Hundreds of young athletes from around the country descend upon Milwaukee for the US Youth Games. USYG General Manager Russell Thomas says the event was started in the early 70’s by then Mayor of New York John Lindsay as way for inner city youngsters to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the country.
This is the first time a Midwestern city is hosting the games. Milwaukee became the 2010 host after the national committee visited last year and “fell in love” with the city according to Thomas.
Thomas says youngsters 15-and-under from six cities are participating in ten sports. More than 600 youth athletes, coaches and chaperons are involved in the four-day Olympic-style event. Milwaukee Public Schools, an organizer of the games, is where many of the competitions will take place including an academic bowl.
Attending the games, which end July 17, is free. Updates can be found on the USYG blog.