Olympic treack and field silver medalist Meb Keflezighi to light Big Sky Games torch


Olympic treack and field silver medalist Meb Keflezighi to light Big Sky Games torch

July 17, 2013 5:30 am

Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi will be the special guest athlete of the 28th Annual Big Sky State Games Friday, July 19. He will conduct a morning running clinic Friday and light the State Games torch during opening ceremonies that evening. Both events are at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings.

Keflezighi was the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon and fourth place marathon finisher in the 2012 Olympics. His 2004 silver medal was the first medal won by an American man in the Olympic marathon since 1976.

Keflezighi and his family came to the United States as refugees from Eritrea when he was 12 and settled in San Diego. He began running in junior high school. Keflezighi was a four-time NCAA champion while running for UCLA, including cross-country, 10,000 meter outdoors and 5,000 meter indoors and outdoors. He is a three-time USA Cross Country Champion (2001, 2002 and 2009), six-time 15k National Champion, two-time Olympic Trials 10k Champion, Boston Marathon medalist, and the 2009 New York City Marathon Champion. Keflezighi is the American Record holder for the 20k.

Keflezighi’s 2:09:08 best marathon time was set in 2012 at the USA Olympic Trials in 2012 in Houston. He also earned the distinction of being the oldest winner of the Olympic Trails Marathon at age 36.

Keflezighi is the author of “Run To Overcome,” released in 2010. The autobiography covers the major milestones in his life, leading up to the present day. He is the driving force behind the Maintaining Excellent Balance (MEB) Foundation, which promotes healthy living and other positive lifestyle choices and motivation for youth. Keflezighi lives and trains in Mammoth Lakes, CA, with his wife and three children.

Registration for the “Run With Meb Clinic” begins at 9 am., July 19, is $30, and includes a short run, presentation by Keflezighi, refreshments and entry into one of the Big Sky State Games road race events (5k, 10k and half marathon). Register at bigskygames.organd click on “Run With Meb Clinic.”   

Opening ceremonies of the 2013 Big Sky State Games will be a colorful evening packed with exciting family entertainment at Third Street West and Grand Avenue. Gates open Friday, July 29, at 5:30 pm. The Parade of Athletes begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $5, and children under 6 are admitted free. State Games participants are admitted free with their opening ceremonies tickets.

Activities include the torch lighting by Korbut, parade of athletes, entertainment, booths, souvenir sales, sports demonstrations, and concessions.

For more information, go online to www.bigskygames.org or call 254-7426.