Representing a commitment to healthy, active aging and wellness, the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) governed its 30th biennial competition in June 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Competitors are men and women ages 50 and over. NSGA is a nonprofit Multi-Sports Council member of the United States Olympic Committee. Since its inception, it has grown to become the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors. There are presently 19 medal sports represented in The Games including track & field, basketball, archery, pickleball, softball, cycling, and tennis. The 2017 National Senior Games brought together more than 10,500 athletes.
According to a June 21, 2017 press release, “competition is organized into five-year age divisions, which helps create greater opportunities for senior athletes to test themselves, and set new highs, in comparison with their age peers.” A total of 142 records were set at the 2017 games. Among the record setters was a 98-year-old Tennessee woman competing in the 400-meter and 800-meter track events, and a 71-year-old Arizona man competing the 400-yard individual medley swimming event. New records were also set in the events of archery, golf, and bowling. The CEO of the National Senior Games Association, Marc T. Riker, noted that “The number of new records is evidence that more and more of the best are joining us, and that our elder ranks are pushing the envelope to show what they can do, even at an advanced age.”
According to the NSGA website special events section, the guest speaker featured at the 30th anniversary celebration of athletes at the 2017 National Senior Games was runner Kathrine Switzer. She “overcame barriers to become the first female to officially enter the Boston Marathon in 1967, and this year she returned at age 70 to run the marathon again 50 years later.” Switzer and the thousands of athlete participants from across the country reflect the strength and perseverance of older adults.
To read the June, 21, 2017 press release cited above, visit http://nsga.com/pressrelease/142-records-set-at-2017-national-senior-games-presented-by-humana.
To learn more about the history of The Games, as well as information on the state and national qualifying events, visit the National Senior Games Association website at www.nsga.com. The 2019 National Senior Games will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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