ALBANY, NY – When asked last year to be part of a new sports and entertainment festival to celebrate the power of women in sport, the champion gymnast Olympic Nadia Comaneci was at the rendezvous.

"It's a good idea," said Comaneci, who has won five Olympic gold medals and is the first to be the first Olympic gymnast to record a perfect 10. "It's wonderful to have an idea, but it's a lot more wonderful to have it in place. We have been talking about women's sport for a long time. I do not think she had the position she deserves to celebrate the story of what women in sport have done over the years.

"Hopefully this will get bigger and bigger and everyone will know about history, celebrate history, celebrate what women can do.

Comaneci, 57, who became a star at the 1976 Games in Montreal, and Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee were presented on Wednesday as honorary team captains at the first Olympic Games. 'Aurora, which will take place over six days. August in Albany, New York. Joyner-Kersee will lead athletes from North and South America and Comaneci will captain the world team. Athletes from more than 15 countries are expected.

"It's a good idea because it has not been done," said Joyner-Kersee, 56. "On the other hand, the challenge would be to get enough support and why it's important. I think the time has come. It's one thing to have an idea. This is another project to realize this idea. "

The festival is the brainchild of Jerry Solomon, a long-time sports agent, married to former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. He added that the idea had come to him while he was watching the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"There were more women than men in the US Olympic team for the first time in my life and I thought they were better," Solomon said. "I just felt that the time had come to take women's sport out of the shadows of men, as is the case when they participate with men, and to create an event that aims to celebrate power. , the elegance, the value of entertainment and the strength of women's sport – apart from and apart from everything else, the fact that she can fend for herself deserves her own platform. "

The festival will include gymnastics, basketball, ice hockey, figure skating, tennis and beach volleyball competitions. Solomon said the matches would be televised live three hours a day in 60 countries, but without giving details. The participating athletes will be announced at a later date, he said, adding that some were in tennis competition at the Australian Open.

Solomon said that he wanted to name the games after a Greek or Roman goddess and that he had chosen the Roman goddess of dawn.

"Dawn is when anything is possible, and that's what we say here," he said. "Everything is possible for all these athletes and for women in general around the world."

The winning team of the six days of competition will receive a trophy named in honor of Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Six Times Athlete of the Year in the Associated Press and recognized as one of the greatest athletes of all time .

"It's an honor for me to be captain … and for us to be in the position we are in and to be able to recognize a woman who has done so much for the sport in general, to be able to present her with the trophy at name of his family, as well as his foundation, "Joyner-Kersee said.

Tickets for the Aurora Games will go on sale March 8th, International Women's Day.


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