Badger State Winter Games kick off this weekend - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Badger State Winter Games kick off this weekend


The Badger State Winter Games kick off this weekend.

Organizers say more than a thousand people are already signed up to compete.

The largest winter sports festival in the state will soon be underway.

"Everybody has a passion for their sport," said Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau Director of Sales, Richard Barrett.

Organizers of this year's Badger State Games say more than a dozen events will be featured. From downhill skiing to curling and bowling.

Four new events were added this year including fat bike racing.

"The fat bikes right now have four inch tires some even go up to 5 inches so we run them at a lower tire pressure so it creates more of a surface area so you can ride over snow," said Badger State Games participant, Gary Barden.

Gary Barden is taking part in this year's games for the first time.  He'll compete in the fat bike race.

"The race is just another excuse for us to get on the trail," said Barden.

Barden says he's been training.

"We bike and we train a lot and we're out at Sunnyvale Park, which is the new fat bike course here in town we're out there 3 times a week," said Barden.

He's not the only one preparing.

"We love getting people to come in the doors," said Jackie Kretlow. 

Jackie Kretlow owns Coral Lanes bowling alley in Rothschild.

"Hopefully a lot of bowlers come from across the state coming to bowl and looking for a good time," said Kretlow.

Kretlow says at least 100 bowlers have signed up to compete this weekend.

"Well it brings in a lot of revenue to the area as far as the skiing, the bowling, food and restaurants and hotels," said Kretlow. "It's great for the whole community."

A win win, she says for athletes and businesses. But Barden says it's not all about winning.

"I'm not hoping to win, I'm hoping to finish," said Barden.

Organizers say competitors can still sign up on the Badger State Games website.


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