History of the Games
1986
   Governor Atiyeh and wife Dolores arrive by helicopter landing in Portland Civic Stadium to help open the inaugural State Games of Oregon. Earlier at the state capitol, Governor Atiyeh lit and handed the State Games of Oregon torch to then Senator John Kitzhaber. After 3 miles the torch was handed off to the State Games relay team. The torch was carried to the opening ceremonies in Civic Stadium in time for torchlighter Robin Marks, former Queen of Rosaria and outstanding track athlete, to light the cauldron after Governor Atiyeh officially opened the Games.
   The inaugural State Games of Oregon games offered 11 sports throughout the Portland Metro area. 4,003 athletes participated and endorsed the concept of an Olympic style multi-sport festival.

1987
   Three sports were added to the 1987 (figure skating, boardsailing, shooting) and limited regional competition was introduced in Bend, Medford and Eugene. Some 5,000 athletes participated. The torch relay began in Salem with Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer handing the torch off to the State Games relay team. Governor Neil Goldschmidt "opened" the State Games.




1988
   Six new sports were added to the State Games raising the total to 20 sports. Newly added sports included: Bowling, Cycling, Roller Skating, Rowing, Springboard Diving and Synchronized Swimming. the sport of Bowling drew nearly 5,000 competitors for it's inaugural year.
   Eric Heiden, Olympic Gold Medalist, helped promote the State Games. Mayor Bud Clark welcomed the opening ceremonies crowd. A laser show followed. Number of participants jumped to nearly 11,000.


1989
   Summer Biathalon and Table tennis added to the State Games of Oregon. Team Handball was a demonstration sport. Regional competition took place in Corvallis, LaGrande, Bend, McMinnville and Medford. A social/dance was held on Saturday evening at the Carousel Courtyard at 7th and Holladay. Numbers estimated at 12,000. Opening ceremonies were held in Civic Stadium. The cauldron was lit by bowling legend Champ Husted and Lavelle Stoinoff, swimming world record holder. Stories about the State Games of Oregon appeared in USA Today and Sports Illustrated.


1990
   The logo and colors for the 1990 5th annual State Games of Oregon was a bright neon pink Roman numeral V on a black block. Regional competition was held again in the sports of soccer, tennis, track & field and bowling. Opening ceremonies included a soccer match between Olympic Development Teams of Oregon and Washington. Half time entertainment featured the Portland Trail Blazers Dance Team. Host regional cities were: Medford, Bend, LaGrande, Corvallis and Portland. Equestrian was added as a demonstration sport. Participants numbered just over 12,000. This year the National congress of State Games (Oregon is a member) was voted into Board Membership of the United States Olympic Committee.

1991
   New sports added to this year's State Games of Oregon include: Cycling- Mountain Biking, Judo and Squash. The Saturday evening social returns to the Carousel Courtyard in the Lloyd Center area. Participation edged up to 13,000. Soccer competition continues to grow with Corvallis, Medford, LaGrande and Portland hosting regionals. U.S. Olympic Equestrian Silver Medalist Kevin Freeman of Portland lighted the ceremonial flame. Secretary of State Phil Keisling welcomed the crowd. Tonya Harding performed an exhibition for the State Games of Oregon participants and spectators at the Lloyd Center. The oldest competitor was Dr. Ed Thomas who returned to competitive swimming after 75 years. We was the captain of the University of California swim team in 1915.

1992
   A record 200 soccer teams registered for the 1992 State Games of Oregon. This year marks the beginning of the inclusion of the Oregon Senior Games. For Oregonians 55 and over, they can qualify for the National Senior Games competition through sports in our Games. Opening ceremonies were held at Civic Stadium with welcoming remarks by then U.S. Senator Bob Packwood. Sport demonstrations included: Ultimate Frisbee, Gymnastics Artistic and Rhythmic, and Figure Skating, Badminton, Boxing and Horseshoes were added this year. Participation was nearly 14,000.

1993
   Rugby is added to the State Games of Oregon. Opening Ceremonies were moved to Pioneer Courthouse Square. Congressman Ron Wyden was a guest speaker. Outstanding female duathlete Liz Downing ran the torch from NIKETOWN. Sport demonstrations were Gymnastics, Footbag and Basketball. Packet pickup was at the Galleria. Participation increased to 15,730.





1994
   Footbag and Archery were added to the State Games of Oregon. The 1994 Games began the tradition of selecting the outstanding female and male athlete of the year. Monique DeBruin, an outstanding fencer and bowler Steve Zeko were selected as the inaugural female and male State Games of Oregon athletes of the year. Opening ceremonies moved to Washington Park's Rose Garden. Sports demonstration included archery and volleyball. Both the Army Band and Kell's Irish bagpipe band performed. Olympian Alberto Salazar along with members of the 1984 Olympic Torch Relay Team, Margaret Cramer, Paul Edens and Mike Stepan, carried the torch from NIKETOWN to Rose Garden. Alberto Salazar lighted the cauldron and the Games were officially opened by former Governor Atiyeh. Participation hovered near 16,000.

1995
   The State Games of Oregon celebrated its 10th anniversary. Sports added were Roller Hockey and Trap Shooting. Dr. Ed Thomas, masters swimmer, the State Games oldest competitor, passed away. In his honor the State Games instituted the Ed Thomas award for those who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to fitness through sport. Ed was a world record holder in his age division. Dr. Leroy Walker, President of the USOC, presented a plaque to the State Games of Oregon for again meeting USOC State Games standards. The opening ceremonies were held at the Mt. Hood Community College which featured an invitational mile run competition. Alberto Salazar brought seven NIKE runners in an attempt to break the 4:00 minute mile, a feat which had never occurred before on the MHCC track. Shannon Lamore thrilled the thousands in attendance by running a verified 3:59:97 mile. He was joined by 800 State Games youth athletes in his victory lap. Female and Male Athletes of the Year were Ginger Pierson, masters swimmer and John Keston, masters track athlete. Ginny Turman, a blind bowler from Portland, competed in the State Games and won a bronze medal. Total participation for the 1995 State Games was estimated at 15,500.

1996
   Dimitri Bilozertchev, Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics performed for the MHCC crowd during Opening Ceremonies. The State Games added the sports of Canoeing/Kayaking, Shooting Practical Pistol and Golf for seniors 50+. This was a qualifying year for the National Senior Games to be held in Tucson. Before the State Games, the Olympic torch was passed through Portland. Participation reached a record with 16,234 athletes!! Joel Warner, Astoria golfer and Kimberly Ames, Wilsonville roller blade skater were selected as the male and female State Games of Oregon athletes of the year.

1997
   Opening ceremonies moved to the Tualatin Hills Park And Recreation Athletic Center. Kim Ames speed skated from the NIKE campus with the torch, climbed the stairs and lighted the cauldron. Sports demonstrations featured a speed skating race, softball pitching, footbag and gymnastics.
   Disabled equestrian was added to the State Games. Ginny Turman, our inspirational blind bowler, passed away. In her honor, the Ginny Turman award was inaugurated and will be presented to the most inspirational bowler in the State Games. Some sports events were eliminated. Record numbers of athletes participation in fencing and junior swimming. State Games of Oregon Male and Female athletes of the year were Dr. Larry Scruggs, Portland Bowler and the MAC Synchro Masters (60+) team; Jeanne Steed, Irene Felter, Betsy Austen, Gerry Martin, Jane Moore, Louise Jolly, Jeanne Newmark and Liz Mayer. This is the year qualifying began for the inaugural State Games of America and the National Senior Games. "Learn to Shoot Hood" clinics began in December as a fundraiser for high schools and drew 1,200 young athletes. State Games participation reached 15,500.

1998
   The sports of wrestling, baseball, golf, roller hockey and rhythmic gymnastics and a 5k run/walk were new for this years State Games. Opening Ceremonies offered interactive sports, Burgerville free dinner, Oregon Hot Springs Spa give away, plus vacations to Hawaii, Disneyworld and Las Vegas by Triangle Travel. The torch was handed to a surprised Governor Atiyeh for the honor of lighting the cauldron igniting the flame of the State Games of Oregon, the program he started during his administration. The evening was topped off with dancing to the music of Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts. By the end of Sunday evening some 15,250 athletes had participated in the State Games.
Female and Male Athletes of the 1998 State Games of Oregon were Anita Bigelow, rower and Derek Holeman, a Portland fencer.

1999
   Arm wresting, Cycling-BMX and Pickleball were added to the 1999 State Games. Opening ceremonies were again held at the Tualatin Hills complex. The torch was handed to Bob Wells, Sports Commissioner for Bowling to do the honors of lighting the cauldron's flame. Food for everyone was again provided by Burgerville. Oregon hot Springs Spa provided another great spa for a lucky attendee. Triangle Travel gave away a trip for four to Florida. Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts had everyone dancing at the end. Female and Male State Games of Oregon Athletes of the Year were Jo McCubbins, Archer from Sweet Home, and Bill Cloran, Figure Skater from Salem. Particiaption was estimated to be just over 15,000.

Oregon Amateur Sports Foundation
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Phone: 503.520.1319
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