Aflac Outdoor Games Puts Columbus in National Spotlight

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by Lindsey Connell
WTVM News Reporter
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June 26, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WXTX)-- The Aflac Outdoor Games is a three-day event that kicks off in Columbus this weekend.

Athletes will compete in eight different events and today, News Leader 9 got a taste of what fans will see and what the games will do for the local economy.

The Outdoor Games will feature a variety of unique sporting events this weekend as national cameras are rolling.

"The best in the world will be here this weekend, both collegiate and professional. It will be filmed and taped and aired on ESPN twice," said Warner Neal, President of Outdoor Events.

Competitors will test their strength, endurance, stamina, tool skill and agility in events like the Boom Run, where athletes run as quickly as they can across six logs floating in a pool of water, and the Hot Saw, where participants attempt to cut a 19-inch thick log as fast as they can. Other events include the Stock Saw, Underhand Chop, Standing Chop, Single Buck Saw, Springboard, and Speed Climb.

This is the first time the event has been held in Columbus and organizers are expecting crowded restaurants and hotels this weekend but more so, they say putting Columbus in the national spotlight will have an even bigger impact.

"You bring the national exposure that we're bringing with ESPN and we could be seeing the effects from this a long time from now," added Neal.

"It's good dollars. These dollars turn over many times before they leave the community and we didn't have to do anything to try to get them here, so to speak. We didn't have to build new roads. We didn't have to build new schools. We didn't have to build new stadiums. They're here already. We're just taking advantage of it and we don't have that opportunity often," said Mike Gaymon, President of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

The Outdoor Games will officially kick off tomorrow at noon at the South Commons Softball Complex near the intersection of Victory Drive and Veterans Parkway in Columbus.

Events will start at 10 AM Saturday and Sunday.

Advance tickets per day are ten dollars for adults and five dollars for children.

Tickets at the door cost fifteen dollars for adults and ten for children.

For more information and a schedule of events, go to