There were so many reasons to have our 7th event in Cleveland during the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Six athletes featured on our web page were not included in the tour and deserved to have their Personal Best Award moment. It was an opportunity to share a multimedia recap the tour to date and invite as many of the featured athletes to be introduced again. It was also a way to celebrate the Personal Best attitude that all senior games athletes share. And what a celebration it was. Nine of the 14 athletes we’ve profiled were among the 150 or more athletes that came to the stage at the Village sponsored by AstraZeneca to enjoy the fun and surprises.
What surprises, you ask? The biggest “wow” came when 60 year old track and field champion Kay Glynn was brought onstage. NSGA’s Marc T. Riker told how she had courageously put off hip replacement surgery to be in the games and commented “I guess you won’t be doing any cartwheels and handstands to warm up as you’ve always done.” Glynn said “Oh yeah?” and launched into a 3 minute “Old Time Rock and Roll” routine (click on the Youtube image above).
Another emotional surprise happened when we brought up Elli Edgar’s badminton partner and presented her with a Personal Best award because of her perseverance with many of the same challenges that Edgar faced. We also introduced swimmer John Tatum’s extended family of supporters who came to Cleveland from Washington DC to cheer him on. We also recognized Jackie Stephens’ NOVA United basketball team members in the crowd.
There was yet another reason for this Cleveland event: Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, traveled from the nation’s capital to show support for our fitness message. Pfohl (shown above with John Tatum) also stayed an extra day to see some competition action. After her comments, NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker and Pfohl signed an agreement onstage making NSGA an official President’s Challenge Advocate. As an advocate, NSGA will promote their Adult Fitness Challenge in our communications and NSGA will have its logo and name on the Council website. In addition, Pfohl suggested they will try to get some of their celebrity spokespeople to future NSGA and Personal Best events.
Of our first six profile athletes, Mark Ballenger, Kay Glynn and DeEtte Sauer were in attendance to receive their awards. Of the remaining three, Mary Lauffer and Howard Hall had conflicts due to competition schedules, and our “100,000 mile man” Mike Fanelli unfortunately had to cancel his trip to Cleveland due to a medical condition that requires surgery. Riker read a passionate note from Fanelli pledging to make a return in 2015 that evoked an ovation from the gathering.
But we weren’t done when the show ended. The next day Riker and Pfohl snuck up on the crafty Howard Hall and made an impromptu surprise award presentation to the 92 year old Kentuckian moments after he won a silver medal in the 100 meter finals at the track stadium.
You are missing out if haven’t read all of the inspiring profiles of these Personal Best athletes. You can also revisit the first six profiles with their final journal entries posted after the Games. Read how the journey turned out for Mark, DeEtte, Howard, Mary, Mike and Kay in their Personal Best profiles.
Personal Best Information Homepage For more information: Del Moon, NSGA Communications and Media DMoon@NSGA.com 225.202.5719