Editor’s Note: Nick Gandy (on right with athlete Ed Soderberg) does an excellent job as the media director for the Florida Senior Games and was eager to contribute stories about “his people” to the Games Daily. Nick is your typical veteran sports writer, but he’s not burned out or lost his passion for people nor the Games. I thought you would appreciate one of Nick’s recent Facebook posts about an athlete that reveals a little of that passion. – Del Moon
Facebook post 5/13/22
This guy, Ed Soderberg. What a goof. I saw the backwards hat among a group of runners and I knew it was him.
During our four-year Florida Senior Games run in Clearwater, Ed showed up in the Games Headquarters and asked, “Is this where I register for track and field?” I told him registration closed a couple weeks ago and the track and field meet was a couple of days away.
He informed me he had flown in from Connecticut to compete and what could we do to help him. What was I going to do, send this guy packing? Of course, we pulled some strings to accommodate him and since then he has been one of my people.
Ed was running in the 400 meter the other day and his form is still the same as it was four or five years ago. He looks like he’s in pain and going to keel over any minute. I was on the field taking photos of a Florida long jumper and saw him coming around the final turn, as the last runner of the heat. I shouted out some words of encouragement and he looked over at me and raised his arms in appreciation.
During our time with Ed in Clearwater, we found out he is actually an accomplished nature and wildlife photographer. We were shocked our goofy guy had such talent. You can Google him and find out.
As I was leaving the track and field facility, he came barreling past me with an impressive looking camera in his hands. He had proudly told me earlier his son was also running in the 400 meter run and he was making his way back to the track to shoot some photos of him.
Ed Soderberg typifies the Senior Games athlete. He’s 80+ years old. He shows up, does the best he can and makes friends while he’s doing all of that. That qualifies him to be one of my people.