Olympic bronze medal winner Marti Malloy will be the special guest athlete of the 34th Annual Big Sky State Games opening ceremonies Friday, July 19, at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings.
The two-time judo Olympian will speak and light the Big Sky State Games cauldron, officially kicking off Montana’s 2019 State Games.
Malloy won USA Judo’s second ever Olympic medal by an American female in 2012. After losing in the last seven seconds of the Olympic semifinal, Malloy, a first-time Olympian, came back with a powerful throw to beat the reigning Olympic champion who was ranked No. 2 in the world, capturing the bronze medal in the women’s judo 57 kg class.
“It’s the hardest thing in the world to come back,” Malloy said. “You want to be mad and angry and upset, but my coach pulled me aside and said, ‘You came here to win. You lost a close match and if you really want to win you’re going to totally change your mindset and come back and focus on the bronze.” Malloy is a 2016 Grand Prix Cancun and 2017 Grand Prix Havana Gold Medalist and a bronze medal winner at the 2017 Pan American Senior Championships.
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During the Big Sky State Games weekend Malloy will also conduct a judo clinic on Saturday, July 20 following the State Games taekwondo and judo competition at Huntley Project High School in Warden. For more information on the Clinic call Dave Allen at 406-860-7959.
State Games opening ceremonies festivities include the Soaked Run, climbing wall, family entertainment and games, parade of athletes, Montana Mile, and torch lighting. State Games participants are admitted free with their opening ceremonies tickets. Tickets are $5, children under 6 are free. All military, veterans, law enforcement and first responders will be admitted free with their service ID.
Other Big Sky State Games torch lighters have included long jump medalist Mike Powell, triple-jumper Willie Banks, Bozeman skier Heather McPhie, marathon runner Meb Keflezighi, softball player Dot Richardson, and four-time gold medalist Olga Korbut.
For more information go to bigskygames.org or call 406-254-7426.