This weekend was the most active three days of the annual Sunshine State Games calendar with 16 sports taking place in four Florida communities. The Sunshine State Games weekend has been designated as “Olympic Day,” in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee.

Twenty-three rowing clubs gathered at the Clermont Boat House on the shores of Lake Minneola on Saturday, May 17, to compete in the 2017 Sunshine State Rowing competitions. 

A total of 58 races began at 8:30 a.m.  Of the 23 clubs that participated, 16 won gold medals.  The leading gold medal club was the Gainesville Rowing Association with 13, Sarasota Scullers with 8 and Miami Beach Rowing Club with 5 gold medals.

 The Lake County Rowing Association had two rowers run in three races.  They both were in 1X 50+ women and they were in a 2X race together.  Billie Brown won a bronze medal in the 1X Race and teamed with Debra Kamrad for a silver medal in the 2X race.

While Olympic Day is celebrated globally on June 23 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on June 23, 1894, the Sunshine State Games celebrated the mission of Olympic Day during the 16 events held.  The mission is to promote the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect – and the three Olympic Day pillars – move, learn and discover – around the world.

“The weekend of Sunshine State Games events is one of the highlights of the amateur sports year in Florida,” said FSF Sr. Vice President Stephen Rodriguez.  “Being able to celebrate it with 16 sports and recognizing Olympic Day and the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship just adds to the festivities.”

The largest congregation of Florida amateur athletes were in the Palm Beach County Festival where 10 sports were contested.  The Treasure Coast Festival featured four sports while the SSG Rowing Championships were in Clermont and the Table Tennis Championships were played in Lakeland.

The Palm Beach County Convention Center was the hub for amateur sports competition as the downtown West Palm Beach facility hosted Baton Twirling, Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Powerlifting, Taekwondo and Weightlifting.  Also taking place in the Palm Beach Festival was Archery at Gold Coast Archers in Delray Beach and Ultimate at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

The Treasure Coast Festival, held in Martin & St. Lucie Counties, featured Racquetball at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center, Sailing – Laser Regatta at the U.S. Sailing Center Martin County in Jensen Beach, Synchronized Swimming at the Sailfish Splash Water Park in Stuart and Track & Field at Sebastian River High School.