Opening ceremonies held for 30th Badger State Winter Games

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — The annual Badger State Winter Games officially kicked off last weekend.

Since 1989, the event has seen growth and decline, but continues to provide Olympic-style sporting opportunities for amateur athletes.

Dozens of people gathered at the Wausau Center Mall on Thursday for the opening ceremonies and to commemorate the 30th anniversary.

Organizers and city officials gave remarks before heading outside to light the ceremonial flame.

The torch used was also in the 1984 Olympics.

Noah Eckelberg, a fifteen year old who attends Columbus High School, served as the torchbearer during the lighting. He said he was glad to help promote the games and Wisconsin athletes.

“It’s great to see all the support for the games.” Eckelberg said. “These games have a great history and they’re just very important to the state of Wisconsin.”

Meanwhile, organizers said they appreciate the support from the community over the past three decades.

“I think that’s an accomplishment to have something for 30 years and we’re looking forward to the next 30 years,” Nick Ockwig of the Badger State Games said. “You know, to be able to have these anniversaries… it’s just a testimony to the community and to everybody involved.”

The Winter Games feature 25 different sporting events, like bowling, archery and curling.

Those events take place until April 6.

Curtis Aderholdt

Curtis Aderholdt

A WAOW photo journalist since December 2014.

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