JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Olympics got underway in London on Friday night with an impressive opening ceremony.
On Saturday in Jacksonville, the 2012 First Coast Games kicked off with their opening ceremony and early competitions.
The teams were introduced and displayed their banners, and led their cheers.
The First Coast Games were underway at the Dupont YMCA. The Games are an annual corporate challenge.
" Purely coincidental that our opening ceremony is a day after the Olympic ceremony, but we like that," said Nikos Westmoreland of the YMCA. "People are into the spirit of athleticism and completion and having fun."
There are 1,700 employees competing from 21 companies. Their goal: simply healthy living.
"Healthy living is really about improving the health and well being of our community and that really starts with each individual person," Westmoreland said.
"So it is a great way by reaching out to these companies and the companies wanting to get involved and see their employees get healthier here, it is a great way to improve the morale and the lifestyles of the people here on the First Coast.
Isabell Echevarria decided to get involved this year and compete with her team from Lender Processing Services.
"Being in shape is very important and I have been neglecting myself in working out so I thought it was important to get involved that might give me a little push to do something," Echeverria said.
This was a family fun day to get started, but the companies will compete on several weekends in everything from basketball to bowling to badminton to rock wall climbing until the closing ceremonies in October.
They also received a body analysis today measuring their body fat and will get one at the end as well.
Last year 10 companies competed, it more than doubled this year to 21.
"Our hope is that people see it is fun to have a healthy lifestyle they have camaraderie with the people at their office and it makes for a better work environment," Westmoreland said. "We say if you play hard you work better and you live well."
First Coast News