From June 2-15, more than 10,500 senior athletes will convene in Birmingham, Alabama to compete in the 2017 National Senior Games.
Affectionately called the “Senior Olympics,” the Games feature athletes 50 years old and up vying for medals in 19 different sports, proving you can enjoy a healthy, active and competitive lifestyle at any age.
The first Games, which were held in 1987, began after a group of seven men and women, hoping to promote healthy lifestyles for adults through education, fitness, and sports, got together to create the National Senior Olympics Organization (NSOO) which later became the nonprofit National Senior Games Association (NSGA).
On its 30th anniversary, eight athletes who have participated in every competition since the Games first began will be returning to the field while three centenarians – a 101 year-old sprinter, a 103 year-old discus thrower, and a 100 year-old long jumper – will also be going for gold.
One of the original competitors, 75-year-old pentathlete Tom Lough, shared his own incredible comeback story in the June 2017 issue of Guideposts magazine. Lough, who had battled injury and cancer to return to the sport he loved, competed in the 2008 Kentucky Senior Games. His story of struggle and triumph are what the event is all about.
But it’s not just sport spectacles that fans will be treated to when the Games begin. The NSGA will also be providing health and wellness expos featuring everything from tai chi lessons to health screenings in an effort to get the older generation up and moving.
A sports competition full of athletes educating, inspiring, and challenging the status quo while motivating others to do the same? That’s something to cheer for.