ST. CLOUD -- The Minnesota Senior Games kicked off Thursday morning in St. Cloud.

Over 300 athletes ages 50 and up will be competing in roughly 20 different events throughout central Minnesota this weekend.

Fritz Bukowski is the State Coordinator for the games. He says the games really break down the stigma of what it means to be an athlete.

I've seen unbelievable things since I've been involved in the games. I saw a 79-year-old man break the record in pole vaulting at nationals. I've seen people with handicaps they have to deal with competing, so there is just a lot of great stories in the senior games.

He says with the games continuing to be a hit every summer, he's working on including a winter senior games.

We're working with Blue Cross Blue Shield to look at starting a Winter Games. So I'm looking for a community that might want to host a winter games with about 6-7 sports.

Butkowski says he usually competes in the games but due to some health issues had to sit out this year.

The Minnesota Senior Games will run through Sunday. St. Cloud will host the games again next year as a qualifier for the national games in 2021 in Florida.

The Minnesota Senior Games began back in 2007.

Minnesota Senior Games