By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
Carthage resident Dave McCoy had a simple dream.
A longtime participant in the senior games, he wanted to make the event a family affair.
McCoy’s kids abided. His wife Betty and children, Deb Morgan, Karen Maynard, David Keith McCoy, Mike McCoy, Cheryl Bryant and son-in-law Jeff Bryant all attended the 2013 Missouri State Senior Games earlier this month in Columbia. Each of his children agreed to compete in at least one event.
“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and I started radiation treatments just before Christmas,” said McCoy, who is 81 years old. My family knows how I love the senior games and everything, so they gave me a certificate for my Christmas present that all my children would be in Columbia for the senior games and participate.
“A lot of people have a bucket list. This was right at the top of my bucket list — for all my children to be there and to participate. All these years I’ve been going and going, and so to have them there and to participate at least one time was just overwhelming and unbelievable.”
McCoy attended the Torch Run Ceremony on Wednesday at Cunningham Park in Joplin to help promote the 2013 Show-Me State Games, which will be from July 19-21 and July 26-28 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. McCoy, who is now in good health, said he plans to compete again.
“I’m doing fine,” McCoy said. “I’m already signed up for the Show-Me State Games.”
Show-Me State Games associate director Dave Fox said McCoy is a perfect example of what the event tries to promote — health, fitness, family and fun.
Last year, nearly 28,000 people like the McCoy family attended the Show-Me State and senior games. Fox said it is the largest amateur athletic sporting event in the United States. This will be the Show-Me State Games’ 29th year.
The event offers more than 40 sports, including such team competitions as soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Popular individual events include wrestling, gymnastics and track and field. Among the unique offerings is pickleball, a combination of tennis and table tennis.
“Over the years, we’ve grown in sports,” Fox said. “Our mission is to provide opportunities for all Missourians. When you have 40 sports, you enhance that opportunity because you have so many things to do.”
Fox, city officials and competitors gathered at Cunningham Park as the torch travels across Missouri. The Olympic-style torch started Tuesday in Springfield. It will eventually make its way to Lee’s Summit, St. Charles and Jefferson City before reaching Columbia on July 19.
Participants can register for the games until July 1. More information can be found at www.smsg.org.
Fox said the Show-Me State Games are a great way to promote fitness in Missouri.
“We were created by the governor’s council in health and physical fitness years ago,” he said. “So naturally that came down to our mission statement and what we want for the games. Part of that is the family fun aspect. Working out can be very difficult at times. To be able to have the sport events we have and go for the gold. There’s something you’re striving for.”