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

Lorraine Lewis, 55, San Tan Valley, Arizona 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 triathlon for the 2015 National Senior Game...
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"You Gotta Have Heart(s)" August 2014 Athlete of the Month

James "JJ" Jones, 68, Kansas City, Kansas 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 played from little league through high sch...
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"Sister Act" July 2014 Athlete of the Month

Janet McDonough, 56, Cranberry Township, PA and  Patty Sweetall, 54, Louisville, KY 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 records in the 55-59 age group ...
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"You Are What You Eat" June 2014 Athlete of the Month

Michele Brown, 55, Lamar, Arkansas 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 could compete with others my age." Mic...
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"School is Never Out on Fitness" May 2014 Athlete of the Month

Dr. Paul Miller, 96, Normal, Illinois When Dr. 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 still active at 96 and possesses a ra...
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"Finding His Rhythm" April Athlete of the Month

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 degree and sat i...
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"Balls and Strikes" March 2014 Athlete of the Month

Samuel "Doc" Morton, 76, of Newport News, Virginia 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. He played "Bowling...
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"Winning by Losing" February 2014 Athlete of the Month

Dianna Laverdiere, 53, Charlotte, Michigan 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 gradually got out of hand. By m...
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"Really Cool Runnings" January 2014 Athlete of the Month

Harris Richardson, 69, Sumter, South Carolina 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 build an oil refinery in St. Croix...
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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 an...
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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 oppo...
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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 Clevel...
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"This One's for Mom and Dad" July 2013 Athlete of the Month

Linn Dunton, 56, Pine Valley, California 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 lifestyle change, surgery and much pra...
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"Where in the world is Ron Snipe?" June 2013 Athlete of the Month

Ron Snipe, 69, Port Angeles, Washington 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 reside...
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01 January 2017
Athlete of the Month
Sue McCarthy, 53, South Portland, Maine Spectators and the media frequently spend more time lauding the accomplishments of our oldest athlet...
01 January 2017
News and Events
Happy New Year! To kick off 2017, It is time to reflect on what our organization has accomplished over the past four years, and to look forw...
26 December 2016
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Ed True, 85,O'Fallon, Illinois As you read through Ed True’s life history in the conversation below, it becomes clear that the multi-faceted...
26 December 2016
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Dottie Gray, 91, Saint Louis, Missouri When Dottie Gray signed up for the first national sports competition for seniors in 1987, she had no ...