It's not the decathlon competition but it's about as close as a Rim country youngster can get to the Olympic experience.
The local version of the nationwide Junior Goodwill Games tips off at 10 a.m. today, Tuesday, at Payson High School with the track and field competition. At 11 a.m., Goodwill game action shifts to Rim Country Middle School gymnasium and the traditional basketball shoot-out.
The games wrap up at 2 p.m. in Taylor Pool with swimming competition.
Hosted by the Town Parks and Recreation Department, the Goodwill Games are open to both boys and girls ages eight to 13 years. There is no registration or entry fee.
A pre-registration was held at the P & R offices last week, however, youngsters who missed the chance can sign up at the recreation center at Rim Country Middle School prior to the event.
Once the competition begins, Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider and her staff will place the entrants in one of six age/sex groups to insure equal opportunity for all.
Those groups include 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13 years for both boys and girls.
In the track and field competition, the youngsters will be tested on their running, jumping and throwing abilities.
Basketball involves 60 seconds of shooting from seven pre-selected locations of the gym floor. More difficult shots are awarded more points. The youngster who scores the most points during the time period is declared the winner.
In swimming, the youngster will be timed in a 25-yard freestyle event.
Participants have the option to compete in one, two or all three events.
Based on total scores for all three events, the first-, second- and third-place winners from Payson will be eligible to advance to a Junior Goodwill Games sectional competition July 17 at Cactus High School in Glendale.
Roughly 50 sectional competitions will be held nationwide. Participants who win their section competition become eligible for the National Finals to be held this summer in Atlanta, Ga.
The Goodwill Games are a multi-sport international event that has taken place every four years since 1986. The first Winter Goodwill Games will take place in Lake Placid, New York, Feb. 17 through 20, 2000. The 2001 Summer Goodwill Games are scheduled for 12 days in September and October in Brisbane, Australia.