Six-day Cleveland stop is largest on record for Transplant Games

The Donate Life Transplant Games will be held from June 10-15 in Cleveland.

It’s a heck of a cause.

And it’s drawing quite a crowd.

While many of us are focusing on the NBA Finals being in town, the largest-ever Donate Life Transplant Games will start Friday and run through June 15 in Cleveland. More than 6,000 athletes have registered for the six-day event, which is organized by the Grater Cleveland Sports Commission and is expected to generate $8.1 million for the Northeast Ohio economy.

There are 21 events on the Transplant Games schedule, ranging from badminton to a Youth Olympiad. There are even Texas Hold’Em and singing competitions, plus cornhole and ballroom dancing.

The games are for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. So it goes without saying that the event is about much more than competition.

“It’s very significant,” said David Gilbert, the president and CEO of the sports commission, who doubles (triples?) as the head of Destination Cleveland and the president and CEO of the RNC Host Committee. “We’re at venues all over the county. There are more than 6,000 registrants, plus their family and friends coming to town. It’s a weeklong, major production.” Continue reading

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