2015 State Games of America are officially underway

Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

mthornton@klkntv.com

The time has finally come.

Tuesday officially kicked off the 2015 State Games of America in Lincoln and Omaha.

It was also the first day for competitors coming to Lincoln to pick up their packets here at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Volunteers have been at hard work since  8 a.m. checking people in and handing out t–shirts.

They say the steady flow of people has kept them on their feet.

"It's been a busy day for the first day of packet pick up. We've had quite a few people coming in. It's been a lot of fun. Our volunteers have worked their tails off to say the least," Nebraska Sports Council Communications and Development Director Pat Hagedorn said.

Organizers expect more than 15,000 athletes from all over the country to compete in this year's event.

They say it's the biggest one yet.

Almost all 50 states will be represented. 

One young Lincoln golfer is just glad to represent the Cornhusker state and hopes to take home some of this championship hardware.

"It thought it cool because would be like the Olympics of our state. I wanted to see what the trophies would be  and I thought I could get one of those medals,"  Lincoln Golf Participant Hayden Hacker said.

The games run now through August 2.

Participants and officials say the competition has one more element that makes it unique, the family atmosphere,which is something father Nate  Rohda appreciates.

He and his 5-year-old son are participating in track and field.

"The whole range of kids  from five years old, his age, to old people like me  up to 18…up to old people like me can still compete and it's something the whole family can be involved in," Rohda said.

Organizers expect the games to have a $20 million impact on both the Lincoln and Omaha economy.

The opening ceremony is this Friday, July 31.

For more details, visit the official 2015 State Games of America website here: http://www.sga2015.com/