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The National Senior Games are exciting Olympic-style events that feature athletes over the age of 50. Over 10,000 athletes from the 50 states plus Canada and Trinidad and Tobago competed this year in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Opening ceremonies were held at the new CHS Stadium, home of the St. Paul Saints near the Mississippi River. As the athletes paraded into the stadium behind their state flag and placard, each state was announced with background music similar to the Olympics. There were 641 athletes from California with Minnesota having the largest contingent. The Minnesota Boys’ Choir sang the National Anthem followed by speeches and excellent entertainment. The evening ended with the lighting of the cauldron and an amazing fireworks show. Birmingham, Alabama will be the host city for the 2017 National Senior Games.
Athletes qualify at the state level and the Nationals are held every two years. The Pasadena Senior Games, a qualifier, are held every year in June with 28 different sports at various venues throughout the area. It’s open to men and women over the age of 50 and the Games are dedicated to promoting health and wellness through sport.
At the local and National Games you will find many seniors not acting their age! There are no rockers for these Grandmas and Grandpas. They are speeding around the track, jumping, throwing, and participating in many different sports. Some only started training in their 60s or later and never competed in any sport previously. There are those who beat cancer and other health issues to participate in the Games. Among the reasons are: “My kids are grown,” “I’m retired,” “I like to travel,” “I need a motivation to become healthier,” and “I enjoy the friendship.”
One lady in high school earned a full scholarship in swimming to college and was asked to try out for the Olympic team but a family tragedy prevented her from doing so. Recently, in her 70s she lost 75 pounds through working out and good nutrition, got back into swimming, and competed in the Games. She didn’t win any medals at Nationals this time but was so happy to just be there. Her goal is to lose 20 more pounds, continue training, and be faster in 2017. A local Arcadia resident who “was never good at sports” recently became a California State Champion in powerlifting at age 86!
It’s never too late. What’s your goal? If you’re a newbie, have never participated in a sport, are out of shape, don’t be afraid to start. You will find there are others just like you. Just begin! The Sneiders provide a safe, private, non-judgmental environment to begin your quest for better health. Now is the time to train for next year’s local Pasadena Games. You’ll have fun and get fit along the way! For more information contact Sarah or Rob Sneider at (626) 355-8964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.