For Immediate Release
Date: January 24, 2019
Contact: Nicholas Bringhurst (208) 417-9379
Pocatello, Idaho – For more than two decades, James (Jim) Spier has been one of the signature voices of Simplot Games. And, this year, Simplot Games will recognize his character and commitment, as he is the recipient of the 2019 Spirit of the Games award.
Since 2009, the Spirit of the Games Award, presented in memory of J.R. Simplot, recognizes outstanding character and commitment to the Games.
“It is a wonderful honor,” James said, “especially considering the long history of excellence of this event.”
For 22 years, James has been a large part of narrating that history, and even overseeing all the announcers during the games.
“Jim is the perfect candidate for Spirit of the Games award,” said Lisa Woodland, executive director of the Simplot Games. “He truly loves the Games and the opportunity for youth to participate.”
For Spier, the Games are all about the athletes. When asked about what element of the Games that he most connected with, he said, “The athletes come first. The Staff and officials are first class and very unselfish. They are a very welcoming group.”
The welcoming atmosphere is not the only thing that Jim respects about Simplot Games, as there are many aspects that make him look forward to this event every February.
“It is one of the most organized track meets (of any level) that I have ever been associated with,” Jim says, “The high level of talent and incredible competition make for a memorable weekend each year. It is one of the highlights of the year for U.S. high school track and field, for me, and any track and field aficionado.”
David Mitchell, another Simplot Games announcer, said one of the highlights of the Games is getting to announce with Spier. Mitchell and Spier have worked together for the past 20 years as announcers for Simplot Games and at high school national championship events.
“We have a ton of fun working together,” Mitchell said. “Jim has vast knowledge and decades of experience, but he retains a fresh excitement for the sport of high school track and field and the athletes.”
Mitchell also commented on the qualities he has seen working with Jim for all these years. “He’s humble, encouraging, patient, extremely well-prepared, and he is an excellent communicator. Jim’s personality and leadership style foster tremendous respect and loyalty which makes his team more effective and more fun to be a member of each year,” he said.
In the words of David Mitchell, “The Simplot Games just wouldn’t be the same without Jim Spier!”
More than 2,100 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand to participate in the 41st 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.
The Nation’s Premier High School Track & Field Event
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