A new event to central Florida, the Games bring a new level of excitement and energy to Orlando’s already buzzing entertainment scene.
While the pulse-pounding action of the Games is more than enough to lure spectators and viewers, there are also plenty of reasons to cover the Games in the media.
1. The ESPN Great Outdoor Games are the ultimate championship in outdoors sports. The toughest outdoors athletes in the world gather for four days of intense competition with hopes of earning medals, fame, prizes and the glory of being a champion.
2. Five exciting events debut at this year’s Great Outdoor Games! Roaring ATVs, leaping dogs and intense timber action highlight the new sports. Four Wheel Frenzy, Terracross, The Launch, Hot Zone and SuperJack will thrill fans as they take center stage at Disney’s Wide World of Sports ® Complex, July 7-10.
3. Expect more than a few surprises! The competition will be fierce as old favorites defend their titles, and newcomers fight for their chance to achieve Great Outdoor Games victories. Names to watch include: Jeff Skirvin, a first time competitor in Timber; Ryan Hadden, U.S. Army Marksman in the Rifle competition; Josh Deering in Archery; Nancy Kleinhans and Jimmy Dean -- a Sheltland Sheep dog – competing in the Agility competition for small dogs.
4. Olympians compete here! 2004 Olympic skeet team member Shawn Dulohery will make his debut at this year’s Games in the Rifle competition.
5. May the best man or woman win! ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games are one of the few sports championships that pit women against men. In the Sporting Dogs, Archery, Rifle, Shotgun and ATV events, men and women will compete in head to head battles to be named number one in outdoor competition.
6. You can be a part of the action! ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games offers an interactive village that brings everyone closer to the Games. Guests who attend can visit the event’s interactive village and enjoy Dodge and Kawasaki displays, miniature speed climbing poles, a log rolling tank, live entertainment, music and more.
7. Big money! The stakes are huge with over $550,000 up for grabs.
8. These are not your ordinary house dogs! Watch as these dogs fly through the air, glide over the water, leap onto seesaws and weave through an agility course showing amazing athleticism. This year’s Great Outdoor Games showcase five exclusive Sporting Dog events: Big Air, Agility, Superweave, Hot Zone and an all new event -- The Launch.
9. A new world record? It’s possible when Little Morgan and handler Mike Jackson return to the Great Outdoor Games for their 4th straight year of Big Air competition. With gold medal number three on the line, Little Morgan and Jackson will attempt to break the previous record of 26 feet, six inches they set in 2002.
10. Rev your engines! ATV’s join ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games for the first time with some of the best and brightest motor racing stars. 2004 and 2005 Dirt Riot Champion and three-time national event winner John Natalie enters this year’s Games fresh off three straight wins in the Pro MX series and is one of the sports fastest rising talents.
11. Leading all-time medalist J.R. Salzman is pumped about this year’s Games. Salzman has been a part of ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games since its inception at Lake Placid, N.Y., in 2000. Competing in the Timber events, Salzman has earned a total of 12 medals – tied for the all-time lead with David Bolstad of Taumarunui, New Zealand.
12. Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex is a state-of-the-art sports entertainment facility, providing the Great Outdoor Games the very best facility in which to compete and a fan experience that is unparalleled. Spread over 220 acres in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex plays host to more than 170 events each year for professional and amateur athletes in more than 30 sports. It includes nine venues and is home to more than 40 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championships, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp, the Sports Experience interactive area and the All Star Cafe sports-themed restaurant.
13. Central Florida is a great place for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. The Sunshine State offers many outdoor and entertainment activities, including lakes, campgrounds, hunting grounds, the coast, shopping and dining districts.
14. A Sports Emmy? Sounds Good! – Back to Back! For the second year in a row, ESPN Outdoors earned a Sports Emmy for its achievement in Live Audio for coverage of The ESPN Great Outdoor Games.
15. Ready, Aim, Fire! Competitors in both the rifle and shotgun events will experience world-class facilities as they compete at Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Facility. Tenoroc covers 170 acres and has several shooting ranges to accommodate rifles, shotguns, handguns and archery shooting. It also features a fully stocked pro shop, a spacious parking lot and a covered rifle range. The property is three miles northeast of Lakeland and is surrounded by the sprawling 7,300-acre Tenoroc Fish & Wildlife Management Area, which is owned by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Fans can catch the Great Outdoor Games live July 7-10, 2005 at Disney's Wide World of Sports ® Complex and Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Facility. Admission to the 2005 Great Outdoor Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports ® Complex is $5 per person per day, with children 10 and under free. Admission to Tenoroc Shooting Sports and Training Facility is free. Re-entry is allowed each day. Tickets can be purchased on ticketmaster.com through June 26 and purchased at the door the day of the event.
The Games will be aired on ESPN and ABC Sports July 14-17, 2005. For more information visit www.greatoutdoorgames.com.
The ESPN Great Outdoor Games feature top outdoor athletes from around the world and are the ultimate championship of outdoor sports, featuring one-of-a-kind, head-to-head competition in timber and target events, sporting dogs and ATV skills competitions. While entertaining large crowds on site, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games also draw a worldwide television audience on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports.
Since its inception in 2001, ESPN Outdoors has strived to inform and entertain anglers, hunters, campers and people of all ages who enjoy the outdoors. ESPN Outdoors is committed to increasing awareness of outdoor activities, a direction best exemplified by daily television programming totaling nearly 1,000 hours annually on ESPN and ESPN2.
Each year, ESPN Outdoors stages more than 30 marquee events including the CITGO Bassmaster Classic and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. ESPN Outdoors comprises BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing that sanctions more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation. ESPN Outdoors also features Bassmaster.com, ESPNOutdoors.com, a weekly outdoors show on ESPN Radio as well as a growing array of promotions and activities that deliver a clear message of conservation and ethical sportsmanship.
For more information, contact Kim Jessup, ESPN Communications at (407) 566-2175.