2015 Simplot Games After Dark Provides Fun and Inspiration

For Immediate Release

Date: February 21, 2015

Contact: Amanda Bennett (808) 627-2973

E-mail: media@simplotgames.com

2015 Simplot Games After Dark Provides Fun and Inspiration

Mike Powell speaks to athletes at Simplot Games After Dark


Pocatello, Idaho – Long jump world record holder Mike Powell charmed the audience at the annual Simplot Games After Dark Event at Idaho State University’s Student Union Building on Friday, February 20.

Speaking to a full house, Powell conveyed his message of confidence and persistence while eliciting laughs from the crowd. Regarding his retirement, the 51 year-old Powell told the audience that he has started training again and has a goal of making the U.S. Olympic team in 2016. As improbable as that sounds, listening to Powell makes it seem like a real possibility.

“Confidence comes from preparation,” Powell, a first-time Simplot Games Olympian told the crowd.

When he first started training again in 2013, he knew he was crazy.

“I can’t do this? Can I?” he asked himself. Then he started jumping again and he just knew, “I’ve got to do this. I have to.”

Powell told the audience that the long jump event has regressed since he was competing. The 2012 gold medal-winning jump was two feet shorter than his record jump of 29’ 4.5”, which he accomplished in 1991.

He talked extensively about his quest for the world record and how he chased Carl Lewis for years. He told the audience that in his preparation to compete at the world-class level he constantly had to remind himself that he was trying to do something that had never been done by anyone else, ever. With his charismatic personality and proven attitude for success, Powell continued to reinforce his message, “If you want it, you’ve got to go for it.”

Another option for the approximately 450 attendees of Simplot Games After Dark was Track Academy with Idaho State University track and field head coach, Dave Nielsen. Coach Nielsen’s focused on speed and the principle of perceived performance.

“Any given performance requires some sort of effort,” he said. “Generally, higher level performance requires more effort and vice versa.”

He also talked about calculating velocity, stride length, and stride velocity, and gave the room full of coaches and athletes training suggestions for speed development.

For those who preferred fun and games, the Simplot Games version of Deal or No Deal gave athletes the opportunity to play for a Kindle Fire, Adidas swag, gift cards, and other prizes.

After the baked potato bar dinner, In the Spotlight, Track Academy, Deal or No Deal, athletes went to the Simplot Games Dance Party, where there was a live DJ, an inflatable obstacle course and games, and plenty of dancing.

Simplot Games finals start today at 8:15 a.m. The annual Simplot Games Parade of Athletes ceremonies will begin at 11:25 a.m. and admission is always free.

More than 2,000 athletes have come from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia to participate in the 37th annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.

For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5673 or Simplot Games Media Team at media@simplotgames.com.


Simplot Games

The Nation’s Premiere High School Track & Field Event

Pocatello, Idaho

(208) 235-5673

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