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 resident is an avid traveler who has visited nearly 200 countries.
So, it should be no surprise that Ron, now 69, would keep traveling when he returned to athletic competition for the first time since college. In less than seven years, he has competed in 42 states – championships in Senior Games, Senior Olympics and the State Games of America. Swimming is his main sport, but he’s entered in over a dozen others, earned an armful of medals and qualified for the 2013 National Senior Games through the Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Wyoming State Games.
Ron’s goal to be all over the map may seem obvious, but swimming in every state is really a means to an end. “I’m just having fun traveling and staying healthy,” he told us from his cell phone in the midst of tackling seven sports at the Empire State Senior Games in Cortland, NY. “I do a lot of sightseeing while I’m going around. I’m enjoying life now. I’m a Vietnam combat vet and every day is precious to me.”
Even more important than that is the people he has met. “I now have friends from all over the country. I’m always cheering for the competitors. It’s not about medals, it’s about sportsmanship,” he said. “I’m also pretty well known to the organizers. I always bring smoked salmon from Washington to the game directors and swimming pool coordinators. I just love people.”