youth residing with families in host cities, typically with relatives of the opposing team’s athletes. While the Greater Flint Olympian Games is open to participants in as many events as they choose, they can only qualify to compete in one CANUSA sport.
Greater Flint Olympian sports range from swimming, basketball, track and field, tennis, and soccer to wrestling, ice hockey, golf, archery and pickle ball – a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping pong – and more.
The competitions are held throughout the community, including City of Flint-operated venues, and usually attract thousands of athletes from Genesee County.
For more information about the Greater Flint Olympian Games call (810) 760-5252.
Lead photo by Alvin Brown