Over 12,000 athletes competed in August in 50 sports at the State Games of America in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The spectacular Olympic-style event is one of the largest and most competitive multi-sport events in the world. Athletes of all ages, including former Olympians & other world class athletes, previously qualified by medaling in State and Canadian province competitions. Similar to the Olympics, special activities included Opening Ceremonies, Parade of Athletes, torch lighting, Athletes Village, celebrities, entertainment, & fireworks.
Over 700 top pickleball players competed in this big event, which is considered one of the sport’s majors, especially because players have to qualify to be invited. Some also enjoyed clinics conducted by Dave Weimbach, US Open & National Pro Champion, who also competed and took home Gold.
BAPA and Boise Pickleball Club member, Dick Johnson, brought home a Gold medal in 75 Men’s Doubles, a Silver in Singles, and 4th Place in Mixed Doubles. Dick found the tourney larger and tougher than 2 years ago where he took 3 Golds. Because Idaho does not have a state SGA tournament, Dick qualified by winning 5 Golds in the tough Arizona SGA the past 3 years. Nevertheless, he was very proud to be Idaho’s Flag Bearer in the huge Parade of Athletes who took an hour to march into the large arena filled with thousands of spectators.
Click on this link for Dick in the fun Parade of Athletes:
The Mitchells and the Johnsons really enjoyed the inaugural SSIPA (Super Senior International Pickleball Association) Lewis & Clark Shootout in Washougal, Washington.
It was a beautiful venue with 6 new courts alongside a river in a lush, forested park. And, the boys brought home some hardware, too!
Mitch Mitchell and Rosalie Knutsen: Gold 3.5 75 Mixed Doubles Mitch Mitchell and David Steinke: Silver 3.5 75 Men’s Doubles Dick Johnson: Gold 3.5 70 Men’s Singles Dick Johnson and Del Root: Gold 4.5 75 Men’s Doubles Dick Johnson and Betty Silver: Gold 4.0 75 Mixed Doubles