Retirees vie for medals in The Villages Senior Games.
The gun sounds. Runners take off in a dead sprint and are neck and neck to the finish line.
The clock ticks. A basketball shooter has one minute to make as many baskets as possible from various spots on the court.
The pressure mounts. His softball team trailing 3-2, a batter desperately needs a game-tying hit in the last inning.
Action-packed excitement and nail-biting moments abound at The Villages Senior Games, which is being held April 16-24. This Olympic-style competition allows people ages 50 and older showcase their athletic skills in numerous sports, including archery, basketball shooting, softball, swimming, track and field, volleyball, powerlifting, and more.
In addition to earning a gold medal in their respective competition, athletes are also hoping to punch their ticket to the National Senior Games, held next month in Fort Lauderdale.
Participants have different reasons for competing. Some enjoy fueling their competitive spirit. For others, it’s a way to remain active and healthy. Some are there simply for the camaraderie and friendship.
Here’s the amazing thing about these fearless competitors. They are living proof that anyone can become—and stay—healthy at any age. The tired excuse of “I’m too old to engage in sporting activities” never crossed their minds. These athletes set their goals high, break down stereotypes, and maintain a can-do attitude.
Those in their 30s and 40s who live sedentary lifestyles due to a few aches and pains would likely be inspired by attending The Villages Senior Games. Watch the bald grandpa with wrinkled skin pick up the pace and cycle past his competitors. Watch the competitive grandma with a slight limp sink basket after basket in the basketball shooting competition. Watch the elderly man with diabetes belt a game-winning homerun in a thrilling softball game.
As a spectator, you’ll undoubtedly find that these games are fun, inspiring, and just plain heartwarming.
You’ll also come away realizing that nobody is too old for fun and games.
Or, put another way, never too old for gold.