COLUMBIA – This summer, 20,501 athletes took part in the Show-Me State Games Olympic-style sports festival. Throughout the year, 28,896 athletes competed in year-round GAMES festivities, many taking home gold, silver and bronze medals.
Annually, only two athletes receive the Games highest honor – Missouri Lottery Male and Female Athlete of the Year. The Show-Me State Games is pleased to announce Max Starkloff II and Wendy Hatlestad are the 2018 Missouri Lottery Athletes of the Year. Max Starkloff II, Affton, won a gold medal in the 8 & under age group at age six in his weight class for wrestling. Max is a fighter both on and off the wrestling mat and has been wresting for three years and has already placed in numerous state and national wresting tournaments. Wendy Hatlestad, Kansas City, helped lead her volleyball team to a gold medal in the women’s division, not dropping a set all day in a very competitive field full of future, current and past college volleyball players.
The Show-Me State Games has been recognizing a male and female athlete of the year since 1994. The criteria for selection of the Athlete of the Year award includes attitude and effort, the representation of the spirit of amateur athletics and the State Games movement, and overall athletic participation and achievement.
In addition to Athletes of the Year, the Show-Me State Games also recognizes a Missouri Lottery Male and Female Sportsperson of the Year.
The purpose of the Sportsmanship Award Program is to encourage and promote the principle of good sportsmanship by recognizing athletes who embody this principle. The 2018 honorees are Kate Ryan and Bradyn Garner. Kate Ryan, Columbia, won a gold medal in both the 12-under girls golf tournament and the parent/child golf event. She kept a smile on her face all day and had a great attitude throughout the entire tournament. Bradyn Garner, Jacksonville, participated in his first 3D archery competition this past summer and was one of the youngest competitors in the tournament. He had a great attitude throughout the event and was excited just to be there and ended up winning a gold medal.
The 2018 Missouri Lottery Athletes of the Year and Sportspersons of the Year will be recognized on October 20 before the Missouri vs. Memphis Homecoming football game.