The Cornhusker State Games has become an annual event for athletes of all ages and abilities across Nebraska. The purpose of the Games is to provide top-quality amateur competition in a wide range of activities. Besides offering a wide range of competitions (from traditional Olympic sports such as Track & Field, Gymnastics and Swimming) Nebraskans’ competitive interests have also been served by less demanding events such as Horseshoe Pitching, Mallwalk and Chess.
As we approach the beginning of this summer’s event, one major obstacle has been put in front of organizers as they try to coordinate this year’s sports festival. That obstacle is of course the coronavirus pandemic. With the arrival of COVID-19, several safety guidelines began to be put in place to stop the spread and protect the health of individuals. One of the main guidelines was to eliminate events and settings that would bring a large number of people together. Therefore, many if not all sports activities were either cancelled or suspended.
Now as restrictions start to relax a bit, organizers are ready to clear the hurdle that has been put in front of them and proceed with this year’s games. This week, Central Nebraska’s Sports Source visited with Dave Mlnarik, executive director of the Nebraska Sports Council. Mlnarik told KCNI/KBBN that “uncertainty” has been the greatest challenge as he and his team look to proceed.
Mlnarik said things look better now than they did back in April. He said that all events on their “non-contact” list such as shooting sports, golf, walk events, etc. are a go. “Medium contact” events such as baseball, softball, and volleyball appear to be a go now that the governor has allowed practices and competition for these activities to resume this month. “Full contact” sports such as basketball and soccer would not be offered unless restrictions regarding those activities would change. Mlnarik said they are just happy to be able to offer a good variety of activities to participate and compete in at this point.
The majority of the Cornhusker State Games will take place between July 17-26. Join us tomorrow for part 2 of our discussion with Dave Mlnarik.