DETROIT, MI (August 7, 2017) - The 51st Annual AAU Junior Olympic Games came to a close this past Saturday, August 5 after ten (10) days of competition.
This event is the world’s largest multi-sport event welcoming more than 15,000 athletes competing in 18 different sports with 30,000 spectators attending.
Participants hailed from 45 states competing in the largest multi-sport event in the country; an event has brought more than $50 million to previous host cities since 2010.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games kicked off with an Opening Ceremony featuring speeches from AAU President/CEO Dr. Roger Goudy and nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis.
“We were pleased to bring the 51st Annual AAU Junior Olympic Games back to the Motor City,” said Dr. Roger J. Goudy, AAU President/CEO. “To the City of Detroit, the local organizing committee, and the countless volunteers who helped to make the event a success, we thank you.”
The 2017 AAU Junior Olympic Games featured new events such as Pickleball and Girls Wrestling.
Representatives from the USA Pickleball Association were present to teach clinics on the sport to all athletes to help further promote one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
Olivia Rondeau, a female wrestler who took home two gold medals had this to say about the first year of Girls Wrestling at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, “To me it was amazing that I would ever have this sort of opportunity because I was super jealous of the boys last year because they could compete at the AAU Junior Olympic Games.” Olivia continued, “So to come here and to come home with two gold medals was just a really cool experience for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Sport Stacking, a relatively new sport to the AAU Junior Olympic Games, saw its highest numbers ever.
This year at Track and Field, the AAU Junior Olympic Games largest sport, there was a total of 25 National Records Broken.
Brandon Miller, Track and Field Joel Ferrell Award Winner, said about his experience, “My favorite part of the AAU Junior Olympic Games is the treatment of the athletes. They make sure you’re taken care of. It just really sets it apart.”
We were fortunate enough to have partnered with FloSports for our track and field events. Using their state of the art equipment they provided live video content of events, up to the minute updates and exclusive interviews with athletes.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are a chance for athletes to come together from across the country and bond over athletic competition.
“It’s really fun to be with teams from all over the country and to be racing and competing with them,” said swimmer Kelsey Peregord. Kelsey continued saying “It’s really fun to compete at a high level here and obviously it’s a nice facility. I’m having a lot of fun!”
“I like that it’s kid-friendly. They are really friendly here and they are very supportive. Everyone cheers for every kid,” said weightlifter Damiyah Smith.
See everyone next year as the Games return to Des Moines, Iowa.
2017 AAU Junior Olympic Games: Results and Photos
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CANCELED-Kentucky Track & Field AAU District Quali