Senior Connections

Let the Senior Games Begin

The Nevada Senior Games that is. . .

We have just watched the 2016 Olympics and been amazed and delighted with so many outstanding performances! And now, back to the real world — with an opportunity to try some amazing performances of our own. In just a few weeks the Nevada Senior Games (formerly Nevada Senior Olympics) will begin. Opening ceremonies will be held at the Darling Tennis Center at 9:15, Saturday, September 17. They will be brief — welcoming remarks by Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony and singing of the National Anthem by former Phantom of the Opera cast member Bruce Ewing. The NSG Tennis Tournament will have begun Friday evening and continue through Sunday morning, September 18. This event will be followed by Dance Competition on Sunday, September 24, and then 17 more events spread out through the valley over the next three weeks, ending with Golf on October 18 and 19. See the NSG website, nevadaseniorgames.com, for exact dates, times, venues and registration fees, as well as entry deadlines for the various competitions.

This year is a qualifying year for those wishing to compete at the National Senior Games Association tournaments, to be held in June of 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Athletes who come in first, second or third (sometimes fourth or with a qualifying score or time) will be able to compete at Nationals. Competitions are based on age groupings: 50 – 54, 55 – 59, 60 – 64, etc. all the way to 100 +. In events which include singles and doubles, partnerships will be competing in the age group of the younger partner. Nationals are held every two years in various locales throughout the United States. In 2015 they were in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in 2019 they will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They provide opportunities for long lasting camaraderie and friendships as well as intense competition.

Nevada has been well represented at Nationals through the years. Seventy-nine competitors formed the 2015 contingency in Minnesota. Six gold medals, 14 silver and 7 bronze, as well as many fourth through eighth place ribbons were won by this group. And “a great time was had by all.” There was a similar showing in 2013 in Cleveland and in Houston in 2011.

Nevada is known as an “open state,” meaning that participants from states other than Nevada (also other countries) are welcome to compete here. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for the top three places in each age group division in each event. Out-of-state participants, however, cannot take away medal placements for Nevadans. If the top 3 medals are won by out-of-staters and if a Nevadan is in 4th place, that Nevadan will receive a gold medal as well as the out-of-stater. Although, if the top 3 places are won by Nevadans, a 4th place out-of-stater will not win a medal.

Not all of the Nevada sports are also National events. Dance, Pistol Shoot, Trap Shooting, Weightlifting/Fitness and Walk-a-Thon are not included in the NSGA repertoire at the moment. They are, however, very popular and enjoyable.

Stated goals of the Nevada Senior Games include: to encourage older adults to undertake and continue in a health and fitness-oriented lifestyle; to provide forums for older adults to compete with their peers and to receive recognition for their efforts and achievements in an atmosphere of friendship and support; and to focus public attention on the importance of regular activity/exercise as a way to achieve and preserve better health, especially among older adults.

We hope you will join us in achieving these goals!