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A Fun Fact About
In 2011, the Badger State Games of Wisconsin were purchased as an initiative of the Sports Authority, a branch of the Wausau-Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitor's Bureau. This multi-sport Olympic-style sports festival is open to all residents of Wisconsin but takes place solely in the Wausau region. The State Games of Wisconsin is officially recognized as a United States Olympic Committee State Games Program Participant and is part of a nationwide network of State Games of America (www.stategames.org) and the State Games Movement as part of the National Congress of State Games. In 2015, there were nearly 3,000 participants and close to 6,000 visitors from across the country.
One of the key reasons Wausau was able to obtain the Badger State Games is because it has learned to take advantage of the many unique recreational features in the region. During winter, Wausau not only features Sylvan Hill, the longest tubing hill in the state, but also has access to Granite Peak,the highest ski hill in the state. There are over 800 miles of snowmobiling trails as well as multiple bodies of water that host world-renowned ice fishing championships and "Polar Plunge" charity events every year. Indoor curling at the largest dedicated curling facility in the nation is also a huge draw.
During summer, numerous water-based sports make the area teem with activity, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing and boating. There are large cycling groups, various 5k runs and numerous team sports events. To support these activities, Wausau recently supported development of a new 15-field sports complex and also opened an international championship kayaking run. In addition, it participated with Marathon County to develop a bike/pedestrian trail that is over 100 miles long. Altogether, Wausau was ideally situated to make the Badger State Games thrive.