More than 200 senior citizens participating in annual ‘Senior Games’

This week, athletes ages 50 and older are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals as part of the 32nd annual Midlands Area Senior Games.

 

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — This week, athletes ages 50 and older are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals as part of the 32nd annual Midlands Area Senior Games. It’s put on by the Richland Co. Recreation Commission, and this year’s theme is ‘Mardi Gras.’

“I like, you know, it’s a free thing. There’s freedom in Mardi Gras, and that’s what I like about it,” said Gloria Brown, one of the athletes competing this week.

There’s dozens of different sporting events the seniors can compete in; like bowling, golf, bocce ball and track and field.

“The very first time that I came, and I saw these men in their eighties getting gold medals in track and field I thought ‘wow, that was awesome!’ Made me inspired to do more, keep on doing, try to be active,” said Lillie Hunter, another athlete competing.

The games are a good way for the seniors to stay active, and they all say they enjoy making new friends at the events.

“Not only do we have fun; we can do things. People think ‘Oh she’s 74, she can’t run.’ But I fooled you, I can run,” said Brown.

“It’s the fellowship, and that’s what active, seniors like to do. They like to be together. So we offer the opportunity for them, not only to come in fellowship, but also to compete and live healthy and active lives,” said Lakita Watson, the Executive Director for the Richland Co. Recreation Commission.

“It’s a lot of fun. That you meet a lot of people that you might not meet otherwise, and you build friendships that you wouldn’t normally build,” said John Mower, one of the athletes,

The athletes themselves just want people to know; that age is just a number.

“It gives us a chance to show people what we can do. Just because we’re up in age, it doesn’t mean we can’t do things. And sometimes people count us out. And the Senior Games is showing them don’t count them out,” said Brown.

Athletes who finish in first, second or third get a medal to mark their accomplishment. They can also qualify for the State Senior Games, and will go on to represent the Midlands next May.

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