"Everybody wants to win, especially the gold medal."
WAUSAU (WAOW) -- The Badger State Games are underway this weekend. There were six events around the Wausau area today.
"I'm here for Badger State racing," said Mitchel VanWagner, who lives in Rothschild. "I'm doing alpine skiing."
"We have numerous volunteers here today and a great bunch of athletes," said Badger State Games alpine skiing commissioner Jeff Tobin. "People registered from Illinois, over by Minneapolis, St. Paul area and all over the state of Wisconsin. Approximately 100. Registration is actually up from last year."
"I haven't raced this year because DC Everest doesn't have a ski team anymore so I'm ready to race for the first time and finish," said VanWagner.
"We've got just the best venue here in the Midwest for racing and skiing," said Tobin. "Granite Peak goes out of its way to help the Badger State Games be a community-involved event."
"It's just the best feeling ever," said VanWagner. "It's like you're free like you don't have anything to do. Just move your skis back and forth and go through the course."
"We have kids as young as eight and nine years old that start curling and we have people as old as 88 that are currently in our club," said Terri Fisher, who participated in curling events. "I have my two kids here, my grandchildren are here, old friends, new friends, my husband. Everybody wants to win, especially the gold medal."
"I felt like bowling," said Kris Rheinschmidt, who lives in Mosinee. He competed in the bowling competition. "I haven't bowled in a couple of years, thought I'd see how I could do. It's just fun and there seems to be a lot of the same people, year in and year out bowling. I recognize a lot of people from every year that I've bowled."
This is the first year the games are entirely run by the Wausau Visitors and Convention Bureau. In October, the organization paid $15,000 for the brand. But officials have had to cut back. This year there are fewer events -- and no opening ceremonies.