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Sunshine State Games Features Four Sports In Polk County This Weekend

The focus of the 2022 Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon, shifts to Polk County this weekend, with four sports being contested in Central Florida.

The AdventHealth Field House hosts Judo and Taekwondo, with Judo on Saturday only and Taekwondo on Saturday and Sunday. It’s the first time, the AdventHealth Field House, that opened in January, 2020, has hosted a Sunshine State Games event.

Highlighting the June 17-19 Sunshine State Game, presented by Amazon, Weekend

2021 Sunshine State Games Athlete of the Year to be Honored
Golfer Dick Cheney, of Winter Haven, will be awarded his 2021 Sunshine State Games Male Athlete of the Year on Saturday morning, at the Cleveland Heights Golf Course.

Cheney became the first 90+ year old Sunshine State Games athlete last year, when he shot a 98 to win the gold medal in the 90-94 age group. That performance was a qualifier for the 2021 Florida Senior Games, where he won another gold medal with a nine-hole score of 47.

He will be back on the course Saturday at Cleveland Heights, competing once again in the 90-94 age group. Cheney joins the Miramar Mermaids Athletes with Disabilities Artistic Swim Team as the 2021 Sunshine State Games Athletes of the Year. The Mermaids Coach, Grasey Noriega, accepted the award, on Saturday, June 4 at the Artistic Swimming competition, held at Gandy Pool, in Lakeland.

Taekwondo Family on the Mats at AdventHealth Field House
While scrolling through the athlete database of more than 250 Taekwondo athletes, there are plenty of the same last names. It’s a sport where brothers and sisters are often in the same program.

What’s not often found is a whole family registered to compete, but that’s the case with the St. Petersburg Glinsboeckel family.

Mom and Dad, Eric and Johanna, have registered to compete with their 11-year old twin sons, Julian and Ethan.

Eric began competing in Taekwondo when he moved to the U.S., from Germany, in 1987. He continued through 1997, “when life started getting in the way.”

Julian and Ethan have been involved in Taekwondo for over five years and have achieved black belt status along with their dad. It’s mom, Johanna, who is the newcomer of the family.

“She’s just started about six months ago,” Eric said. “She used to compete in Karate and decided to join the rest of us. She’s getting there and is now a green belt.”

The Glinsboeckel’s mostly compete in local tournaments and within the state, but recently ventured to Las Vegas for the U.S. National Tournament.

“It’s something that’s a lot of fun to do with the boys,” Eric said. “They get to see mom and dad competing also.”

Ultimate Returns to Plantation Sports Complex in Fleming Island
In the first of two weekends of Ultimate in Clay County, it was the Weird team earning the gold medal. While officially listed as from Pensacola, Weird had a collection of players from various Florida cities including Tallahassee and West Palm Beach.

After winning three games in pool play on Saturday, Weird won a semi-final bracket game against the Jacksonville Jackpot, 8-7, and followed with a 10-8 win over B-Unit, from Gainesville, for the gold medal.

The second weekend of Ultimate features seven teams competing in the Men’s Division. The gold-medal winning El Nino team, from Oakland Park, returns to defend its championship from 2021. El Nino was undefeated in five games at the 2021 Sunshine State Games.

The Ultimate schedule for June 18 and 19 can be found at www.sunshinestategames/ultimate

Table Tennis and Judo Return to the Games
For the first time since 2019, Judo and Table Tennis will be held in the Polk County Festival.

Judo begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning, at the AdventHealth Field House, in Winter Haven. Table Tennis will be played at the Simpson Park Community Center on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 9:00 a.m., with athlete check in beginning at 8:30 a.m.

After playing Pickleball last weekend in Green Cove Springs, Teri Jordan, of Bradenton, will be playing with another kind of paddle at Table Tennis.

While most table tennis athletes are of adult ages, 13-year old Steven Eliass, of Oviedo, is competing in four 2000+ levels and the Men’s Open. Eliass won the 13 and under division at the 2022 U.S. Table Tennis Association Southeast Regional Qualifier, in late May, at the Broward Table Tennis Club, in Hollywood. He took second place in the 15 and under division and advanced to the quarterfinals in the Men’s Open. With the performance, he qualified for the U.S. Table Tennis National Championships, in Fort Worth, Texas, in July.

Onsite Registration Available for Judo and Taekwondo
For those athletes waiting until the last minute to register, onsite registration is available for Judo and Taekwondo events. Judo athletes can register on Friday at the Holiday Inn Winter Haven between 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., during the weigh-ins. Taekwondo onsite registration is available on Friday from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the AdventHealth Field House.

Registration continues for Fencing, the Water Polo Championships and the International Beach Games. Athletes can visit the individual sports pages on www.sunshinestategames.com for competition and registration information or go to the blue “Register Now,” button on the top right corner of the website, to go directly to the registration website.

Through last weekend’s schedule of events, 12 sports have been held, since February, with over 6,000 athletes in action.

Results from previous competitions, dating back to the AAU Volleyball Tournament in February through last weekend’s events in Alachua, Clay and Polk counties are updated at www.sunshinestategames.com/results.

Upcoming 2022 Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon
Calendar of Events

All Sports, Dates and Locations Subject to Change

June 18-19, 2022
Judo, AdventHealth Field House & Conference Center, Winter Haven – Onsite Registration Available, Friday, June 17 during weigh-ins at Holiday Inn Winter Haven, 4:00- 7:00 p.m.
Taekwondo, AdventHealth Field House & Conference Center, Winter Haven – Onsite Registration Available, Friday, June 17, from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the AdventHealth Field House.
Table Tennis, Simpson Park Community Center, Lakeland – Check in begins at 8:30 a.m., competition begins at 9:00 a.m.
Ultimate, Men’s Division, Plantation Sports Complex, Fleming Island – Games begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday

June 18, 2022
Golf, Cleveland Heights Golf Course, Lakeland – Tee Times begin at 7:52 a.m.

June 24-26, 2022
Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championship, Coral Springs Aquatic Center and Boca Raton High School – Registration Deadline, Friday, June 17

June 25, 2022
Sunshine State Games Powerlifting, Lift District Fitness, Margate – Registration is Closed

June 25 & 26, 2022
Fencing, Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, Alachua, Registration Deadline is June 22.

August 12-14, 2022
International Beach Games, Panama City Beach

The Sunshine State Games, presented by Amazon, are an annual presentation of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. The Games are held in conjunction with local partners that include, Central Florida’s Polk County Sports Marketing, Clay County Tourism, the Gainesville Sports Commission and Visit Lauderdale. Now in its 43rd year, the Sunshine State Games are the longest continuously-running State Games in the U.S.