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Thousands of athletes pursue gold at senior games in southern Utah

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Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-10 16:28:51-04

ST GEORGE, Utah –Senior athletes from all over the world are in southern Utah this week, proving just because they’re over 60, doesn’t mean they can’t go for gold.

This is the 29th year of the senior games. Organizers say there are 10,700 people participating this year, representing 19 countries. The athletes compete in more than a dozen games, which include the traditional, like volleyball and soccer, but also the unusual, like lawn bowling and bridge.

“It’s nice to come to a place where seniors can show other seniors,” said competitor Doreen Labit. “Just because you’re old, you don’t have to act old, you don’t have to be old.”

Labit is part of the Lone Star Strikers, a women’s soccer team from Texas. This is their fifth year competing, and team captain Pat Berry said it’s about more than just taking home the gold medal.

“Over 30 is the oldest teams that we can play,” Berry said.  “So we come here and we play against people our own age. We can compete, and it’s just a great thing, and we get to meet all of these people.”

Organizers say the goal from the beginning is to promote a healthy lifestyle and give seniors the opportunity meet and play with those who share their passion.

“The motto of the games is to promote health, friendship and wellness,” said games operations manager Jeff Harding. “It goes a long way and it resonates with folks in this demographic.”

Athletes also said they’re impressed by the community that embraces the games wholeheartedly. Organizers are already planning a community event for next year, the 30th anniversary of the games.

For more details about the Huntsman World Senior Games, including a schedule of events, visit their website.