|
|
|
The Shawnee News-Star
  • Jim Thorpe Native American Games move to Shawnee

  • The 3rd annual Jim Thorpe Native American Games will take place in Shawnee June 8-14. Locations for this event will take place in a variety of different venues throughout the Shawnee area.
    • email print
      Comment
  • The 3rd annual Jim Thorpe Native American Games will take place in Shawnee June 8-14. Locations for this event will take place in a variety of different venues throughout the Shawnee area.
    These venues include: Oklahoma Baptist University, St. Gregory's University, the Ballfields at Firelake, Firelake Golf Course and Shawnee High School.
    An estimated of 1,500 Native American athletes will be representing over 70 Indian Nations during this event.
    These athletes will compete in an array of sports, which include basketball, softball, tennis, wresting, track and field, cross country, golf, martial arts, beach volleyball, stickball and a lacrosse exhibition.
    An All-Star Football Game has been added to the list of new events this year. This game will take place Friday, June 13 at OBU. The game will highlight Native American high school seniors.
    Firelake Arena will host the opening ceremony, which will include a Parade of Nations, children's activities, a health fair and a stickball exhibition.
    Executive Director of the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kinlee Farris, discussed her thoughts about Shawnee's involvement with the games.
    "Our community stepped up to the plate with these games. Without our partners it would not be possible," she said.
    Farris highlighted the volunteer opportunities for this event.
    "At this time we would like for everyone to know there will be a lot of volunteer opportunities for the communities. You can go to our website or call us to get information in the upcoming months preparing for the games," she said.
    Mayor Wes Mainord of Shawnee commented how honored he feels to have Shawnee picked as the location for the games.
    "It has been a wonderful honor that our city has been chosen as the sight for this event," he said.
    Mainord emphasized his excitement for this event.
    "This is an exciting thing. One of the things that excites me the most is that we are all going to get together and take the colleges [OBU and St. Gregory's], ball fields, tracks and all of use getting together and working together," he said.
    Mayor Mainord expressed his gratitude towards the Jim Thorpe Native American Games.
    "Thank you so much for choosing our city and for everyone that has been involved in making it happen," Mainord said.
    Executive Director of the Jim Thorpe Native American Games, A nnetta Abbott, thanked OBU for their athletic facilities.
    "I want to thank Oklahoma Baptist University and we our very excited about the facilities We will be able to play are all-star football game, track and field, beach volleyball, and basketball here," she said.
    Abbott specified the significance of OBU during the Jim Thorpe Native American Games.
    "Without their partnership, that we have from with Brian Morris and the athletic staff at OBU, that would not be possible. That is one of the key factors in moving the games to Shawnee, was having a place to really host all of the events," she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - OBU's Director of Athletics, Robert Davenport, emphasized
    "I would like to say how honored we are to be able to host an event with this magnitude," he said.
    Abbott elaborated on her goals for the games.
    "Our goal for the games is really to help these kids compete and show them they can do anything they put their mind to. Sports allow them to engage in school and other activities. It gives them some type of role model they need at home like their coaches, trainer, through sports," she said.
    Abbott explained how culture will play a role in these events.
    "It's bringing in athletes and they get to see other cultures," she said.
    Additionally, Abbott clarified the fuel it took to create the games.
    "We started brainstorming in 2010-11 to find a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jim Thorpe's Olympic games in Sweden. What we came up with was a Native American Olympic style competition for Native American athletes," she said.
    Bill Thorpe, son of Jim Thorpe, discussed his enthusiasm for the location of the event.
    "I think it's a great thing this event has moved to Shawnee, being that dad lived here quite a bit himself," he said.
    Having the events here is better located for having tribal partcipation. It's really great and I feel like it's really going to grow here," Thorpe said.
    Gigi Tannahilo, business consultant for Thorpe family, commented on Bill Thorpe's role within this event.
    "He tries to encourage the children and work with the children and be there after the team has won to sign autographs and take pictures," she said.
    Thorpe specified the importance of the location for this event.
    "Having the games here, I feel like it is going to broaden the Native American Games more so than Oklahoma City did," Thorpe said.
    Tannahilo said Jim Thorpe was an advocate of children, he loved children.
    "If you do any research on him he was happiest when he was demonstrating his skills and his abilities while talking to youth. This is why we started this," Tannahilo said.
    Jim Thorpe, a native of Oklahoma, took home gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon events in the 1912 Olympics. In addition to being an Olympian, Thorpe played major league baseball for six years and served as a professional football icon. Thorpe belonged to the Sac and Fox tribe and died in 1953.

        calendar