Opening Ceremonies

35th Annual Opening Ceremonies

No matter where you finish, Opening Ceremonies is the place to start! The Friday, July 17, 2020 Opening Ceremonies of the 35th Annual Big Sky State Games, sponsored by Wendy’s, will be a colorful evening packed with exciting family entertainment!

Gates Open at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium (Third & Grand) in Billings at 6:00pm.

2020 Torch Lighter:Sam Schultz

Olympic and former World Cup mountain bike racer Sam Schultz will be the special guest athlete of the 35th Annual Big Sky State Games Opening Ceremonies Friday, July 17th at Wendy’s Field at Daylis Stadium in Billings. The 2012 London Olympic Games participant will speak and light the Big Sky State Games caldron, officially kicking off Montana’s 2020 State Games. State Games Opening Ceremonies festivities will be live-streamed and include the Montana Mile and Torch Lighting with limited spectators.

Schultz grew up in Missoula, MT. His racing career began at a young age as a family affair, being inspired by his uncle and competing regionally along with his brother. National success propelled Schultz onto the U.S. Cycling XCO U-23 development team and a spot on the Subaru/Trek World Cup Cycling Team. After three-years of competing on the World Cup Tour, Schultz won the 2012 XCO National Championship, landing himself a position on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Inspired by a large contingent of family and friends, Schultz finished 15th at the 2012 London Olympic Games, It is an experience he highly cherishes. Sam enjoys still being active in the sport as an ambassador for Rocky Mountain Bikes and 7 Mesh Clothing

After experiencing some injury set-backs in 2013-2014, including two back surgeries, Schultz still competes periodically while focusing on mentoring and building up his Montana Interscholastic Cycling League. M.I.C.A. began in 2017 as a means of promoting mountain biking with an assembly of instructor led, local teams featuring low-key competitive racing. M.I.C.A. currently carries eight teams throughout the state with over 315 riders. Sam hopes to build off this early success to propel cycling in Montana to national recognition, keeping in mind relaxation and fun for the riders is fundamental to their success; “Remembering to keep it fun is incredibly important,” Schultz recognizes. “I have discovered that the more fun I have the faster I ride. I’m not sure how that exactly works out, but I am not going to argue with it.”

Schultz will be offering a clinic on Friday, July 17 at Acton Recreational Area for riders 18 years of age and under.
See the Big Sky State Games Cycling page for more information.

Fun for the Whole Family

Gates open at 6 p.m., with the ceremony starting at 7 p.m. There will be no Parade of Athletes or festival this year and social distancing, as well as other COVID-19 guidelines, will be enforced. Admission is free for all, but donations are greatly appreciated! Participating athletes will be able to pick up their commemorative t-shirts at their event site, whenever their event takes place!

Thank you for sticking with us this year. We are looking forward to a great weekend!

Mark Your Calendar
  • Friday, July 17th
  • Gates Open at 6:00pm
  • Admission is free for all but donations are greatly appreciated