The 39th Annual Simplot Games is just around the corner. Since the meet was first held in 1979, the J.R. Simplot Company-sponsored event has grown to be the nation’s premier indoor track and field event. This year it will host nearly 2,000 high school athletes from around the world in Idaho State University’s Holt Arena.
One traditional feature of Simplot Games is their star-studded line up of Olympic legends that attend the Games, speak at various events, and interact with athletes and spectators. This year, the most decorated female cyclist in U.S. history, Kristin Armstrong, joins returning Olympians Dick Fosbury, Andre Phillips, Stacy Dragila, and Willie Banks. Armstrong will also speak at the annual Breakfast with Fosbury and Friends on Friday, February 17, at 7:30 a.m. in the Idaho State University Student Union Building Ballroom.
This year is sure to be just as exciting as ever as new and returning athletes fill Holt Arena in hopes of finding good competition and breaking records of all kinds. Tara Davis of Agoura Hills, Calif., who set the Simplot Games record for the girls’ long jump at 20’ 10.75”, returns to try and break that record yet again. If she succeeds, it will be another exciting moment etched into Simplot Games history.
Besides the excitement and healthy competition, one impressive aspect of Simplot Games over the years is the increasing scope in participation. In recent years, Simplot Games extended the reach of their international participation to the South Pacific with the registration of an Australian team in 2015. This year the Aussies return, along with athletes from Canada and 20 U.S. states.
Simplot Games is approaching nearly four decades of success due to the hard work of hundreds of volunteers, and the commitment of numerous sponsors. Executive Director Lisa Woodland believes that the spirit behind the Games is what makes it such a worthwhile event.
“J. R. Simplot had a passion to see that with hard work and dedication the athletes would have an opportunity to show what they are made of and to accomplish great things,” Woodland said. “Not only does this apply on the track but in life as well. What great lessons for the youth of today.”
Come join the excitement February 16-18. Admission is free. For more information and event schedules go to www.simplotgames.com and check out Simplot Games on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
Chamber members and guests, please join us for the February 3, 2017 Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce All Member Meeting at the Clarion Inn. Trade Tables open at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and the meeting begin at noon. The cost of lunch is $15 and RSVPs are required! Call the Chamber at 233-1525, email Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.pocatelloidaho.com.