SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A competition promoting “Fitness for Life” has ended its six-day run in Sioux Falls.

Nearly 400 athletes from 42 states competed in 18 sports during the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Sioux Falls.

“We had six Veterans that were over the age of 90 and the second oldest was from here in Sioux Falls and he turned 92 this weekend, and it was his first time competing in the games,” Local Coordinator John Neeley said.

The competition for Veterans aged 55-&-older got its start in the mid-1980s, but this was its first-ever appearance in South Dakota.

“It was very well received. The Veterans loved the Sioux Falls community, the facilities, the people, and the people loved the veterans coming in,” Neeley said.

“People loved it. They were all over Sioux Falls at restaurants and shops and other attractions. The direct feedback has been all positive, really good,” Experience Sioux Falls Executive Director Teri Schmidt said.

Sioux Falls submitted its bid for the games in 2019, prior to the pandemic, which caused the number of participants to dwindle but not the impact of the event.

“We’re looking at at least a million dollars in economic impact. When we first booked this event it was supposed to be 2,500, and then COVID hit and so this was the best we could do with the COVID situation with all the veterans coming from everywhere, so we’re pleased. A million dollars of economic impact in Sioux Falls, hey we’ll take it,” Schmidt said.

Next year’s games will take place across the border in Iowa, but a return trip to Sioux Falls isn’t out of the question.

“What I’ve looked at and the history of it, about ten years before they tend to look at a city again. Matter of fact, next year, the 2023 games will be down in Des Moines and they last hosted them in 2011,” Neely said.

“We’ll probably be back after them in about five years so that we can get in line to get them here in ten years,” Schmidt said.

Click HERE for complete results from this year’s National Veterans Golden Age Games.