The 19th Rocky Mountain State Games are still on, but could be spread across several months.
As with the 4th of July Symphony in the Park, which became “on your porch” in 2020, and September’s Labor Day Lift Off, which is in talks to launch from multiple locations, the annual multi-sport festival is set to transform in order to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Maybe the new norm is to do these events in a unique way,” said Tom Osborne, the president and CEO of Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, which runs the games.
The games were scheduled for July 17-19 and 24-26. Baseball, flag football, Mutton Bustin', pickleball, shooting and spikeball are now the only events scheduled to take place in July. Figure skating, inline hockey, inline speedskating, lacrosse and weightlifting are set for August or later.
Indoor events, contact sports and those with greater participation - “We’re not at a point with the (Color in Motion 5k) just yet to pull it off,” Osborne said - have been largely left off the schedule. Osborne said the goal is to get as much as possible in by the end of the year, even as late as November, should phases of reopening continue.
“Some of these events where there’s not that many participants we feel pretty comfortable with,” Osborne said.
In a February release, the Sports Corp. said it was “looking forward to a seventh consecutive year with more than 10,000 athletes competing.” A month later, upheaval spread.
The Sports Corp. sought feedback from commissioners in each sport to better gauge how the athletes were feeling. These volunteers act as a point person and help run the individual sports. They’re still very much involved.
Calling off the games was not on the table, Osborne said.
“It was never discussed to cancel the entire thing,” Osborne said. “We have to find a way to make it happen.
“It’s a challenge but we’re going to figure it out and the games will go on.”
Entry fee refunds are available to particpants concerned about coronavirus exposure.
Precautions include social distancing, hand sanitizer and frequent cleaning. Participants will wear masks while not actively competing. Commissioners, officials and volunteers will wear them at all times.