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The Show Must Go On

Jerry LeVasseur, 76, Brunswick, Maine On a hot and sunny July day in 1944, young Jerry LeVasseur and his mother set out from Bristol, Connecticut for an afternoon of fun at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in nearby Hartford. The Big Top was packed with 7,000 fans.  As the show began, the unthinkable happened. A spark, likely from a cigarette, set fire to the circus tent whic...
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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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Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 2014 Personal Best Tour kicked off with a reception at The NSGA Annual Conference where 80 year old tennis player Ruby Rott (pronounced "wrote") of St. Paul was introduced to attendees who manage state Senior Games around the nation. An official presentation event for public and media will be held during the Minnesota Senior Games in August, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to give a sn...
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Extra-Ordinary

Ruby Rott, 80, Saint Paul, Minnesota When we first invited Ruby Rott to be a Personal Best athlete, she didn't feel she was worthy of the recognition, instead suggesting another Minnesota tennis player in his 90's who won two medals at last year's National Senior Games. After all, she had only finally managed to capture a Silver Medal in Cleveland last year after ten attempts. And who would b...
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For the Love of the Game

Ethel Lehmann, 84, Largo, Florida Baseball was love at first sight from the time Ethel Lehmann was a little girl in New York sitting on her father's shoulders, watching and cheering along as the hometown hero hit a home run. As a teen that memory resonated when she set softball records and was named team MVP as her proud father and uncles cheered her on. But times were different and her mother mad...
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Soaring Inspiration

Dr. Granville Coggs, 88, San Antonio, Texas “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – From Invictus by William Ernest Henry When he thinks back over an eventful life, Dr. Granville Coggs is both astonished and gratified at the path he has taken and the things he has accomplished.  Growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in a time when society told him what he couldn’t do and how...
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By the Numbers

By the Numbers - Jane Kaiser, 65, St. Louis, Missouri Jane Kaiser may not be the most gifted senior athlete, but she just might be the healthiest. It seems fitting that a native of St. Louis would be the poster child for our motto to "Be Your Personal Best." After all, the Gateway City is the birthplace of the National Senior Games. And Jane, who was selected to carry the 2002 Salt Lake City Winte...
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Targeting the Heart

Targeting the Heart - Little Big Eagle, 58, Midland, North Carolina There he stood on the awards podium in Cleveland, proudly celebrating his Gold Medal in archery won at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. His name was announced - Little Big Eagle - and it seemed to convey to every observer that this was a Native American archer who probably had years of experience and knowle...
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Full Cycle

Full Cycle - Larry Johnson, 94, Albuquerque, New Mexico When he turned 90, Larry Johnson's grandson challenged him to ride his bike 90 miles to celebrate. Not only did he accept the challenge, he made it an even 100 miles and staged the ride on a spin cycle at his gym in Albuquerque. Now 94, the gregarious National Senior Games medalist has duplicated the feat annually, and has inspired ...
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Going Great Lengths

Going Great Lengths - Vivian Stancil, 67, Riverside, California Photo (below) By: Cathy Wilson If you had told a young Vivian Stancil she would one day be swimming and competing in Senior Games, she would have laughed out loud at the notion. She was always deathly afraid of water, and could have easily quit with the first panic attack that gripped her when she finally did ease into a pool to learn...
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Forever 21

Forever 21 - Karen Newman, 52, New Greenwich, Connecticut It would be easy to survey the athletic accomplishments of seven time All- American triathlete Karen Newman and assume her road has been a relatively easy one. Of course, a natural runner with an intensely competitive attitude would be able to return to form after taking a break to marry and have three kids. Nothing that extraordinary about...
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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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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...
10 March 2017
Athlete of the Month
HUMANA Hero: Whitman “Pete” Cross, 85, Charlottesville, Virginia During this 30th anniversary year, NSGA has asked athletes to send in ...