Cleveland opens National Senior Games with Torch lighting on Mall B

CLEVELAND - With the exception of a brief five minute shower the opening night festivities for the National Senior Games went off without a hitch.

The crowd that gathered for the first major event on the newly rebuilt Mall B, was a mix of game participants and locals drawn to hear the music of the featured performers Rusted Root or the evening's finale fireworks. 

"What a great way to celebrate Cleveland," Positively Cleveland President David Gilbert who played an instrumental role in luring the games which were awarded to Cleveland in October of 2011 over 20 other cities.

The games which feature close to 11, 000 athletes are made up of over 19 sports that are being hosted through August 1 at 20 different venues around Northeast Ohio.

"The first day has gone almost flawlessly," said Gilbert. "The convention center's operating great, the first people who have registered we have heard nothing but great comments already about the organization,  about the city."

As impressive as Friday's show was Gilbert reminded that it was really just the beginning so far as the impact the athletes will have on Northeast Ohio.

"We only have today about 600 registered athletes but you just already feel the buzz and now as everyday goes on it's going to get better and better and better," he said. "By late next week there are some days where will have all in one day 6-7,000 athletes that will all be doing their thing in the same day."

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