UPDATE: 2020 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games Set to Take Place Across Brevard
By Space Coast Daily // June 14, 2020
AAU Junior Olympic Game largest national multi-sport event for youth in U.S.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Brevard County to make the official announcement that the 2020 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games will take place all across the Space Coast for two weeks in late July and early August.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – What seemed impossible just a few weeks ago was confirmed as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Brevard County on June 11 to make an official announcement that the 2020 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games will take place all across the Space Coast for two weeks in late July and early August.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States and has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program.
Recent hosts include Des Moines, Iowa; Greensboro, North Carolina; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Houston, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.
Gov. DeSantis made the announcement during a press conference in the gym at Viera Regional Park.
The Space Coast Tourism Development Council unanimously approved a proposal to host the Junior Olympic Games in late July and early August Brevard County commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the funding proposal after hearing the projected economic impact of the event for Brevard could be in excess of $8 million.
On May 22, Gov. DeSantis ended restrictions on youth activities throughout the state, saying “we believe that this makes sense based on the data and observed experience.”
This will be the second time the Space Coast has hosted the AAU Junior Olympics since 1994, though this year’s version will likely be a majorly scaled-back version of previous iterations of the meet.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that we’re getting this opportunity,” said Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Peter Cranis.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are the pinnacle competitions held annually by the AAU and the opportunity became available after Hampton Roads, Virginia lost the needed facilities because the local university there was unable to provide the facilities due to COVID-19 concerns.
“This will be a tremendous lift for Brevard’s tourism industry as we come to the rescue to save the event for the kids,” said Rusty Buchanan, First Vice President of the AAU and a resident of Cocoa Beach.
The 54th installment of the Games will take place at venues across the county and is projected to attract up to 3,000 athletes from all over the nation, along with their coaches, family members and hundreds of volunteers.
The AAU, founded in 1888, is one of the largest, non-profit multi-sport amateur sports organizations in the world.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States. It has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program.
“We’re honored to be hosting the Junior Olympic Games for the second time and we’d like to thank Rusty Buchanan for finding a way to keep the games alive during these incredibly challenging times this year,” said Brevard County Tourism Development Council Chair Giles Malone.
“The games are vitally important for the continued development of our nation’s student-athletes and the major economic impact from the games, benefitting the Space Coast, comes at a critical time.”
The AAU is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs.
Although the exact sports lineup is yet to be finalized, Junior Olympic Games sports include diving and swimming, track & field, cross country, baseball, baton twirling, basketball, beach volleyball, bodybuilding, bowling, cheerleading, dance/drill, equestrian, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, inline hockey, judo, jump rope, karate, lacrosse, powerlifting, indoor soccer, roller derby, softball, sport stacking, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.
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