The Bee's Knees
Senior Olympics for You?
Senior Olympics for You?
Excerpts From Mary Elliott's Interview With Becky Ridky
I am super excited to be sharing some amazing news about the Michigan Senior Olympics. We are a nonprofit organization and we are the official Senior Olympics for the state of Michigan. We offer different sporting events, health and wellness clinics for ages 50 and over.
We've been around since 1979. We've been the leading advocate and senior health and fitness for 41 years now. Yet a lot of people do not even know we exist. This is the best job in the world. I get to be around active individuals over the age of 50 who are continuing to push themselves and see what they're capable of doing.
Each state has one official qualifying games that could get the athletes to the national senior games. The national senior games are actually going to be held in 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So there's still time for everyone out there who is looking to possibly do this and get trained and ready to go.
We have so many athletes from Michigan that have family members in other states across the country. A lot of them will even use the national senior games as almost like a family reunion where they all come and compete together at the games.
Put That New Knee to New Use (Senior Olympics Training)
The athletes compete in five year age groups, so we won't have 50 year olds competing against 80 year olds. The age groups break down 50 to 54 55 to 59 and so on all the way up to our hundred plus age group.
We had one gentleman who was 102 years old who participated in our track and field events. He did the a 50 meter dash, hundred meter dash, long jump and shot put.
Most people train on their own or they work through senior fitness centers in the area. But if someone doesn't know where to start or how to go about starting that training, we always try to help them by setting them up with places in their area for them to train. Our offices are actually located at the OPC senior center in Rochester, MI. We have gyms, pools and a lot of different opportunities for people to train right here at the same location that we're housed in.
For someone that might be on the other side of the state, if they call us and want to get involved, we will work with them to try to find local senior centers or fitness centers that might be able to train them. It could be for a specific event. We get calls from people that might have done shot put or discus during the track and field events back in high school that haven't done it in years and are thinking that they might want to give it a try. Sometimes we'll be able to set them up with local high school track and field coaches or people that might be willing just to train them. Sometimes we'll have athletes that'll train each other or meet up to work out together. We try to make training an option for people that are looking to get involved.
Are the Senior Olympics for You?
There are so many sports to consider. We do a basketball skills challenge, which includes a free throw in three-point competition. We have billiards, bocce ball, bowling, cornhole, a ballroom, dance competition, ice hockey, pickleball, powerlifting, racquetball table, tennis, cross country skiing, coed volleyball and track indoor track and field. And that's just our winter games alone.
In August, we have really something for everyone.