Older athletes compete in Senior Olympics

By Maria Narciso
Baytown Sun


Published October 03, 2005

Age does not stop Baytown’s older athletes from competing this week at the 31st annual Senior Olympics.

The free competition, especially designed for those 50 years old and older, begins today and ends with an awards luncheon Thursday.

There will be about 400 competitors this year, said Lynne Foley, Lee College Senior Citizen Program Director. Because this is about 100 less participants than usual, those who wish to participate may still register on the day of competition.

Foley, who has helped organize the event the past 16 years, said she enjoyed watching the athletes compete.

“It reminds us that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can still be out and healthy,” she said.

Athletes will be separated into three different age groups: 50 to 59 years old, 60 to 69 years’ old, and 70 years old and up.

Events include bowling, walking, volleyball, horseshoes, ping-pong, tennis and a fitness competition, among others. A swimming competition was added this year because a pool was available at Lee College.

There are also less strenuous activities available, such as dominoes, 42, Skip Boe, checkers and a spelling bee.

Foley said another event to look forward to is the basketball shoot-off between Representative Wayne Smith, Mayor Calvin Mundinger and Jim Finley Tuesday morning during opening ceremonies. Finley has won the contest since it was first introduced to the Senior Olympics three years ago, and Foley said he was planning to defend his title.

There are also several “hot shot” athletes that participate, including Leonard Morgan, whom Foley said has participated in the Olympics for about 10 years and has won several events.

The Senior Olympics will take place at the Barrett Station Community Center, the Lee College campus, the Highlands Community Center, the J.D. Walker Community Center and the Baytown Community Center.

First- and second-place winners receive gold and silver medals. All participants will receive a souvenir T-shirt from Texas Health Spring, who has funded the Senior Olympics for the past three years. It will also be the sixth year that the Outback Steakhouse, 5218 Interstate 10, will provide lunch for the awards ceremony.

Lee College students, including the Student Congress, will judge and assist in competitions Tuesday. Key Clubs from Robert E. Lee and Ross S. Sterling high schools and Outback Steakhouse employees will also volunteer their time.

Lee College, Baytown Parks and Recreation and Harris County Precinct Two have partnered together for the past 31 years to make the Senior Olympics possible.

Harris County Precinct Two Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and their Senior Citizens Program will help arrange bus transportation. Those who need help with transportation to the neighboring cities should call 281-452-7598.

For more information on the Greater Baytown Area Senior Olympics, please contact Lee College Senior Citizen’s Program at 281-425-6416, City of Baytown Parks and Recreation at 281-420-6594 or East Harris County Precinct Two Senior Citizen’s Program at 281-452-7598.

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