Great Outdoors Games comes to Reno | SierraSun.com

Great Outdoors Games comes to Reno

Dan Savickas

With competitions like big air, agility and speed climbing, one could easily mistake these as individual events for some type of extreme sports competition; but actually, they are just a few of the events making up ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games.

This year the competitions were held at Folsom Lake and Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.

The big air competition has nothing to do with motorcycles or snowboards; it revolves around dogs. The competition begins with 12 dogs, each getting three jumps off of a dock into water. The measurement is taken from where the dogs back end, minus the tail, enter the water. After the first round, eight dogs move on for two more jumps.

This year’s winner was a three-year-old black Labrador named Skeeter with an overall jump of 23 feet three inches. “Somebody needs to pinch me and make sure I’m not dreaming,” Skeeter’s owner Terry Casey of Parker Texas told ESPN. “This has always been a dream.”

The endurance competition has nothing to do with mountain biking, running or swimming. In the Outdoor Games endurance is all about cutting, chopping and sawing.

The Games are composed of four different disciplines: timber events, sporting dogs, target sports, and fishing.

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In the timber events athletes compete in events ranging from ax and saw skills, to climbing, chopping, and running across floating wet logs chained together.

The fishing events consist of bass and fly-fishing.

The sporting dog events include big air, agility, and retrieving competitions. Agility tests the dog’s ability to receive commands and run an obstacle course. The dogs race two at a time, with the winner of each heat moving on. Retrieving competitions test dogs hunting skills. The dogs are required to retrieve a decoy kill and return it to its handler.

Target sports include shotgun, rifle and bow and arrow accuracy.

The outdoor games will be aired on ESPN and ESPN 2 on July 19-26.