Marquette to host a mini Winter Olympics in late February
Northern Michigan University is sponsoring the event’s opening ceremony
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Let the games begin!
For the last five years, the Meijer State Games of Michigan Winter Games have been held down in Grand Rapids. Now, they are scheduled to make their Upper Peninsula debut in Marquette.
“We open this up to all ages and ability levels,” said Eric Engalbarts, the executive director of the Michigan Sports Alliance. “Many sports do have adapted divisions, but we really do welcome all ages. People compete in their age divisions for gold, silver, and bronze medals.”
For three days, Marquette will be an Olympic Village.
The games will feature eight winter sports, such as ski jumping, figure skating, and ice hockey. Competitions will also take place at six separate venues, including Marquette Mountain, Lakeview Arena, and Northern Michigan University’s Berry Events Center.
NMU Spokesperson Derek Hall says the university’s sponsorship will help with the opening ceremony, as well as with student recruitment for Northern.
“We’re very interested in those kids and families coming to visit,” Hall said. “We are always recruiting students, and what better venue than the Winter Games.”
Despite the event occurring during NMU’s spring break, Hall expects there will be student participation.
“There will be plenty of students that do stay,” he stated, “and we’ll invite them to be part of the games somehow.”
Engelbarts says the excitement is brewing.
“Marquette is just an awesome community,” he said. “We look forward to the snow. We look forward to the traditional winter games being a huge success in its first year.”
The Winter Games will take place February 25th through February27th and will kick off with a Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the cauldron.
For more information, including how to sign up, visit stategamesofmichigan.com.
Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.