The Unseen Spirit of Simplot Games

February 10, 2020

Pocatello, Idaho – For over three decades, Kent Tingey has been involved in Simplot Games. Though attendees may not recognize Tingey, he has made invaluable contributions to the success of Simplot Games that led to him being named the recipient of the 2020 Spirit of the Games award.

The Spirit of the Games Award has been presented since 2009 in the memory of J.R. Simplot, founder of his namesake company and enthusiastic advocate for the event. The award recognizes outstanding character and commitment to the Games.

As former Vice President for Advancement at Idaho State University, Tingey sat on the Simplot Games Board of Directors and was the main liaison between the Games and Idaho State University.

“Kent embodies what this award is about,” said Lisa Woodland, Executive Director of Simplot Games. “He has been an integral part of Simplot Games, and he truly loves the many opportunities Simplot Games brings to young athletes.”

For 30 years, Tingey has seen all sides of the Games. From the volunteers to the athletes to the spectators, Tingey has seen how important Simplot Games is to everyone.

Though Tingey loves what the Games do for young athletes, what has stuck him most over the last 30 years is the commitment of the volunteers and their behind the scenes work that make the Games such a success.

“I’m deeply honored and touched to have been selected for this award,” Tingey said. “I know I have done very little to help the Games. The Spirit of the Games belongs to all the employees of Simplot and the volunteers who have worked for years and countless hours to ensure that these Games have the impact on the young lives of over 2,000 students each year.”

“I have so enjoyed the association with the employees of Simplot who so lovingly put on the Games in an absolutely exceptional manner,” Tingey continued. “Their dedication of time, talent, treasure, and love to our community and the young participants make this the finest indoor track meet in the country.”

Tingey attends the Games every year, and each year is astounded by the profound athletes he meets and watches. It is through the athletes that Tingey has seen the impact of the event on so many people.

“The Games are so important to me because they make such a difference in the lives of young student athletes from across the country and world,” Tingey said. “As I see their joy, their emotion, their hurt, and their commitment, I am struck and touched by how meaningful the Games are to them.”

Tingey will be recognized as the Spirit of the Games on Saturday, February 15 during the Games’ Opening Ceremonies.

Simplot Games is February 13-15 at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena. A complete schedule of events is available at simplotgames.com. Admission is free to the public. Follow Simplot Games on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.