Friday, May 31, 2013

Gov. Nixon announces launch of 100 Missouri Miles Challenge at Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games


May 31, 2013
(Official Press Release Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's Office)
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon joined thousands of athletes, coaches and families at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games in Columbia today to launch the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. The new initiative encourages Missourians to complete "100 Missouri Miles" of physical activity by the end of the year, while enjoying the incredible outdoor resources found in the Show-Me State. Missourians taking the challenge can register online at www.100MissouriMiles.com, and track their progress alongside the Governor's and First Lady's. Missourians can also connect with the challenge through Facebook and Twitter.
Gov. Jay Nixon joined thousands of athletes, coaches and families at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games in Columbia today to launch the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge.
Gov. Jay Nixon joined thousands of athletes, coaches and families at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games in Columbia today to launch the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge.
"From neighborhood greenways to backcountry hiking trails, Missouri's nationally-recognized trails can accommodate a wide variety of activities for all ages, interests and ability levels," Gov. Nixon said. "Because this initiative is all about bringing people together for healthy competition and outdoor physical activity, tonight's opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics Summer Games is the perfect place to kick things off.  Whether you run, walk, bike, paddle or roll, I encourage all Missourians to join me and the First Lady as we explore 100 Missouri miles of trails this year."
Missouri was recently named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting our nation's hiking, biking and riding trails. The national award is presented every two years to the state with the most innovative and successful trail sharing efforts, programs, and systems.
"With more than 16,500 athletes across Missouri, Special Olympics works year round to increase physical fitness for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, build communities and improve our athlete's overall health, saidMark Musso, President and CEO of Special Olympics Missouri. "We are proud to help launch the Governor's 100 Miles Challenge as a way to highlight our state's beautiful outdoors and the benefits of staying healthy and active."
Earlier this year, Gov. Nixon announced that attendance at Missouri's State Parks increased in 2012, another sign of Missouri's economic recovery. More that 18 million guests visited Missouri's State Parks in 2012, the fourth consecutive increase in attendance since Gov. Nixon took office, reversing a 10-year decline.
Missouri trails and state parks are also important drivers of tourism and economic activity. A recent economic impact study found that visitors to state parks produced an overall economic impact of $1.02 billion and supported more than 14,000 Missouri jobs.  Another study found that the Katy Trail alone generates nearly $18.5 million a year in economic impact for the state, supports 367 jobs, and makes an overall economic impact of $8.2 million to the local trail communities.
The Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge is a partnership with the Missouri State Parks, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Missouri Division of Tourism.
To take the Governor's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge, sign up at www.100MissouriMiles.com 
About the Special Olympics: The Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.  The State Summer Games will bring together than 2,500 athletes and coaches, along with family and friends from across Missouri.

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