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41st Simplot games draws teams from over seas

The 41st annual Simplot games wrapped up day two of events in Holt Arena.

The games draw a good crowd of athletes from Idaho, but there are also a good number of athletes from overseas.

More than 2,000 athletes are running, jumping and throwing their way, perhaps to the Olympics.

“It’s such a cool experience to know people, other competitors who one day might be Olympians, so yeah, it’s a good experience,” said one athlete.

The games are credited as the nation’s premiere high school indoor track and field event.

The games attract athletes from across the gem state, and now the world.

“I haven’t met anyone yet, but I’m hoping to, when we’re in the call room,” said another international athlete.

We found a few teams as far away from Idaho as you can get.

Those teams are from New Zealand and Australia.

“It’s just really great here and the atmosphere is insane and so friendly, I just love it,” another international athlete tells Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

For these international athletes, even the ones that don’t run hurdles, still have three major hurdles to overcome.

They spent a huge amount of time traveling.

“Our flight from New Zealand got cancelled to here, so it was a long trip.”

Most of them trained at about sea level, so the altitude here is a problem.

“Kids are going, ok, it’s the middle of our outdoor season,” said one coach. “So coming up to 45 hundred feet and really dry air, really affects them.”

And last, but certainly not least, they’re used to training outdoors.

And it’s summer over there, right now.

“This is quite a change, I’ve never been indoors before,” said an athlete. “And the whole atmosphere is really amazing and it’s great.”

“Well we were going to train at the track, but it was covered in snow. I mean one lane was cleared, but it was all icy,” said one runner.

These athletes have the chance to compete at such a high level and to meet true heros, like Olympic athletes.

It makes all the difference in their career.

On Saturday there is a full day of events starting at 8:30, and at 11:30 there is the parade of athletes.

It is an Olympic like parade, that involves all the athletes competing.

The games go until 4:30.

Admission is free for anyone.

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