More Than 15,000 Participants Head to Houston, Texas for the 55th AAU Junior Olympic Games

Athletes from around the nation are expected to compete in the largest multi-sport event in the country; 11-day competition has brought more than $50 million to previous host cities since 2010.

Lake Buena Vista, Florida, UNITED STATES

Houston, Texas, July 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 15,000 participants will travel to Houston, Texas this week for the 55th AAU Junior Olympic Games, the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States, and bring with them a significant economic impact to the greater Houston area. An estimated 1,600 of the registered athletes for this year’s edition of the AAU Junior Olympic Games are from the Houston area.

The 11-day event, July 28 - August 8, will feature 10 different sports competitions, including AAU’s marquee track and field event at Humble High School, July 30 - August 7. Track and Field, the biggest sport at the Games, boasts approximately 12,345 participants; 1,351 of those from the Houston area. Nearly 280 AAU Track and Field national records have been shattered at the Games since 2011 with five (5) records established during the 2020 Games on Florida’s Space Coast. The event has brought in more than $50 million each year in economic impact to previous host cities including Hampton Roads, Va.; New Orleans, La.; Houston, Tex.; Detroit, Mich.; and Des Moines, Iowa.

“Nowhere else in the world can you find such a diverse group of sports with such high caliber amateur athletes competing in one event,” said Jennings “Rusty” Buchanan, AAU President/CEO. “This event is the pinnacle of the AAU season and has become the crown jewel of youth sports. A huge thank you to the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority for its efforts. We could not do this without them.”

This will be the third time the AAU Junior Olympic Games have been conducted in Houston (2012 and 2016). Since its beginning in 1967 in Washington, D.C., the Games have been conducted in 19 states and 30 cities across the United States. As one of the premier events in the nation, youth athletes have used the event as a starting point to a successful professional career, on and off the playing surface.

 "We are thrilled to welcome AAU and its Athletes back to Houston for the 55th AAU Junior Olympic Games", said Janis Burke, Harris County-Houston Sports Authority CEO. "This is the third time since 2012, that the AAU Junior Olympic Games have been in Houston. Each year, we are impressed by the skill and discipline that every athlete brings to the Games. We know that this year's AAU Junior Olympic Games will continue to serve as a catalyst for future athlete success.”

Notable AAU Alumni include: Sydney McLaughlin (Track and Field), Hailey Hernandez (Diving), Kevin Durant (Basketball), Trayvon Bromell (Track and Field), A'ja Wilson (Basketball), John John Florence (Surfing), and Erriyon Knighton (Track and Field).


Visit for more information about the AAU Junior Olympic Games.



The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest- non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the country. As a multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports programs. Founded in 1888 to establish standards and uniformity in sports, the AAU philosophy of “Sports For All, Forever” is now shared by nearly 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers across 45 sports programs and 55 U.S. districts. For more information, visit

The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority maintains the facilities and services the debt of the world-class, professional sports venues it was created to build. To support this primary mission, Houston Sports serves as a leading proponent for attracting sporting events to Houston and for promoting the city as a home for sports-related activities, to ultimately enhance Houston’s economic development and bring better quality of life for its residents. Houston Sports also created the annual Houston Sports Awards to honor the area’s outstanding athletes.