Local kids compete, have fun on Olympic Day

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RENO, Nev., (KOLO) It was just Foster Field at Reno High School,, but for a few hours Friday it felt a little like the Olympics.

Olympic gold medalist with local kids on International Olympic Day

Eleven hundred kids from area Boys and Girls Clubs gathered to compete and have fun in track and field sports as well as lacross, dodge ball, even curling.

It was International Olympic Day and the event had some of the trappings of the real thing, including a torch-lighting ceremony, medals and even an authentic Olympic hero, 1968 long jump gold medalist Bob Beamon, who mixed with the young ahtletes, posed for pictures and did a little coaching.

Everyone was having a good time.

"This a great place for a day of enjoying physical fitness," Beamon told us. "And to just to be healthy and enjoy what it means to at least have a sound body and a sound mind."

The whole event, in fact, was aimed at promoting the core values of the Olympic movement.

Beamon says he spends much of his time these days at events like this and he's an ideal role model for young athletes.

His jump of 29 feet, two and a half inches in Mexico City still stands as an Olympic record nearly a half century later and is considered one of the great moments in Olympic history.

As a line of kids marked off the length of that incredible feat, he encouraged those who raised their hands when asked if they thought they could best it.

He noted that he started out like this and considered the possibility that someone in the crowd might grow up to challenge his accomplishments.

"I think they looked very good," he said with a smile. "I think that there's all kinds of possibilities. You never know."

The event was sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club and the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, which hopes one day to bring the winter Olympics back to our area.