The Long Run - February 2014


Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,

Medals are Gold, 

And your hearts are too!


Happy Valentine's Day from NSGA to ALL of our amazing athletes, members and volunteers!

Association News
Unique Campaign With Post Shredded Wheat - Vote Now! 

On January 22nd, Ralph "The Karate Kid" Macchio played table tennis with the hosts of the Fox & Friends national morning show and announced a "petition drive" to add a new sport to the National Senior Games along with a grant opportunity for athletes to compete in their choice of an eligible 2014 qualifying State Senior Games.


Post Shredded Wheat has partnered with NSGA for this unique promotion and Senior Games awareness campaign that ends February 24th.  Athletes and fans can "petition" the NSGA to add a new demonstration sport for the 2015 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul  by visiting a special website to vote from among five listed sports - fencing, judo, power walking, soccer or weightlifting. 


In addition, adults over 50 can enter to win a grant to compete in an eligible 2014 State Senior Games and join Team Post Shredded Wheat. Winners will receive one individual 2014 State Senior Games registration fee, Team Post Shredded Wheat gear (T-Shirt and gym bag) plus a one month's supply of heart healthy Post Shredded Wheat. But hurry, this one month only campaign ends on February 24th!


"This campaign raises awareness about the Senior Games Movement and provides Post Shredded Wheat with the opportunity to share the message that they wants seniors to live life to the fullest by eating right and staying active," NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker explains. "Through Ralph Macchio's media interviews, a massive audience is being exposed to our message." 

Click Here to Vote/Apply for Grant!

Game On!

2015 Games Logo Captures Essence of Minnesota

The 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana has a new logo! "This logo was designed to capture much of what's so special about Bloomington, Minneapolis, and St. Paul Minnesota," saidExecutive Director Beth Pinkney of the Minnesota host organization. "It's filled with symbolism that captures the essences of the games and the state hosting them."


Examples she shared are:

  • The Torch - The eternal flame is iconic for multi-sport games; also meaningful for seniors as the games demonstrate how their fire is still burning brightly.
  • North Star - Minnesota is the North Star state. This too is a great symbol for the Senior Games and the NSGA. Both serve as a light of inspiration and guidance for seniors as well as their families.
  • Trees - Trees represent the clean and healthy state of Minnesota, which is known for the north woods. But trees also represent clean living and how healthy, natural, outdoorsy living is a big part of life in the Twin Cities metro.
  • Three Stars - Represent the three host cities and tap into the heritage of star symbolism with Senior Games.


Non-Ambulatory Sports Added for 2015 Games

Over the years much interest has been expressed in adding non-ambulatory competition within some of the sports offered in the National Senior Games.  We are pleased to announce that the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana will be the first to offer non-ambulatory sport medal competition in Bowling, Horseshoes and Shuffleboard. Since many states do not offer this division of competition, criteria for qualifying will be expanded to welcome these new Senior Games participants. An athlete must submit verification of having competed in one non-ambulatory competition between January and December 31, 2014. Watch for more details to come.


2015 Sport Competition Schedule Now Available

The tentative Sport Competition Schedule is now online at  Venues and other details can be found by clicking on the individual sport icon on the chart. Please note the age-division/event specific schedule will be available once registration opens. The time of events will not be available until after registration closes. Also note that actual days of competition may vary depending on number of registered athletes in each event.

Sport Competition Schedule Online


State Qualifying Games Schedule Heating Up

Heads Up! If you plan to qualify in Texas (March 27-April 6) or Mississippi (April 25 - May 3) you should be firming up your plans now.  Coming up in May is CT, DC, IN, MS, SC, VA and VT so it's not too early to get registered. Visit the State Registration page to search for specific information and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in.

HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month

Winning by Losing

For the first half of her life, 53 year old Dianna Laverdiere of Charlotte, Michigan enjoyed good health and an active lifestyle. Then, her career job kept her at a desk. Marriage and raising three children provided some activity, and she made efforts to exercise and enjoy some bike riding.  But as time went on her situation gradually got out of hand. By mid 40's she weighed 270 pounds and was on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.  Since she performed administrative work for a hospital system, there were plenty of reminders about the road she was going down. Enough was enough.


"I set a goal to lose at least 100 pounds before 50," she recalls. "I began exercising and was seeing a small weight loss but no changes in my health issues. So, I increased the frequency and intensity of my workouts and moved to healthier eating habits.  Within several months the weight really came off, I became stronger and was able to reverse my health to the point that I was able to go off all medications." Then, another hurdle: breast cancer. "Since it does not run in my family, I believe it was due to my obesity - just another reason to keep exercising!" 


By the time she turned 50, Dianna met her challenge by losing 130 pounds. To celebrate, she decided to do a sprint triathlon, and every year since has given herself a fitness challenge to stay the course. At 51 she rode her bike 100 miles in a day in a Susan B. Komen "Ride for the Cure."  The next year she planned to join a rowing crew but had to put it off due to a questionable mammogram and another biopsy. "Thankfully, it came back negative, and I've been cancer free for eight years. But I was too late for the rowing. That's when I heard about the National Senior Games and decided to make a go at qualifying to cycle in the 40K Road Race." 


To her delight, she qualified and competed in the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana in Cleveland. "I came in 12th and wish my time was better, but I can pat myself on my back thinking about where I was five years ago."  


"I've been told that I am an inspiration to many, but what I tell people is that they can do this too if they set their mind to it," she says. "I suggest to others to put fitness challenges in front of themselves, to get motivated, to train hard and move forward."


It's clear that the only thing Dianna Laverdiere has really lost is her weight. 


We're always looking for great athlete stories.  Submit yours and read more athlete stories on our Athlete of the Month page at!

Senior Health and Wellness
NSGA Senior Blog Page Debuts

NSGA is committed to increase information and resources available in the Health and Wellness section at  The latest addition to our online content is the Senior Blog Page.  Here you will find links to some non-commercial senior athlete blogs that offer stories, sport tips and perspectives on active aging.  In addition, we have added links to blogs offered by professional experts, organizations and media resources that contain helpful information on a broad range of topics.


"Expanding the information resources on our website is an important part of our ongoing mission to promote health and wellness to all adults 50+ through education, fitness and sports," NSGA CEO Marc T.  Riker explains. "This is just the start. We know that there are other blogs out there that could and should be included, and we will add more as we find them. We are particularly interested in hearing from our senior athletes who may be posting journals or blogs that share their experiences and knowledge that could benefit and entertain others."


Do you have a blog about your experiences as a senior athlete? Do you offer helpful information about training, nutrition or other health and wellness topics online?  We'd like to hear from you! 


Please email us your link(s) to [email protected] and we will consider adding it to the Senior Blog Page.  To be clear, athlete blogs must be personal. By policy we cannot share content intended to promote a specific product or program for profit. We appreciate your understanding.

Senior Blog Page


NSGA Online Merchandise Store

Get Into Your Zone With Gear From the NSGA Store 

While you are getting into training, why not let everyone know you are a National Senior Games athlete by sporting something from The NSGA Store?  There you will find high quality tee shirts, hats, windbreakers, hoodies and long sleeve tee shirts with various size and color options. You can also custom print by selecting from a variety of available graphics.


 Visit The NSGA Store at to get yours.
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