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Athlete of the Month

Each month, NSGA selects an interesting athlete to highlight from the vast diversity of people who participate in National Senior Games. These stories demonstrate the spirit of The Games and the benefits of fitness, fun and fellowship that athletes enjoy through their competitive efforts. Everyone has a story to share - what's yours?

Click Here to submit your information, or nominate someone who inspires you!

Use the search box to find athletes by name or year of story.

"Return of the Gladiator" September 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: Lorraine Lewis, 55, San Tan Valley, Arizona Return of the Gladiator People tell 55 year old Lorraine Lewis she should write a book about her life. After all, it's not everyone who has been an American Gladiators champion. She's started the book, but is too busy living life to finish it. Her latest chapter is this year's triumphant return to athletic competition by qualifying in tria...
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"You Gotta Have Heart(s)" August 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: James "JJ" Jones, 68, Kansas City, Kansas You Gotta Have Heart(s) Listening to JJ Jones tell his story, it's hard not to start humming "You Gotta Have Heart" from the popular musical Damn Yankees. That's because he continues to swing a bat after not one but two heart transplants. The Kansas native spent much of his childhood in California, where he fell in love with baseball and pla...
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"Sister Act" July 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: Janet McDonough, 56, Cranberry Township, PA and Patty Sweetall, 54, Louisville, KY Sister Act It was like old times when sisters Janet McDonough (right in photo) and Patty Sweetall gave dominating swimming performances in Cleveland at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Janet, of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, earned four gold medals while breaking national r...
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"You Are What You Eat" June 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Hero: Michele Brown, 55, Lamar, Arkansas You Are What You Eat As a physical education teacher, 55 year old Michele Brown loves to be a role model for fitness. "Everyone who knows me says I am one of the most active and competitive people they know," says the lifelong resident of Lamar, Arkansas. "When I found out about Senior Games, I couldn’t wait until I reached the age to enter so I coul...
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"School is Never Out on Fitness" May 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: May 2014 Athlete of the Month School is Never Out on Fitness When D. Paul Miller talks about the importance of exercise and shares his routine, he can't help if it sounds like he is lecturing. That's because he is a retired professor of sociology and anthropology from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, just a few miles from his home in Normal. However, the fact that he is ...
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"Finding His Rhythm" April Athlete of the Month

Humana Hero: Dave Kirgan, 62, Bowling Green, Kentucky As a race walker, 62 year old Dave Kirgan of Bowling Green, Kentucky knows the importance of finding a rhythm and focusing on fine details to keep moving. He also knows all too well the consequences of falling out of rhythm. A career Air Force man, Dave kept in shape and always aced his annual fitness test - until he was allowed to pursue a deg...
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"Balls and Strikes" March 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: March 2014 Athlete of the Month  Balls and Strikes Bowlers at the National Senior Games in Cleveland last year may have admired one athlete with a different approach. Samuel "Doc" Morton, 76, of Newport News, Virginia, took on all comers from a wheelchair. However, none would have guessed what a gifted athlete and true hero was in their midst. Sam always excelled at every sport...
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"Winning by Losing" February 2014 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: February 2014 Athlete of the Month Winning by Losing For the first half of her life, 53 year old Dianna Laverdiere of Charlotte, Michigan enjoyed good health and an active lifestyle. Then, her career job kept her at a desk. Marriage and raising three children provided some activity, and she made efforts to exercise and enjoy some bike riding. But as time went on her situation gradu...
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"Really Cool Runnings" January 2014 Athlete of the Month

  HUMANA Heroes: January 2014 Athlete of the Month Really Cool Runnings In the Caribbean the expression "cool runnings" means "peace be the journey." For Trinidad born and raised runner and cyclist Harris Richardson, the saying took on a literal meaning because 28 of his 69 years have been spent working and living in less-than-balmy Alaska. As a young tradesman Harris landed a job helping b...
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"Illinois Athlete Has the 'Chi' of the Tiger" December 2013 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: December 2013 Athlete of the Month Illinois Athlete Has the “Chi” of the Tiger Dorothy Sinson of Chicago has embraced challenges for her entire life. "When I went to Oak Park High School in the 1940's the prevailing belief was that the pressures and athleticism of competing would interfere with a girl’s reproductive capacities. Well, I went out for sports anyway and somehow managed...
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"Heartfelt Thanks" November 2013 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: November 2013 Athlete of the Month Heartfelt Thanks On June 22nd, 2007, John Bates was having the time of his life, sharing a tennis court with his doubles partner and wife Janice Sullivan. They had traveled to Louisville, Kentucky from their home in east Tennessee to compete in the 2007 National Senior Games. In one moment, he was practicing for competition starting the next day a...
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"Man of 1,000 Races" October 2013 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: October 2013 Athlete of the Month Man of 1,000 Races Experienced runners will tell you that it’s good to have a goal. But few goals are as remarkable as Don McMahill’s-that of competing in 1,000 races. The 77 year old retired YMCA director reached that ambitious milestone in the 5K race walk at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana in July. The occasion provided an opp...
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"On a Wing and a Prayer" September 2013 Athlete of the Month

On a Wing and a Prayer 55 year old Joe Garcia of Ferndale, Washington has a competitive spirit, but he had more on his mind than simply running a race when he qualified for the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. We couldn't believe our eyes when we encountered Joe dressed in native garb including sandals, tunic and seashell necklace and anklet after the 5K road race held at the Cleve...
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"This One's for Mom and Dad" July 2013 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Heroes: July 2013 Athlete of the Month This One's for Mom and Dad In August of 2007, Linn Dunton of Pine Valley, California was enjoying a full life as a teacher, track coach, wife and mother of four. With one phone call she was thrown into a battle for her life with a diagnosis of breast cancer. She says she put it into remission "with hard work, determination, discipline, a radical lifest...
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"Where in the world is Ron Snipe?" June 2013 Athlete of the Month

Where in the world is Ron Snipe? Senior athlete Ron Snipe loves geography. He made it his college major, studying in Mexico City and earning degrees at the University of Utah and Utah State, where he played on the varsity soccer team. A large portion of his career has been as a sales rep, consultant and research geographer for a major education publisher. The Port Angeles, Washington resident is ...
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01 April 2017
Athlete of the Month
HUMANA Hero: Julia Hawkins, 101, Baton Rouge, Louisiana As we often say, it’s never too late to get into The Games. It’s also never too...
19 March 2017
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Lee Stadem, 89, Sioux Falls, South Dakota You might say Leroy “Lee” Stadem has a reverence for sports and fitness. He believes that keepin...
19 March 2017
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Hazel Hassen Bey, 93, Montclair, New Jersey In sports, sometimes the story is about amazing feats of skill and glory. Other times, it is ab...
16 March 2017
News and Events
National Senior Games CEO Marc Riker visited Birmingham this week to prepare for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana! He team...