Rachael Flatt, U.S. champion figure skater, lights the flame at the Rocky Mountain State Games.

Registration is open for the 2012 Rocky Mountain State Games, which is expected to attract 7,000 athletes to Colorado Springs this summer.

Colorado amateur athletes of all ages and skill levels, including physically disabled, visually impaired and Paralympic athletes, can register now to compete in the multi-sport festival.

In 2011, the event was expected to bring in an estimated $9 million to Colorado Springs as athletes and their families and fans took up hotel rooms and spent money on food and other area attractions.

This year, like last year, the games are spread over two weekends, which is a new model for the event. In years past, the event was three to four days over one weekend. This new model could bring in more money to local businesses.

The Rocky Mountain State Games is recognized by the National Congress of State Games, a member of the United States Olympic Committee. This summer’s games will be July 20-22 and July 27-29.

Organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., the 2012 games will offer competition in 34 sports and games will take place along the Front Range in venues including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, U.S. Air Force Academy, Memorial Park, Fort Carson and Colorado College.

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The Opening Celebration is July 27 downtown Colorado Springs entertainment, interactive booths, food, and a live feed of the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Online registration is open now at: http://www.coloradospringssports.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=186&Itemid=180