Elmhurst College to host biennial Zoroastrian Games

The 15th biennial Zoroastrian Games, also known as Z Games, are coming to Elmhurst.

From June 30 to July 4, members of the international Zoroastrian community will be arriving in Elmhurst to participate in a long weekend of competitive sports.

According to the Zoroastrian Sports Committee website, Zoroastrianism is a religion that was founded circa 1500 BC. It is one of the oldest monotheist religions known.

In 1988, a group of Zoroastrians, also known as Zarathustis, decided to hold the first Z Games in Los Angeles. The idea was to gather members of the community from the United States, Canada, India, Iran and other countries around the world to promote unity and friendly competition.

The games are held July 4 every other year. The last games took place in 2014 in Los Angeles.

The Zoroastrian Games, besides encouraging participants to lead healthier lives by making exercise part of their routines, allow people from all over the world who share the same belief system to meet each other and form long-lasting friendships.

The games are open to adults 16 and older and children from 7 to 15 years old.

Adults can participate in team sports including basketball and volleyball, as well as individual sports including tennis, table tennis, track, swimming and golf. There are also team relay events for swimming and track.

Children can participate in basketball, track and swimming.

Housing for the 2016 Zoroastrian Games will be in Stanger Hall at Elmhurst College, which will allow athletes to stay close to where the games will take place.

There also will be three activities for people to socialize and enjoy time off from competing. The weekend of fun will kick off July 1 at the Mediterranean restaurant Reza’s, 40 N. Tower Road.

There will be a tour July 2 that will include attractions in Chicago as well as local Zarathusti landmarks.

The weekend ends with the Red Carpet Banquet, an evening of dining and dancing to celebrate the games.

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