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Personal Best Tour Blogs
Each year since 2013 we have visited selected states to promote the Personal Best program. We introduce some of our Personal Best Award athletes who are examples of healthy aging on and off the field. Our goal is to inspire others to action and show that “It’s Never Too Late to Get in the Game.”
Follow along a...s we post blog entries recapping our Personal Best Tour events and some of the sport action and other athletes that we meet during our visits. Make sure to read all of the inspiring athlete features on the Personal Best page!
Use the search box to find athletes by name or year of feature.
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Idaho Visit was No Small Potatoes!

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 downtown Boise. They got more meat than just tasty chicken and pulled pork with an NSGA Personal Best presentation recognizing 78-year-old Boise athlete Dick Johnson, who inspires others to pursue active lifestyles with his “never say quit” outlook. (Read his...
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Olympic Surprise in Olympia, Washington!

Father and son senior pole vaulters Chuck and Phil Milliman knew they were being honored with two awards, including NSGA Personal Best recognition, at the opening social event on July 20, 2018 for the 22 nd edition of the Washington State Senior Games (WSSG).  However, the gregarious duo, who have been in The Games since 2003 and finally both won gold medals in national competition last year in th...
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Dover, Delaware

Personal Best Tour – November 5, 2016, Dover, Delaware NSGA’s visit to the Delaware Senior Olympics annual award luncheon could not have been better timed. DSO just completed its 25 th anniversary games and wanted to do something special for this year’s gathering. So, in addition to presenting a Personal Best Award to 77-year-old Georgia Billger ( read feature here ), CEO Marc T. Riker was invited...
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Personal Best Tour – September 10, 2016, Milwaukee, Wisconsin   In Photo: Don Hoeppner is congratulated for his Personal Best Award by NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker, along with Wisconsin Senior Olympics President John White (left) and Executive Director Mollie Bartelt.   NSGA visited the swimming competitions for the 2016 Wisconsin Senior Olympics at Shorewood VHE Community Pool to present a Pe...
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Franklin, Tennessee

Personal Best Tour - June 27, 2016, Franklin, Tennessee   In Photo: NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker (right) with Personal Best athlete Eleanor Pendergraft (holding certificate) along with (l to r) Tennessee Senior Olympics Board Chair Lisa Wright, Executive Director Christine Dewbre and triathlete Barbara Bogart, who first encouraged her to get into the games. “Y’all are the huggingest bunch I’ve ever...
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Greeley, Colorado

The 2016 Personal Best health and wellness initiative took to the road with a presentation to 60-year-old Colorado athlete Tom McAdam at the Celebration of Athletes kickoff event for the 39th annual Rocky Mountain Senior Games held in Greeley, Colorado. After introductions by RMSG President and NSGA Board Vice Chair Kate Amack (shown in award photo), CEO Marc T. Riker told assembled athletes and s...
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Clearwater, Florida

The 2015 Florida Senior Games began with an awards ceremony to honor their 2014 Games Athletes of the Year, Walt Deal and Danuta Kubelik. Both are past National Senior Games competitors. Also at the ceremony was State Representative Kathleen Peters, second from right and City of Clearwater Government Mayor, George Cretekos. It was the first time in the event’s 24 year history that the state games ...
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Las Vegas, Nevada

For the first time, NSGA presented two Personal Best athlete awards in one state visit. The "Las Vegas Double Down" happened because we first selected 60-year-old tennis player and cancer survivor Brenda Talley (left in photo), who is also the director of the Nevada Senior Games. A big reason why she became the games director is tied to her inspirational story. We just had to select Brenda to hono...
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Rochester, Michigan

The list of celebrities and notables who have joined us on our Personal Best tour stops include Olympians, a college football champion quarterback, a Grammy winner, a US Army general, the director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and a slew of local and state dignitaries and civic leaders. On this visit, we can add a World Series champion to the list. Detroit Tigers Hal...
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Evansville, Indiana

As the third-largest city in Indiana, Evansville does not receive the attention it deserves. It has the distinction of being first in the state for senior athletics, since local annual Senior Games have been held there for over 25 years. The Southwestern Indiana Region Council on Aging (called SWIRCA & More) has been the driving force behind this achievement, and when the opportunity came up t...
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Biloxi, Mississippi

When we first called longtime volunteer and organizer Lucy Bickham to ask if NSGA could participate in the Celebration of Athletes for the Mississippi Senior Olympics (MSO), she warned us that there might not be more than 50 or 60 people coming. After all, the Mississippi Senior Olympics was merging with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Senior Games for the first time. Would people come down from the no...
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Woodbridge, New Jersey

Fun, fellowship and fitness were found in abundance during our visit to Woodbridge, home of the New Jersey Senior Olympics. Everyone we met, from our Personal Best recipient Irma DeMarzo to the volunteers that greeted us everywhere, were "all in" and excited about the games. DeMarzo, who has been the tennis coordinator for the state games for 15 years, was recognized for being a longtime fitness r...
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Albuquerque, New Mexico

When 94 year old senior athlete Larry Johnson of Albuquerque received his NSGA Personal Best Award recognizing him as an inspiration and role model for active, healthy aging, he decided to demonstrate his vitality by standing on his head in front of 1,200 delighted attendees to the opening session for the 36th annual New Mexico Conference on Aging held at the Isleta Resort and Conference Center in...
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Columbia, Missouri

It was Show Me time as we joined the kickoff banquet for the 20th annual Missouri State Senior Games in Columbia. Jane Kaiser was the perfect selection to represent the Show Me State Personal Best because she is someone who walks the walk. Jane is still active as a clinical nurse and speaker, and has won many medals and ribbons in local, state and national senior competitions. But NSGA CEO Marc T....
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Pasadena, California

What could be better than having an Olympic swimming legend attend an award presentation to honor an amateur Senior Games swimmer? John Naber, who dominated the 1976 Olympics with five medals, found a way. NSGA honored 67 year old Vivian Stancil of Riverside with a Personal Best Award during the California State Senior Games athlete celebration at the Pasadena Senior Center. Vivian was a foster ch...
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13 September 2018
Athlete of the Month
Bonnie Strang,75, Millsboro Delaware Softball has the second-highest athlete participation of all sports in the National Senior Games. Since...
16 August 2018
Athlete of the Month
Ken Mink, 83, Maryville, Tennessee An often-heard joke among senior athletes after a good performance is, “Too bad you don’t have any colleg...
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...