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Athletes for the Ages

by Pam Hayle February 01, 2018

February is usually perceived as a month we just need to get through to get closer to the end of Minnesota winter! Every four years however it is time for the Winter Olympics which thoroughly captivates many Americans for those 12 days of competition and amazing athletic achievements. It is not only the fun of watching but as someone who enjoys sports and can be a little competitive it is that motivation to run a little faster, work out a little longer that makes the Olympics so inspiring.


Senior Games, 2017, in Minneapolis

Something to boast about

This reminds me of all the astonishing older adults who participate in the Senior Games, their diligence and commitment just as strong as younger Olympic athletes. These athletes also put ageism in a whole different perspective. Their age is a banner of strength. The older the athlete, the more respected and notable are their athletic skills. They are proud to be a 99-year-old beating a 92-year-old in tennis! Their age is something to boast about rather than consider a problem or flaw.

Building on strength and abilities of older adults

The attitude these senior competitors exhibit is the same attitude of engaged older adults we find in the Vital Aging Network. The strength and abilities of older adults can and does overpower the constraints and societal myths around aging. The programs that VAN offers older adults, empower individuals to participate and fully engage in their communities. I strongly encourage you to carry the torch of positive aging and participate in VAN forums, Aging with Gusto, Evolve classes, and learn more about VAN’s Wellness 50+ initiatives.

For more information about the Senior Games participants take a look at the Age of Champions, an award-winning PBS documentary following five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics