BILLINGS – World record-setting long jumper Mike Powell will be the special guest at this summer’s Big Sky State Games, the organization announced on Thursday.
Opening ceremonies for the 33rd annual games are set for Friday, July 20, at Daylis Stadium in Billings. Powell will speak and light the torch during Opening Ceremonies at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings.
Powell is a two-time Olympic silver medalist, earning medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 1992 Barcelona Games. He set the world record at the 1991 Track and Field World Championships in Tokyo leaping 8.95 meters (29ft. 4 ¼ in.) to break Bob Beaman’s record of nearly 23 years. Powell’s record still stands.
Powell was one of the most consistent long jumpers of his era winning 34 straight. He is the fourth athlete since 1900 to hold the long jump world record for over 20 years. Powell’s victory over Carl Lewis to set the world record helped earn the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award in 1991. Powell was the 1990 World Indoor Long Jump Champion and the 1991 and 1993 World Outdoor Long Jump Champion.
While in Billings, Powell will coach long jump events at the World Record Track & Field Camp on Friday, July 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at West High School. Other Track & Field Camp coaches include Willie Banks (three-time Olympian and World Record Triple Jumper), Dick Fosbury (Olympic Gold medalist -high jump), Tom Pukstys (American record holder and two-time Olympian – Javelin), Byron Robinson (400m Olympic hurdler at the Rio Games), Gregg Simmons (speed and performance specialist for elite, pro, collegiate, and youth), and Dave Nielsen (Eastern Washington Jumps Coach and former Idaho State University head coach) who also coached Olympic pole vault champion Stacy Dragila.
State Games participants who present their tickets will be admitted free to Opening Ceremonies. For all others, tickets are $5, with children under 6 are admitted free.