OPENING CEREMONIES FOR 15th ZOROASTRIAN GAMES SET FOR 8:30 A.M., FRIDAY, JULY 1, AT ELMHURST COLLEGE
A biennial tradition now in its 28th year, the 15th Zoroastrian Games will attract more than 300 athletes, fans, supporters and organizers; and features competitive tournament brackets in basketball, volleyball, swimming, track, tennis, and table tennis.
Elmhurst, IL, June 28, 2016 – The Zoroastrian Association of Chicago (ZAC) in conjunction with the Zoroastrian Sports Committee (ZSC), a standing committee of FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, will formally open the 15th Zoroastrian Games at ceremonies scheduled for 8:30 a.m. this Friday, July 1, on the campus of Elmhurst College. The event is sponsored by: Elmhurst-based Mehta Motors/My Car Wash, the Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago and the World Zoroastrian Organization.
The Zoroastrian Games promotes sportsmanship, unity and togetherness through six competitive tournaments in basketball, volleyball, swimming, track, tennis and table tennis. Now in its 28th year, the Zoroastrian Games is an iconic Zoroastrian sporting and cultural tradition, attracting amateur Zoroastrian athletes from around the world.
Opening ceremonies will spotlight a parade of athletes, states and nations, as well a lighting of the torch. Closing ceremonies on July 4 will recognize athletes, medal winners, donors and volunteer organizers. Three evening events will spotlight Chicago’s diversity in food, entertainment and nightlife as a world-class destination city: A Rendezvous @ Reza’s, The Chicago Experience, and a marquee red-carpet banquet to celebrate the athletes and legacy of the Zoroastrian Games.
Steven M. Morley, Elmhurst Mayor:
“I am pleased to welcome athletes, fans and supporters of the 15th Zoroastrian Games to the City of Elmhurst and to Elmhurst College. I am confident that all in attendance will find Elmhurst College and the surrounding restaurants and boutiques, to be one of the most gracious and beautiful locations for this event.”
Eric Elavia, 15th Zoroastrian Games operating team leader:
“We have worked hard over the past 18-24 months to continue the rich legacy that has defined the Zoroastrian Games through the decades, and to deliver an inspiring, competitive, fun experience for all ages,” said Eric Elavia, who leads the 15th Zoroastrian Games operating team. “We welcome all athletes, families, fans, supporters and volunteers of the 15th Zoroastrian Games to Chicago, for what promises to be an unforgettable sports and social experience.”
Dr. Niaz Kasravi, President, Zoroastrian Sports Committee:
“For more than 28 years, ZSC has been bringing together athletes, sports fans, and other members of the Zoroastrian community from across the globe. We’re proud to be working with the organizing team in Chicago and look forward to another successful event this year.”
Ray Ravji, President, Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Chicago
“This truly international sporting event provides an opportunity to compete and interact with fellow Zoroastrians from around the world, joining together in friendly competition to cultivate healthy living, friendship, and sportsmanship. Our community has placed tremendous passion and dedication into planning this exciting weekend and we are grateful for the involvement and support of all athletes and their families.”
Homi D. Gandhi, President, Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America
“The Zoroastrian Games were founded in 1988 by a handful of youth who had a vision to promote sportsmanship, teamwork and friendship. The result has been many years of fruitful Zoroastrian Games held in different cities. We hope the athletes, fans and volunteers of the 15th Zoroastrian Games enjoy a truly memorable experience and develop everlasting friendships.”
The first Zoroastrian Games was held in Los Angeles in 1988, and today the Games are considered to be ZSC’s largest sporting event, attracting athletic and fan participation from the United States, Canada, India, Iran, European Union and other countries around the world. The Games are held each alternating July 4 weekend during even years.
Zoroastrians have long-served as effective bridge builders in interfaith dialogue as they see from their own faith, traditions of truth, righteousness, charity, beneficence and respect for creation reflected in traditions of the religions of both the occident and the orient. Zoroastrianism, founded circa 1500 BCE, is credited to be one of the oldest monotheistic religion, influencing post-exilic Judaism, which adopted some Zoroastrian beliefs such as the ultimate victory of good over evil and the resurrection of souls. These percepts were then transmitted through Judaism to Christianity, and later to Islam. Zoroastrianism flourished as the imperial religion of three Persian empires, those of the Achaemenians, Parthians and Sassanians, and was the dominant religion from Turkey, and eastward to China during those times. North America’s Zoroastrian community includes those who arrived from the Indian subcontinent, known as Parsis, and those who came directly from Iran seeking religious freedom.
About Zoroastrian Association of Chicago
The 15th Zoroastrian Games is being hosted, managed and organized by volunteer members of the Zoroastrian Association of Chicago (ZAC) in conjunction with the Zoroastrian Sports Committee (ZSC). Founded in 1975, ZAC has been serving the spiritual, cultural and social needs of Zoroastrians in greater Chicago, and is a beacon for Zoroastrians in the Midwest United States and beyond. Located in Burr Ridge, IL, ZAC has been a pioneer association for the growth, perpetuation and flourishing of Zoroastrianism in the United States.
About Zoroastrian Sports Committee (ZSC)
Established in 1988 and conceived by enthusiastic youth at a wedding celebration, the Zoroastrian Sports Committee (ZSC) is the official sports arm of FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America. ZSC has grown to become the biggest Zoroastrian organization dedicated to promoting sports and sportsmanship among Zoroastrian youth worldwide. Our goal is to promote unity and friendly competition and encourage healthier living by making sports a routine part of life. Visit the ZSC at www.zathletics.com.
Founded in 1987, FEZANA serves as the coordinating body for 25 Zoroastrian member associations throughout the United States and Canada. FEZANA promotes the study, understanding and practice of the Zoroastrian faith in North America. FEZANA represents the interests of its member associations, and carries out philanthropic and charitable activities worldwide. FEZANA Journal, FEZANA’s publication of record, circulates to Zoroastrian households in more than 22 countries, as well as to scholars, academicians and religious organizations worldwide. www.fezana.org
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