The Long Run - July 2017

Association News

NSGA Gives Highest Awards at The Games

The 2017 Celebration of Athletes produced many high points and memories, and we want to make sure two very important people receive their due recognition with our membership.

Every two years, NSGA presents its most prestigious awards for service to the Senior Games Movement. On stage this year, Kate Amack, NSGA Board Chair, received the Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award for her long history of support and service to the Rocky Mountain Senior Games and to our association. In addition, the Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award was conferred to John White, triathlete and primary force behind the resurgence of the Wisconsin Senior Olympics. NSGA thanks and congratulates these two dedicated volunteers.

Leaving a Legacy
At the close of The Games, NSGA had some sports equipment that cannot be stored or saved for the next two years. This year, NSGA gathered an inventory of sport balls and other gear to make a donation to the Alabama Senior Olympics and to Birmingham-area high schools through the Alabama Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness.

In the photo, NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker (left) and Alabama senior athlete Bo Carwyle, who lit the cauldron to kick off the 2017 Games, display some of the equipment with Phil Holmes, executive director of the commission.

"We always hope to leave a legacy in our host cities," Riker comments. "Donating equipment is one tangible way to do that, but we are also hopeful that the example of our outstanding athletes will inspire the local population to be more active throughout their lives."

Game On!

Savoring the Memories of the 2017 Games

The positive reviews are rolling in from athletes, visitors and the media. Birmingham, Alabama turned out to be one of our most gracious host cities and offered up excellent facilities and support for us to experience outstanding sports action and athlete experiences.

We want to remind you of some ways to relive the excitement into the future:

Final Games Recap Video:

The Games Daily News Online
Click on each day to read features and impressions of the 2017 Games.

2017 Games Photo Gallery
Some of the best images captured by our photo team. Don't miss the daily recap videos found within each day's gallery! 30th Anniversary Micro Site
Historic features, memories and images preserved for future enjoyment. The special documentary "National Senior Games- 30 Years of Fitness, Fun and Fellowship" video can now be found on the opening page. The Games in The News - National and Local Publicity Continues
The numbers are still rolling in, but it's becoming clear that the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana has likely exceeded the amount of media exposure ever given to our event! National media outlets attending The Games included USA,, Better Homes & Gardens TV, Prevention, NPR and The Associated Press, plus a representative from the wildly popular Snapchat mobile application helped gather and curate video snippets which were shared as an "Our Story" national feature on June 15th. Snapchat currently has 166 million daily users.

Additional features over the past two months have come from, ESPN, Runners World, USA Today, Readers Digest, Guideposts, Time, Washington Post, Fox News, New York Post, The Atlantic, ESPN The Undefeated, plus dozens of other national and regional outlets. "In addition, Humana generated a huge amount of publicity with their Game Changers program and media attention around the visit by their spokesperson and running icon Kathrine Switzer," NSGA Communications and Media Director Del Moon says. "Our combined efforts, along with a very strong local response by Alabama media, should make these the most-publicized Games in recent memory."

You can review major placements and follow links to video and online stories in our Games in The News archive page. Records and Results Notes
We are pleased to have reported that 142 new records, including four world records and seven American masters records, were set at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana. Here is a link to our news release which outlines these tremendous athletic accomplishments. Also please be aware that it will take several weeks for the Official Results Book to be verified, edited and printed. Our goal is to have it ready to distribute by early October. All athletes who participated in The Games will receive a copy in the mail As always, you can look up individual results and Top Ten All Time Performances in National Senior Games on the Results Page.

Destination Spotlight: Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers all of the culture, cuisine, attractions and amenities you'd expect in a modern metropolis. And with its rugged Western past, working stockyards and title as "Horse Show Capital of the World," it's rich in cowboy culture as well. From family fun to romantic retreats to outdoor adventures you won't find anywhere else, Oklahoma City has plenty of hustle without all the hassle.

Experience the best of OKC! Check out this month's featured events and activities here or stay up to date on events, deals and things to do by signing up for our free monthly eNewsletter. For more Information:


HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month

Out With the Old, In With the Newsom

Birthdays seem to bring extra luck for Wanda Newsom. She won her first archery gold medal at the 2005 National Senior Games on her 65th birthday, and by happy coincidence, she earned another gold as the Texan celebrated her 77th birthday at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham.

"It was also my 7th National games, and I won my 7th Senior Games medal as I turned 77. I should have bought a lotto ticket," she quips.

Surrounded by her longtime competitors, Wanda warmly talks about the people she has met and the friendships forged during her participation in The Games. "Archery is my thing," Wanda says, beaming. "It's what I love to do. I would love to live forever for these moments."

Wanda has overcome multiple obstacles in her life. In 2001, she unexpectedly lost her husband to a heart attack. Soon after, Wanda's son encouraged her to get out her compound bow and start shooting again. Wanda embraced her husband's love for fishing and hunting, and continued the tradition with her sons. What began as a bonding experience turned into a passion for her new sport.

"I can test myself," Wanda says. "I enjoy seeing whether I can hit the bullseye."

Six weeks before the 2013 Games, Wanda was in an auto accident that left her with a cracked sternum. Miraculously, she went on to compete but quickly realized it was time to adjust her style. The road to recovery hasn't been easy, but she is determined to continue the sport that she loves. "I wasn't about to quit," she recalls in a determined tone.

Wanda now shoots with the Genius GenX bow, which makes it easier for her to pull. She proudly displays her bow, brightly designed in six different colors. She even has tennis shoes to match. She also threw the discus in Birmingham. She is a member of the Texas Throwers, and is an ambassador for Huntsman World Senior Games, but archery has captured her heart.

"I'll keep doing it until the day I die," she says confidently. "I encourage everyone to do it."
- Story by Caroline Watt and Del Moon

We're always looking for great athlete stories! Submit yours, or nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you. Click here for the submission form.

Senior Health and Wellness

Plan Now to Host Events on National Fall Prevention Day

NSGA's commitment to promote health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport was clearly showcased at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham.

In addition to showcasing the benefits of active aging displayed in The Games themselves, the Village Health and Wellness Expo provided meaningful fitness and entertainment opportunities, such as the tai chi demonstrations by NSGA Health and Wellness Manager Andrew Walker, and the Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE) screenings that have been conducted by Dr. Becca Jordre and the University of South Dakota since 2011. Its results remind us to address a major issue for aging citizens-falls prevention.

The SAFE study screenings show that only 10% of Senior Games athletes experience a fall. However, falls continue to have a devastating impact on the general population of seniors as the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Seeing these results emphasize the importance for NSGA to publicly advocate continued physical activity to help seniors maintain balance and avoid falls.

Every year, National Falls Prevention Day is promoted on the first day of fall. The NSGA Health and Wellness program is encouraging NSGA member organizations to engage their community by hosting or assisting with falls prevention initiatives on September 22, 2017. Here's how:



  • Contact your State Fall Prevention Coalition lead(s) to find an evidence-based program near you and to learn about fall prevention efforts in your state. If your State Coalition is listed as inactive, please contact [email protected].
  • Identify seniors at risk for falling by offering a screening program such as the Senior Athlete Fitness Exam (SAFE). Feel free to contact Dr. Becca D Jordre at [email protected] or 605.658.6370, for SAFE implementation guidance.
  • Collaborate with your local YMCA to host an Evidence-Base Falls Prevention Program such as, A Matter of Balance, Otago Exercise Program, Stepping On, and Tai Chi-Moving for Better Balance.
  • Invite an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified trainer to conduct a functional fitness balance-training workshop for senior athletes.

For additional ideas and questions, please contact Andrew Walker at [email protected], phone 225 270-4322.

NSGA Online Merchandise Store

Didn't Get All Your Gear at The Games? Never Fear, The Official NSGA Store is Here!

Yes, we have a year-round online NSGA Store where you can order a wide array of wearables imprinted with the NSGA and National Senior Games logos and themes. You can select your own style and colors and can custom imprint to your heart's content.

The Official NSGA Store at, is where you can find your Senior Games swag. But don't wait too long if you want 2017 logo merchandise as we will be discontinuing availability in coming months. Get yours now!

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