Community Olympics Underway in Kearney

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

For more information
and to see 2012 standings
updates, visit the
Kearney Games Facebook page

Kearney Parks and Recreation employees were putting the finishing touches on the 2012 Kearney Community Olympic Games' obstacle course Friday afternoon.

Recreation Superintendent Scott Hayden says it's just one of many events like yoga and pickelball that they'll be hosting during the three-day games.

"Lots of camaraderie, it just has a really good atmosphere to it," Hayden says of the games. "It gives people a chance to try something maybe they've never done before, or haven't done for a long time and meet a lot new friends."

Parks and Rec officials say they have the maximum number of teams registered this year and a record number of participants at 879. Officials at Good Samaritan Hospital say the games are a good way to get people involved in something that's fun and healthy.

"Health isn't a chore and it's something that can be fun and interesting for all ages," says Rob Cunningham, Good Samaritan's Vice President of Ancillary and Support Services. "Having the Olympics just brings the whole community together."

Officials say competing as teams makes it easier for people to get interested in fitness and set goals to be better next year.

Hayden says the community competition has even spread beyond the hundreds who have come every year for sixteen years in Kearney.

"It's exciting that it's growing and you know there's starting to be some other towns in Nebraska that are doing it as well," he says. "Grand Island has a games and York has their own games so it's kind of neat to see it spreading across the state."

Hayden says the fun and community spirit will continue on Saturday and Sunday with traditional events like bowling and volleyball, and new ones like a sidewalk chalk art competition and team kayaking.

Registration is over for the 2012 games, but people can still sign up for Saturday's 5K Run/Walk. Registration starts at 6:30 am in the east parking lot of Good Samaritan Hospital.

For more, click on the link in the box to visit the Community Games Facebook page.

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