Jason Brown's celebrity status continues to grow.
The 19-year-old figure skater who gained international fame earlier this year at the Sochi, Russia, Winter Olympics lit the State Games cauldron to begin the 2014 Rocky Mountain State Games in July.
The event took place July 25 in downtown Colorado Springs as an estimated 8,000 competitors and fans gathered. The celebration ended at 10:30 p.m. as country music star Josh Gracin belted out his final piece.
Brown, who trains at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument, is the reigning United States silver medalist. He became a YouTube sensation with his final performance at the U.S Figure Skating Championships.
He finished ninth overall at the Olympic Games.
This largest of Colorado’s sports festival is a fusion of the traditional sports; volleyball, track and field, diving and swimming, with a collection of sports and activities that is designed to attract men and women, kids, individuals with physical disabilities and hundreds of others who simply want to enjoy themselves
For the first time in the Rocky Mountain State Games history, more than 10,000 athletes participated in these unique Games that play to the purists who might want to better their old college or high school 100-meter mark on the track.
Other event included BMX Racing, Inline Speed Skating, Dog Agility and Goalball - a sport for blind athletes that demands putting a ball equipped with noise, into the goal.
It’s an understatement to say that the State Games have gained great momentum over the years. The 2002 Rocky Mountain State Games started with only 2,016 athletes.
“We are thrilled to have reached 10,000 State Games athletes; it’s been our goal since day one 12 years ago, said Tom Osborne, CEO of the State Games. “The key to the success of the Games is our sport commissioners, sponsors, volunteers and staff who all have worked together to make it happen.
“The byproduct of the success of the games is a positive economic impact to our Pikes Peak Region, as well as adding an extra layer of polish to the sports reputation of Colorado Springs.”