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“Pickleball Saved My Life”

Dick Johnson, 78, Boise, Idaho When pickleball players see Dick Johnson ’ s name on their match bracket, they know they are in for a challenge. That ’ s because Dick ’ s resume includes twice medaling in all seven recognized national and world championships in one year and racking up close to 200 medals -mostly gold- in these majors and 90 sanctioned tournaments across the country.  These include ...
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Jumping for Joy

Chuck Milliman, 85, Phil Milliman, 66, Sequim, Washington As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In Washington state, the Milliman family tree has produced a bushel of positive minded and active people, including Chuck and Phil, father and son gold medalists in National Senior Games pole vaulting. Chuck Milliman, a retired minister, did not start running seriously until his ...
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Healing Waters

Cathy Cornell, 62, Bakersfield, California We all have challenges to face. The many senior athletes we have profiled in this program have encountered a wide range of situations, but they all point to a common truth: you have to find ways to deal with life’s obstacles to successfully pursue your Personal Best. For some, these challenges have been extreme, but no one has arguably faced a tougher roa...
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A Newbie at 95

Mary Kemp, 95, Boca Raton, Florida The National Senior Games Association has a core mission to promote health and wellness to people over 50. We are constantly reminding people to get moving and find ways to stay active, and that Senior Games offer an exciting and rewarding option to go beyond basic exercise. Our motto is “It’s never too late to get into The Games,” and Mary Kemp is living proof t...
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Finding a New Course of Action

Mike Stacks, 52, Birchwood, Tennessee When Mike Stacks crossed the finish line with the top overall time for the triathlon-by more than two minutes-at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana, it caused a double-take among many longtime competitors. Who was that guy? How was he able to eat up those hills and leave everyone behind in the cycling stage? In fact, at 52, Mike had just become...
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“I’m just another grateful athlete”

Carol Klenfner, 72, New York City, New York Carol Klenfner knows it’s only table tennis, but she likes it. With age, everyone has a story to tell, but we suspect only Carol can say she’s been in the world of rock and roll, and now rocks out playing table tennis in the National Senior Games. Sounds glamourous, but it would take a very bumpy patch of midlife challenges to reshape her life in unexpec...
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Spirited Competitor

Lee Stadem, 89, Sioux Falls, South Dakota You might say Leroy “Lee” Stadem has a reverence for sports and fitness. He believes that keeping active is a necessary component to living a full life mentally and spiritually, and he considers himself a humble example for others to follow. A big reason for this modesty is because Lee served as a Lutheran minister for more than six decades in and around h...
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Still Rollin'

Hazel Hassen Bey, 93, Montclair, New Jersey In sports, sometimes the story is about amazing feats of skill and glory. Other times, it is about how an athlete overcomes obstacles to persevere in an inspiring display of courage. Frequently, such challenges come off the field of play, as in the case of Hazel Hassen Bey. Of eight athletes who have competed in every National Senior Games since 1987, Ha...
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Running in Style

Running in Style - Ann McGowan, 92, Providence, Rhode Island It’s always good to look your best. For Ann McGowan, it’s essential, even when she’s competing as a senior athlete. That’s because Ann was a hairdresser, cosmetology instructor and salon owner for more than 40 years. As a youngster, she discovered her love and aptitude for hair styling when she was inspired by glamorous stars in the...
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Roy's Run

Roy Englert, 94, Springfield, Virginia For a man who didn’t start running until after he was 50, Roy Englert has made up for lost time. In fact, the level of fitness he has achieved as a senior athlete has undoubtedly added to his time on earth. At 94, the retired U.S. Treasury employee isn’t contemplating anything but continued running and competing to achieve his Personal Best. Roy was not an at...
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“I Guess I’m a Creature of Habit”

Jordan Wolle, 89, Las Cruces, New Mexico No one loves water more than Jordan Wolle. That could be the setup for a joke, given that he has lived most of his life in arid New Mexico. However, he is quick to state his opinion that there are more good swimmers per capita there than most other states. He is also proud to have represented The Land of Enchantment in every National Senior Games since the ...
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Both Feet on the Floor

George Freeman, 86, Foley, Alabama There are just some people in the world that catch you by surprise. When you first meet George Freeman, he doesn’t strike you as an outgoing, gregarious person. He possesses an unassuming and good-natured personality that puts people at ease, and he is a good listener. However, once he starts talking, joking, and telling stories, he has the ability to light up a ...
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Tried and True

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 man has never found himself wondering what to do next with his life. It’s also evident that he has made the most from every turn he has taken. His mantra for happiness and success in life is simple: Don’t do anything you don’t enjoy doing. There are a lot of ...
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Go, Dottie, Go!

Dottie Gray, 91, Saint Louis, Missouri When Dottie Gray signed up for the first national sports competition for seniors in 1987, she had no idea how far the road ahead would stretch. In fact, before she was 54, the petite powerhouse had no idea she would even become a runner, or that her example would inspire many others to pursue fitness. Dottie had no competitive sports history growing up, burni...
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Heart and Soul

Heart and Soul - Georgia Billger, 77, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Georgia Billger has a competitive heart. This is evident by watching the senior athlete’s passion on the pickleball court, and from a history of participating in multiple sports going back to her high school and college days in Pennsylvania. At one point, she was the seventh-ranked tennis player in the mid-Atlantic states and sele...
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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...