Highmark Blue Shield Set To Sponsor 2013 State Games Of America
July 29, 2013
Harrisburg, Pa. - Since 1999, the State Games of America have held a biennial Olympic-style competition to find top athletes across the country to compete in sporting events ranging from track and field, archery, gymnastics, figure skating, wrestling and table tennis. This year, from Wednesday, July 31 through Sunday, Aug. 4, state qualifying medalists and their families from 45 states will meet in central Pennsylvania to prove they are the best in their sport.
"Highmark Blue Shield is proud to sponsor the 2013 State Games of America, whose mission is to support and encourage physical activity for people of all ages," said Kelly Lieblein, regional vice president of Highmark Blue Shield. "As the region's leading health insurer, we are committed to ensuring that individuals living in our local communities are healthy and physically active, especially our children. That is why this partnership is a natural fit."
The State Games of America is a highlight for athletes across the country, but for one local athlete, the 2013 games are a way to reconnect with his inner athlete.
Joe Robuccio, application developer for Highmark Health Services, will be competing in the wrestling competition on Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Farm Show Expo Hall in Harrisburg. This will be his first time competing in a tournament since 2007, but that doesn't mean he's inexperienced. Wrestling has been a part of his life for many years, having won tournament medals throughout his four years at Lancaster Catholic High School. After graduation, Joe continued to wrestle while attending Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, however, he stopped training for competitions and put academics first. Once Joe heard the State Games of America were coming to central Pennsylvania, he jumped at the chance to get back on the mat and compete. Joe has been training daily the in the Highmark health center to prepare for the match.
"We are blessed to have a partner like Highmark Blue Shield which understands the importance of hosting this national youth athletic family event," said Mary Smith, president of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau. "Through its generous platinum sponsorship, we have been able to attract more than 8,000 athletes and their families to the Hershey Harrisburg region from across America. This is a great opportunity to showcase our regional assets and roll out a red carpet that will have significant impact on our region's tourism business and our economy."
On Friday, Aug. 2, the 2013 State Games of America will welcome athletes and their families to the GIANT Center in Hershey for the opening ceremony. Festivities will include the traditional parade of athletes, torch presentation, cauldron lighting and a special performance by former X-Factor group, Fifth Harmony. In addition, the opening ceremony speaker will be Hyleas Fountain, Harrisburg Central Dauphin East High School alumni and 2008 Beijing Olympics heptathlon silver medalist.
The State Games of America (SGA)
The State Games of America is a biennial Olympic-style event featuring competition between State Games medal winners (gold, silver, bronze) from across the nation. There are currently 45 states conducting or organizing statewide sports festivals known as State Games. Medal winners from State Games programs in 2011 and 2012, as well as medal winners from the 2011 State Games of America in San Diego, are eligible to compete in the Hershey Harrisburg region in 2013. This year marks the 8th year for the State Games of America, which returns to the East Coast for just the second time in the event's history. The sports event will be managed by the Keystone State Games, while opening ceremonies and visitors' needs will be handled by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau.
About Highmark Blue Shield
Highmark Blue Shield serves approximately 1.1 million members through the company's health care benefits business and employs nearly 4,000 people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.