Seniors await upcoming Senior Games
Athletic competition a highlight for GJ Parks and Rec
The anticipation is building for the upcoming Olympic games,
but there's another big competition going on right here in western Colorado.
All over the valley the 50 and over gang will be competing in August at the Grand Junction Parks and Rec Western Colorado Senior Games.
Last year, Larry Oliver entered 21 events, including the pickleball competition.
"It's got a combination of tennis, ping pong, handball, racquetball, badminton, all mixed together," Oliver explained.
It's all part of his daily routine.
"You know, in this heat and stuff, you get a little exercise out of it," he said.
So why does he keep showing up in this heat?
"Camaraderie," he answered, "and a lot of new friends, and just a lot of fun."
Darlene Burger chose to retire here in the Valley at the time the games were just getting started.
"I appreciate all of it," she said. "The track, the field events... it's just a lot of fun. You get to be a kid again."
Pitching, putting, and golf games aren't the only games she's involved in.
"I do just about anything but swimming," Burger explained.
Lyle Saine and Al Baumgartle are senior game novices, but not to their sporting event... horseshoes.
"This is going to be my first time in the Senior Olympics," Saine explained. "Not that I'm not a senior for a few years."
Yes, women are competitive in this sport, and the guys would like to see more of you.
"(I've) seen some of them pitching in the neighborhood of 80-percent ringers," Saine said. "That's not too shabby. That's world-class."
What is it about horseshoes?
As Baumgartle explained, "We don't take ourselves too seriously. We just have a good time."
Lorie Gregor with Parks and Rec explained more about the upcoming competition.
"You know, it has really grown over the years," she explained. "This is the 11th annual senior games, and it started out with about 30 participants and has grown to about 150."
There's an event for everyone and every interest.
"There's something for everyone," she said. "No matter what your level of athleticisim is, we have people that just do these events once a year. So they're not necessarily huge athletic competitors."
Enter one event or enter many. The cost is minimal and has many benefits.
"There's a banquet on Thursday night where our dance competition is held," she explained. "And so I think we have something for everyone."
Sign up is easy. Just listen to Lorie.
"In the Senior Beacon this month of July it is the pullout, and it looks just like this," she said, holding up the newspaper. "It gives events, all the descriptions of all the events and the registration form. So it's all easy, and then you can either mail that into our office or drop by our office in Lincoln Park."
Whether it's football, soccer, golf, or track, or any of the other 50 events, it's all golden at the senior games.
To learn more, visit http://www.gjcity.org/Senior_Games.aspx.
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