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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.
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Just What the Doctor Ordered - July 2018 Athlete of the Month

Susan Paulson, 62, Alexandria, Minnesota Cyclist Susan Paulson enjoyed an active youth, biking on gravel roads and ice skating near her northwest Minnesota farm home and discovering her competitive nature by playing recreational volleyball and basketball and running track in school. She was also active in dance line and as a hockey cheerleader. But gradually it became apparent that something wasn’...
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"High on the Poles…and the Polls" June 2018 Athlete of the Month

Brad Winter, 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico When Brad Winter was a kid, he and his friends liked to use a broomstick to jump up on walls. “My father got us some bamboo poles, and we would spend hours and hours on weekends with a pole vault run we fixed up with boards and dirt in the back yard,” he recalls. “That’s how it got started.” A decade later, he set a national junior college record and qualif...
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“Driving” Miss Peggy - May 2018 Athlete of the Month

Peggy Birkenbuel, 79, Fairbanks, Alaska When athletes travel to the National Senior Games, they usually fly if the drive is more than a day or two. Not Peggy Birkenbuel, 79, who has driven her car two out of three times to The Games from…wait for it…Fairbanks, Alaska. “It takes me four days to get from Fairbanks to Dillon, Montana, where my boys live,” she explains. “Then I set out to drive, and I...
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"Badminton- Straight from the Source" April 2018 Athlete of the Month

Kamal Chaudhari, 83, Temple Terrace, Florida The game of badminton has been around for more than two thousand years, but it did not gain worldwide popularity as a competitive sport until 19th century British colonists found “Poona,” as it was called, in the city of Pune (pronounced the same) near Bombay, India. They brought it back to England and the modern sport grew from there. Kamal Chaudhari, ...
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“Super Hero” Still Practices What She Teaches" March 2018 Athlete of the Month

Darcy McBride, 66, York, Nebraska Darcy McBride has more than 6,000 blessings to count. The Nebraska native retired from a 28-year physical education career in York public schools eight years ago, but until last year she continued to practice her passion – training youngsters how to swim. Last year, when she finally stepped away from the program she initiated in 1984, the town threw a party to hon...
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Father and Daughter Keep Each Other “Running for Life” February 2018 Athlete of the Month

Rod McGregor, 61, Hudson, Ohio There’s a saying that “children give you a second chance at life.” Rod McGregor agrees, since he was inspired by his daughter to get back on the track again after 30 years. A current resident of Hudson, Ohio, Rod loved running in high school, and chalked up league championships in the 880-yard race in 1974 and 1975. But once he got started on a career and family, he ...
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"Second Chance at a Dream" January 2018 Athlete of the Month

Liz Sharp, 70, Monroe, Louisiana Liz Sharp has always believed in giving second chances, and has witnessed it many times as a personal assistant and administrative consultant with pastors in North Louisiana over the past 32 years. She put that belief into action with her own ministry that has operated a rooming house in Monroe since 1998. “We help people get a second chance at life,” she says. “We...
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"The Long and Short of Bob Lida" December 2017 Athlete of the Month

Bob Lida, 81, Wichita, Kansas One of the names that appears repeatedly in National Senior Games track & field sprint records is Bob Lida. His name also appears next to age division world records and other high marks in masters track events, which has landed the Kansas native in the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame and earned a 2012 Best Masters of the World award from the International Assoc...
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"Thirty Years Through Alice’s Looking Glass" November 2017 Athlete of the Month

Alice Carroll, 85, Syracuse, New York In a way, Alice Carroll wishes she was one year older. The 85-year-old retired nurse from Syracuse, New York has participated in all National Senior Games since they began…well, almost. She wanted to go to the first gathering in St. Louis in 1987, but there was a problem. “I was only 54 in 1986, and you had to be 55 to qualify and get in at that time,” she exp...
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"Service With a Smile" October 2017 Athlete of the Month

John White, 66, Milwaukee, Wisconsin John White takes his sports seriously, make no mistake about it. But we’ve noticed that even in the heat of a triathlon, he’s always the one who waves and manages to beam a smile as he makes his way by spectators. The more you learn about the lifelong Milwaukee resident, the more you appreciate that he wants nothing more than for others to join him in an active...
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"Daughter Inspires Mom to Get Back in the Saddle" September 2017 Athlete of the Month

Candace Kennedy-Hess, 63, Kintnersville, Pennsylvania Six years ago, Candace Kennedy-Hess thought her cycling days were long over. The challenges of a single mom raising kids, earning a master’s degree at NYU, and pursuing a successful sales and marketing career had relegated her custom bike to be a garage wall hanger for 16 years. “I grew up on the Jersey Shore and rode bikes a lot,” she recalls....
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"On Top of The World" August 2017 Athlete of the Month

Curt Davison, 92, Kirkwood, Missouri Curt Davison is not known to throw his weight around, other than on the field of play at Senior Games. But when he does, he really lets it fly, and it has landed him in the record books. After 35 years in Senior Games, he now holds a world record. The 92-year-old from Kirkwood, Missouri participates in multiple running and field events, and at the 2017 National...
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"Out with the Old, In with the Newsom" July 2017 Athlete of the Month

Wanda Newsom, 77, Taylor, Texas Birthdays seem to bring extra luck for Wanda Newsom. She won her first archery gold medal at the 2005 National Senior Games on her 65th birthday, and by happy coincidence, she earned another gold as the Texan celebrated her 77th birthday at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham. “It was also my 7th National games, and I won my 7th Senior G...
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"Plus Factor" May 2017 Athlete of the Month

Dick Lane, 87, Livonia, Michigan  An exciting new development for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana is the addition of the 85+ age division for men’s basketball. This five-year shift upwards means that there will be now an 80-84 age group of teams under this new age threshold. One of the main forces helping to make this happen is 87-year-old hoopster Dick Lane of Livonia, Michigan...
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"Triple-Digit Comeback" April 2017 Athlete of the Month

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 late to set and pursue goals. This year, NSGA’s poster child for these axioms is 101-year-old Julia Hawkins, who decided to try competitive running at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana after she crossed the century mark last year. The retired teacher is runnin...
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14 August 2018
Personal Best Tour Blogs
Nearly 300 athletes and friends gathered for the 2018 Idaho Senior Games (ISG) kickoff BBQ held on August 2 nd at scenic Julia Davis Park in...
25 July 2018
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Dick Johnson, 78, Boise, Idaho When pickleball players see Dick Johnson ’ s name on their match bracket, they know they are in for a challen...
25 July 2018
Personal Best Tour Blogs
News and Events
Father and son senior pole vaulters Chuck and Phil Milliman knew they were being honored with two awards, including NSGA Personal Best recog...
10 July 2018
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Chuck Milliman, 85, Phil Milliman, 66, Sequim, Washington As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In Washington state,...