WAUSAU (WAOW) -- The Badger State Games wrapped up this weekend. They looked a little different this year. And organizers may make even more changes for next year.
The Badger State Games have been a Wisconsin staple since 1985. Athletes come from around Wisconsin and other nearby states -- trying their hand at the Olympic-style competition. But this year's games looked a little different after Wausau's Visitors and Convention Bureau bought the rights to the games.
"We know the facilities and many of the returning commissioners and the local organizations," said Badger State Games executive director Darien Schaefer. "They really know how to put on these great events and so if we didn't have them, it wouldn't have been possible.
The number of events was down from last year. And the games' organizers had to deal with some challenges that were out of their hands.
"We had that warm weather that concerned some folks," said Schaefer. "Especially down south, they have no snow and they're not sure how we could possibly do it but those athletes that came had a great experience."
About 1,400 athletes battled for medals in this year's games. And there may be more opportunities to do that in 2013. Organizers said they want to bring back some of the old events -- and start some new ones.
"Now we've got a full year of planning and there's a number of things that we know we can do that will help us build participation," said Schaefer. "And because it's our 25th anniversary, we want to do some special things next year."
Schaefer said he wants to add hockey, snow shoe racing, snowboarding and ski jumping to the lineup next year.
"Badger State Games has always been a Wisconsin tradition and we want to make sure that we continue that tradition of great events and great facilities," said Schaefer.
The visitors' bureau also bought the rights to the summer Badger State Games. Organizers said many of those events will be held in Wausau this June.