ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – Thirty-four years of athletic tradition benched; the Huntsman World Senior Games is on an official “timeout” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers have decided to forgo this year’s games for the health and safety of all concerned.
CEO Kyle Case said, “We held out as long as we could, but after careful analysis of all the data, we’ve decided that we need to pull back due to safety concerns of COVID-19 for all involved.”
In a press release sent to ABC4 News, in 2019 more than 11,000 athletes from 30 countries and all 50 states filled the streets of St. George for two weeks in October. Volunteers, local businesses, and community partners worked together to provide a world-class experience for participants.
“Our mission has always been to foster worldwide peace, health, and friendship,” said Case. “This year we just saw no way to move forward while ensuring the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, sponsors, and community.”
The Huntsman World Senior Games staff is heartbroken about those who have suffered the loss of a loved one and businesses who have suffered due to the pandemic.
“These athletes are like my extended family,” said Bonnie Kabey, long-time volunteer, participant and staff member of the Games. “It will be extremely sad not to be able to greet and hug those that have come over the years.”
In 2020, more than 500 participants would have been recognized for 15 or more years of attendance, including 15 who have come to the Games for over 30 years.
“We have faced our share of obstacles over the years,” said Case. “We plan to meet this challenge with persistence, patience, and dedication.” Moving forward, the Huntsman World Senior Games is adding opportunities for continued community and world-wide involvement via its virtual competitions, website activities, and weekly podcast “The Active Life.” https://seniorgames.net/radio.