Following the pattern of the Olympics, the Huntsman World Senior Games kicks off with a grand Opening Ceremonies. Admission is free to everyone. The Ceremonies include a parade of athletes, entertainment, fireworks and the traditional lighting of the Huntsman World Senior Games Cauldron. The Huntsman World Senior Games Opening Ceremonies takes place on Tuesday, October 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Hansen Stadium on the campus of Dixie State College.
“The Opening Ceremonies is a chance for the athletes and the local residents to come together and celebrate,” Kyle M Case, Games CEO says. The show will feature professional entertainers, NASCAR Legend Morgan Shepherd and local school children presenting a Flag Extravaganza, highlighting each of the 65 countries that have participated in the Games since 1987.
In a high-speed, danger sport who’s average driver is 28 years old, NASCAR crowds are shocked and inspired that Morgan Shepherd still races, and races strong, at age 70.
Faith and family are important to this owner/driver who operates as Faith Motorsports, and #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet. “All I want to do is serve the Lord,” says Shepherd. Referring to a more rough-and-tumble Shepherd before his religious conversion, Morgan adds, “We want to help people change their lives. We don’t want them to be like the Morgan Shepherd before 1975.”
Morgan’s wife and co-owner, Cindy Shepherd, openly shares personal experiences about the thrills and challenges of racing in this “young man’s sport.” “Most teams have 15-30 people that they employ, and we have a total of about 7, so everybody has to do everything and pull together.” Although Cindy has never been at ease with some of Morgan’s memorable crashes and disturbing near misses, and although she shrugs when Morgan admits that he orders the car parts and she has to worry about paying for them, she loves what they do together. Cindy and Morgan stand out as one of the most inspiring husband/wife teams in racing history.
When Vice-President of Hyland’s Products, Thao Le, discovered that Morgan used their natural anti leg cramp medicine before every race, she saw a natural fit, and started a sponsor relationship with him in February of 2012. “He has exuberance for life, and he is respected and revered by millions for his great example of healthy living,” says Le. And World Senior Games CEO, Kyle M Case, adds, “It’s just exciting to have him as our Guest of Honor this year. He’s a genuine, humble man with a great story for athletes young and old. He’s a fighter that refuses to stop living. Our athletes will relate with that.”
With 19 wins, 107 top 5’s, 235 top 10’s and a 1980 Late Model Series championship in stock car’s two highest levels of competition, Shepherd continues to compete full-time as the owner/driver of his Morgan Shepherd Racing Team. Not surprisingly, he is consistently ranked in the top 5 “Most Popular Drivers” by fan polls.
“I’m very passionate about life, and what I do, and how I can encourage people in some way,” says Shepherd. “I’m not in perfect shape, or whatever, but at nearly 71 years old I can still drive a race car at 200 miles per hour, and I still have fun on roller skates. I’m very passionate about life and about what God’s allowed me to do.”
On March 1, 2011, while staying in Las Vegas between races, the 69-year-old Shepherd chased down, tackled and restrained a shoplifter who had run out of a Wal-Mart. Morgan turns 71 on October 12.
Don’t miss Morgan Shepherd and the other festivities of the Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, October 9, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Hansen Stadium at Dixie State College.
With free admission to everyone, there’s no reason to not come out and enjoy this incredible show and celebrate the Huntsman World Senior Games.