The Long Run - August 2016

Association News
Senior Games Video Awards Continue
Earlier this year, we shared news that Humana had won a gold medal for a video highlighting National Senior Games athletes in the large company category at the 2016 Boston College Corporate Citizenship Film Festival (BCCC).
Now, Fireside Production, the company that produces videos for both Humana and NSGA, has earned additional accolades for their work. Last month, the DV Awards, an international competition celebrating outstanding creative and technical achievements in the digital video production industry, announced that another video produced for Humana, "2015 National Senior Games: Inspiring Generations of Better Health,"won in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Digital Video Production.  
Also worth noting is that the staff of Fireside Production, based in Denver, devoted a day in June to volunteer with the Rocky Mountain Senior Games. NSGA appreciates Fireside for being an engaged partner and going above and beyond in their company practices.

Game On!
2017 Venue Snapshot: Bowling
Brunswick Zone Riverview Lanes  is excited to be the venue to host bowling competition for The Games in Birmingham. Located less than 15 minutes southeast of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center, Riverview Bowl offers 40 bowling lanes, sports bar, on-site pro shop, arcade and billiards and ample parking. It is also wheelchair accessible.
A local reviewer on Yelp provides this testimony: " The staff's extra friendly and treats the lane patrons (teens and us old peeps) well. The entire place is kept extremely clean." Get ready to see what our "old peeps" can do rolling the rock, Birmingham!
Housing and Travel Update
We are pleased to introduce National Travel Systems (NTS) as the Official Housing/Travel Partner for the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana. NSGA selected NTS because of its long-standing reputation working hand-in-hand on prestigious domestic and international events with many sports organizations, including USA Gymnastics, USA Track and Field and BASS Master Classic, among many others.
At this time, NTS is in the later stages of negotiating and contracting hotels, airline discounts and car rental discounts. All information will be available at around the first of October for making reservations. There will be comprehensive information with hotel details, distances to the venues and much more.
We want to note that dorm rooms will not be available for The Games due to standing commitments with summer camps scheduled during that time.
Online 2017 Volunteer Portal Now Live
The Games are powered by volunteers, and the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be no different. While locals comprise most of our help, we are always grateful when many of our own athletes and guests offer to help out part of the time they are in town to compete. However, it is always best for all volunteers to sign up in advance if possible to make the best fit.
The online Birmingham volunteer portal has now opened, and while it will be a few months before specific tasks and schedule offerings will be posted, you can register your interest and receive an email when information is available.
Use the link below to register using the "Add Your Name to Our National Senior Games Volunteer Interest Pool" button. You are not committing to volunteer by signing up, it's simply a way to let us know you are interested so we can reach out to you at a later date when registration opens. 
Birmingham's Historic Theaters    
A recent issue of Preservation magazine details Birmingham's successes in preserving and restoring three historic theaters. Check these out, and you can find out what events will be going on in June when spring comes around:
  • The widely-acclaimed reopening of the Lyric Theatre in January has attracted the attention of historians and entertainment-seekers alike.  Constructed in 1914 as a venue for the vaudeville circuit, the 750-seat theater underwent an $11 million renovation, completely reconstructing its interior and restoring the iconic Lyric marquee. 
  • Just across the street, the historic Alabama Theatre was built in 1927 by Paramount Studios as one of the grand movie palaces of that era. Also restored, the theater is in regular use for movies, concerts and other performances. 
  • The Carver Theatre opened in 1935 to serve African-American audiences with first-run films. Adjacent to the restored theater is the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. 
Not Qualified Yet? Time to Find Your Games
We are midway through qualifying year, which means many of our Member Games have been completed. Now is the time to check the schedules and get registered to have your chance to compete in Birmingham next June.
Games starting in September are in Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina (only open to state residents), and Oklahoma. States with continuing events include Canada, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wisconsin.  Check the specifics for the sport event(s) you are interested in by following the link below to find each state's web and contact information. 

HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month

The beaming lady you see here is 71-year-old track and cycling athlete Jean Davies of Los Lunas, New Mexico. She is not just smiling to celebrate winning gold medals in five events at last month's New Mexico Senior Olympics, where she caught our eye. Jean is also happy that she is sharing some of her medals with the families of fallen American service heroes through a nonprofit project called Medals of Honor. 
"Nobody was more surprised than me to win them - this is just my second year," says the retired fifth grade teacher, who adds she never did sports until she moved south from Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2014. Jean has kept in shape as an adult through yoga, Pilates, walking and recreational biking. She initially dismissed the suggestion to compete in The Games because she had never imagined herself as an athlete. However, she and a friend decided to try it.
"I have always been concerned about my good health, and thought this would be a way to compare myself with other individuals in my age group to see how I was doing," she says. "What I found is that it's a lot of fun."
While participating in a local "Heroes Run" charity event in May, Jean saw a runner wearing an extra bib with a soldier's name on it, and he directed her to to register and to be assigned a name. She requested three for her upcoming New Mexico state qualifying events, and soon received bios about Staff Sergeants Darrell C. Tucker and Vinson B. Atkinson, and for Specialist Andrew P. Wade.
"The only medal I ever won until two years ago was for ballet as a kid. Once I got a few, I was thinking that they were just hanging there," Jean recalls. "The idea of representing a fallen hero provided another purpose. My medals are precious because they mark what I've accomplished, but I didn't need to have them to know that. They made me happy, and I wanted to make others happy with them too."
Jean was gratified to compete well. "I was not the same person I was a year ago when I raced; it was a different vision and so motivating to represent them," she explains. "It was hot in Roswell, but I thought these were soldiers who wore hot uniforms and didn't have any comforts of home. I needed to go out there and do my best."
"I was so excited to go home and write letters to the families of those three guys and to send the medal I won for each," she continues. "I told them I kept their son, their spouse, their family member in mind the whole time I was racing."
Her running and cycling success has Jean now seriously considering making her first National Senior Games appearance in Birmingham in 2017, and then representing New Mexico when Albuquerque hosts The Games in 2019. "It would be a lot more pressure, being at another level. I will need to do more training to feel like I'm ready," she says. "But competing is fun, and it's not cutthroat or nasty with seniors. Everyone is respectful and some even offer helpful advice."
Jean plans to repeat the experience and that it has enriched her. "They helped preserve my freedom, so I wanted to help preserve their memory. They made me a better person, and they will be with me for the rest of my life."

Senior Health and Wellness
Superfoods Can Offer Super Health Benefits
Humana health blogger Heather Sumpter's article  "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" offers several suggested items that could provide significant benefits to our diets. She writes:
"It's time to get back to basics. There have been numerous clinical studies exploring the many health benefits natural, unprocessed, and whole foods can provide us. Health starts from the inside out, so taking a closer look at our diet may be the ideal solution for lasting health benefits. See below for just a few foods that can have a big impact on your health.
  • Coconut: A source some essential fatty acids, lauric and caprylic acid. These are responsible for destroying virus and bacteria. Some additional benefits of coconut include: improve immune system, lowers risk of diabetes, strengthens liver, protects against cancer, and other immune diseases.
  • Blueberries: High in antioxidants, which improves circulation, and help purifies the blood. If you have anemia, blueberries are a good food to eat. Blueberries have been found to improve memory and reduce signs of aging.
  • Salmon: Contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help fight heart disease. The essential fats in salmon additionally work to combat inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
  • Kale: Known for its cancer fighting properties and assists with detoxification supporting the liver. It has low calorie content and is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Quercetin and kaempferol are flavonoids found in large amounts in kale. These have been proven to have cardioprotective, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and blood pressure lowering properties amongst many others. The many benefits of kale are amplified when steamed.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Rich in beta carotene an anti-oxidant that converts to vitamin A in the body. This helps slow the aging process and reduces cancer risk. In addition sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin C and potassium.
  • Mushrooms: In Asia, mushrooms are used as a health remedy. Specific mushrooms like maitake have been found to treat the flu, blood pressure. Maitake and shiitake mushrooms both have been found to lower cholesterol by 7 and 12% when eaten daily."
Sumpter also offers links to find more beneficial foods in her blog   that you can find here.

Athletes, Get Involved in the 30th Anniversary!
Help us celebrate 30 years of National Senior Games in 2017 by sharing your fondest memories and fitness "secrets" with NSGA. Selected entries will be included on a 30th Anniversary web page and newsletter in 2017, plus in special displays and activities in Birmingham. Follow the links to convenient online forms below.
Memories of The Games
The introduction on the online form gives many examples of the types of memories we would love to hear from you, from funny to inspirational. You can even attach a photo to go with your story.  
"30 Health and Fitness Secrets of Senior Athletes"
The top 30 athlete "secrets" will be shared with national media in 2017. What's your brief statement? It can be an inspiration, a favorite or your own original expression, or advice you have gathered from others. It can be about exercise, nutrition, keeping mentally active, or staying motivated. Let's hear it!

NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Celebrate Older Americans Month with 2017 Logo Gear
May is Older Americans Month, as designated by the Administration on Aging with programs and celebrations around the country. What better way to dispel the stereotypes and show you practice an active lifestyle than to don apparel featuring the 2017 National Senior Games?
New designs are with the 2017 logo and other images are available on our online store.  When you the link below, simply click on either NSGA or 2017 images to the various apparel types. Then click "Personalize" to position and add the artwork you want onto your selection. You can virtually turn your apparel on every side and add images on front, back and each sleeve of apparel items. Then add to cart and you're on your way to styling a new look. Get started today!
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