Athlete of the Month
Each month, NSGA selects an interesting athlete to highlight from the vast diversity of people who participate in National Senior Games. These stories demonstrate the spirit of The Games and the benefits of fitness, fun and fellowship that athletes enjoy through their competitive efforts. Everyone has a story to share -... what's yours?
Click Here to submit your information, or nominate someone who inspires you!
Use the search box to find athletes by name or year of story.

Chama the Charmer - April 2019 Athlete of the Month

Debbie Klecan,  64, Edgewood, New Mexico Debbie Klecan is a multi-talented person - masters swimmer, photographer, illustrator, art teacher and expert dog trainer. Her best attribute, however, is how she has met extreme physical challenges brought on by a horrific car accident 18 years ago with a smile and more determination to live life to the fullest. “I’m a different swimmer after the accident ...
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Competing from Z to A - March 2019 Athlete of the Month

Zoltan Zsohar, 71, Dallas, Texas What makes for a competitor? There are many possible answers to that, but for cyclist Zoltan Zsohar, it might just have started with his name. “I was last kid in line in a lot of situations,” he explains. “When I started college they assigned seats in alphabetical order. Because the classes were overbooked at first, I ended up standing in the back of the class. So,...
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For Jersey Strong, it’s Deja Vu in ABQ - February 2019 Athlete of the Month

Sue Benjamin, 57 Karen Strittmatter, 58 Diane Pevny, 59 Jersey Strong 50+ Softball   It’s hard to imagine any athletes being more excited to be going to the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana than three special teammates on the Jersey Strong women’s 50+ softball team. That’s because for them the road to Albuquerque this year went through Albuquerque more than three decades ago. Sue Ben...
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80-Year-Old Makes Birthday Run in the Cradle of the Marathon - January 2019 Athlete of the Month

Heide Moebius, 80, Lancaster, Pennsylvania What does your average person think about doing when they turn 80? Heide Moebius is definitely not average, because she set a goal of running a marathon in Greece and finished in Olympic style. The feat is remarkable, but not surprising once you know the background of the retired export executive. Heide had little sports opportunities as a child in German...
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Extra Frames - December 2018 Athlete of the Month

Joe Dorough, 68, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri   Joe Dorough knows what it feels like to get a second and third chance in life, and he’s making the most of it.    The 68-year-old retired Teamster started bowling at age of ten and it became his favorite activity. “I did it regularly, except for the times when I was working evening shifts,” he recalls. “None of my buddies could bowl with me in the morn...
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Too Good Not to Share - November 2018 Athlete of the Month

Betsy Hall is like many people who participate in Senior Games–she loves it so much, she is motivated to tell others to get involved and keeps after them until they do. The Ohio native was a late bloomer who did not participate in sports as a youth, but caught the running bug at age 45 after her overweight husband was told to walk and run for exercise and she went along to provide company. “He did...
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Heart to Heart - October 2018 Athlete of the Month

David Kucherawy, 66, Washington, Pennsylvania All dog owners enjoy a bond with their pets, but David Kucherawy has a special connection with his cocker spaniel Raleigh. In fact, he jokes that in a sense they saved each other’s lives. David has been competing in sprint track events and collecting medals in masters and Senior Games events since 2009, including a bronze and a silver at the 2017 Natio...
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Seventh Decade Stretch - 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 Bonnie Strang first entered Delaware Senior Olympics in 2007, she has become known as a talented and fierce competitor among Senior Games softball players. While Bonnie also enjoys playing badminton and pickleball in recent years, she got hooked on “America’s...
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The Old College Try - 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 college eligibility left.” Of course, no one takes it seriously, right? Basketballer Ken Mink did, setting a most unique sports record in the process. Ten years ago, at the age of 73, the longtime Senior Games participant stepped on the court with his Roane State Ra...
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Just What the Doctor Ordered - July 2018 Athlete of the Month

Susan Paulson, 62, Alexandria, Minnesota Cyclist Susan Paulson enjoyed an active youth, biking on gravel roads and ice skating near her northwest Minnesota farm home and discovering her competitive nature by playing recreational volleyball and basketball and running track in school. She was also active in dance line and as a hockey cheerleader. But gradually it became apparent that something wasn’...
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"High on the Poles…and the Polls" June 2018 Athlete of the Month

Brad Winter, 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico When Brad Winter was a kid, he and his friends liked to use a broomstick to jump up on walls. “My father got us some bamboo poles, and we would spend hours and hours on weekends with a pole vault run we fixed up with boards and dirt in the back yard,” he recalls. “That’s how it got started.” A decade later, he set a national junior college record and qualif...
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“Driving” Miss Peggy - May 2018 Athlete of the Month

Peggy Birkenbuel, 79, Fairbanks, Alaska When athletes travel to the National Senior Games, they usually fly if the drive is more than a day or two. Not Peggy Birkenbuel, 79, who has driven her car two out of three times to The Games from…wait for it…Fairbanks, Alaska. “It takes me four days to get from Fairbanks to Dillon, Montana, where my boys live,” she explains. “Then I set out to drive, and I...
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"Badminton- Straight from the Source" April 2018 Athlete of the Month

Kamal Chaudhari, 83, Temple Terrace, Florida The game of badminton has been around for more than two thousand years, but it did not gain worldwide popularity as a competitive sport until 19th century British colonists found “Poona,” as it was called, in the city of Pune (pronounced the same) near Bombay, India. They brought it back to England and the modern sport grew from there. Kamal Chaudhari, ...
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“Super Hero” Still Practices What She Teaches" March 2018 Athlete of the Month

Darcy McBride, 66, York, Nebraska Darcy McBride has more than 6,000 blessings to count. The Nebraska native retired from a 28-year physical education career in York public schools eight years ago, but until last year she continued to practice her passion – training youngsters how to swim. Last year, when she finally stepped away from the program she initiated in 1984, the town threw a party to hon...
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Father and Daughter Keep Each Other “Running for Life” February 2018 Athlete of the Month

Rod McGregor, 61, Hudson, Ohio There’s a saying that “children give you a second chance at life.” Rod McGregor agrees, since he was inspired by his daughter to get back on the track again after 30 years. A current resident of Hudson, Ohio, Rod loved running in high school, and chalked up league championships in the 880-yard race in 1974 and 1975. But once he got started on a career and family, he ...
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10 April 2019
Athlete of the Month
Debbie Klecan,  64, Edgewood, New Mexico Debbie Klecan is a multi-talented person - masters swimmer, photographer, illustrator, art teacher ...
18 March 2019
News and Events
Press Releases
Significant economic impact expected from massive Olympic-style event FORT LAUDERDALE, March 19 – Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been ...
13 March 2019
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Bonnie Coleman, 64, Bernalillo, New Mexico “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winsto...
09 March 2019
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Ralph Paytiamo, 81, Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico Ralph Paytiamo is proud of his heritage. With history dating back 2,000 years, New Mexico’s Aco...