Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 19

Third annual Lori Piestewa National Native American Games July 15-18 in Flagstaff<br>

The third annual Lori Piestewa National Native American Games, hosted by the Grand Canyon State Games, presented by APS and sponsored by Bashas’ Diné, will be held July 15-18 in Flagstaff, Tuba City and Page, with 2,500 Native American athletes expected to participate. This is the first national and the largest competition in the country for the Native American community.

“The Native American Games are the crowning jewel to our year-round format,” said Erik Widmark, executive director of the games.

In 2003, 1,551 athletes ranging in age from 6 to 78 from 26 tribes representing 52 cities and five states participated, and 2004 registrations are already running ahead of those numbers.

Last year, the Navajo tribe captured 126 medals and was awarded the Jim Thorpe Award, emblematic of the tribe winning the most medals.

Opening ceremonies for the Native American Games will take place at 7 p.m. on July 15 at Sinagua High School in Flagstaff.

Sporting competitions that will take place that weekend include 5-on-5 basketball for both boys and girls, softball, track & field and volleyball. The entry deadline is July 10.

Registration brochures are available at the GCSG offices in Tempe, on-line at www.gcsg.org, or at any Bashas’ Diné, Circle K, Sleep America and 24-Hour Fitness outlet.

Participants must be at least one-quarter Native American to compete.

The Grand Canyon State Games is a multi-sport Olympic festival for amateur athletes of all ages and abilities.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is the honorary chairperson and Arizona Diamondback Randy Johnson is the Executive Commissioner.

The Games are a project of the Arizona Sports Council in affiliation with 37 other states throughout the United States.

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