The Long Run - July 2018
NSGA HQ has relocated to Clearwater, Florida. Please make note of our new contact information.
Mailing address: P.O. Box 5630, Clearwater FL 33758-5630
Main Phone: (727) 475-1187
Albuquerque Hosts "One Year Out" Celebration
On June 13, Albuquerque celebrated its upcoming hosting of the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana with a One Year Out Celebration on their downtown Civic Plaza. Mayor Tim Keller and several speakers shared their pride and excitement, followed by music, dance, sport exhibitions and an intergenerational walk around City Hall and the plaza.
More than 800 people came to the plaza, and the entire NSGA staff was on hand to help and support the effort. Please follow the link to read the full story and see photos of the action.
Age-Specific Competition Schedule and Housing Link Coming Soon!
We are pleased to report the Age-Specific Competition Schedule is nearly complete and will be posted on or by August 1 at NSGA.com. At the same time, the online housing reservation program hosted by National Transportation Systems (NTS) will open to allow athletes to pair their schedule and venue with hotel room blocks where we have negotiated best prices.
In the past, the complete schedule has usually not been ready until October prior to The Games, but our staff and local partners have worked hard to finalize the details to get this vital information to our athletes at the earliest possible time.
2019 Venue Spotlight: Bowling
More than 500 athletes are expected to compete in bowling at the Starlight Bowling Center at the Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel, which is located on the Santa Ana Pueblo about 20 minutes from the Albuquerque Convention Center. The adjoining 225-room, seven-story hotel property was just opened this month at a construction cost of $85 million, completing the vision of the Pueblo leaders to offer a first-class experience for visitors.
Starlight's 36 synthetic lanes feature the latest in bowling technology in a clean, modern setting. There's a pro shop, arcade, and the Starlight Bar & Grill offers a wide selection of pizza, burgers, specialty hot dogs, and New Mexican favorites, plus a full-service bar. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible and will accommodate our non-ambulatory division competitors.
Upcoming Qualifying Games
We are halfway through the 2018 qualifying year already! Have you made your plans to get into The Games?
Several qualifying Games have been completed, with many more coming up in the next two months. Register now for Games starting in August in AK, ID, KY, MI, MN, NE, WY and the National Veterans Golden Age Games. September sees Games kick off in GA, KS, KY, NJ and SD. Many other states have action continuing in specific sports so make sure you check the downloadable State Games Calendar to see what is still to come for your sport.
The State Information page at NSGA.com is where you can find dates, sports, website links and contacts.
2,000 Years of History at Acoma
If you think you are old, a trip to the Acoma Pueblo will remind you otherwise. Located just 60 miles west of Albuquerque, Acoma Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, and one of the best places for visitors to experience a traditional, living Pueblo.
Hour-long guided tours of Acoma lead visitors to the top of the steep-walled 370-foot sandstone bluff that has been the home of the Acoma people for over 2,000 years. The tour includes the San Esteban del Rey Mission, begun in 1629 and now one of the largest Spanish missions in New Mexico. Both the Mission and Pueblo are registered National Historic Landmarks.
The Sky City Cultural Center & Haak'u Museum opened in 2006, greatly enhancing visitors' experiences here. The museum showcases permanent exhibits of renowned Acoma pottery and textiles, while traveling exhibits feature other Native American art forms. Don't miss the opportunity to try traditional Pueblo food in the center's café. Las Vegas-style gambling is offered at Sky City Casino, which also hosts concerts and special events.
While exploring Acoma, you'll have time to visit with vendors who sell pottery and jewelry from their doorsteps. The museum gift shop sells handmade pottery and artwork. Hungry? Grab a deli lunch in the Yaaka Café or dine in the Sky City Casino restaurant on the interstate before returning to Albuquerque.
July Athlete of the Month
Just What the Doctor Ordered
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't quite right.
"In junior high I was a record setter in track, but my performance was off in high school and I wasn't sure why," she recalls. "I went in for a physical while in college and the doctor noticed something unusual with my heart but thought I was OK. That was before we had echocardiograms."
Susan chose medical school for her career path, and her classmates at the University of Minnesota noticed she lacked endurance when they found time to play tennis. She went back to the doctor. "I found out I had congenital heart disease. It was an atrial septal defect- a hole in my heart- that was three centimeters wide with a 70 percent shunt and blood flow going the wrong way. Within six weeks I was in the operating room."
The procedure was successful, and Susan continued with exercise but little recreational sport activity as she became a family practice physician, married a surgeon and raised two children. In the late '80s, after the family moved to Alexandria near her husband's hometown, Susan got back on a bike to ride with her kids and later joined a cycling club. "That was when railroad beds were being converted to gravel paths. Since then they have been paved, and I have 55 continuous miles of bike paths near my home," she says.
Then, when she was 51, the Minnesota Senior Games cycling competitions were held in her town and a club member suggested she just go try it. "My first ever competition was at those games in 2008. I was unaware of the level of competition I was getting into, and I did not have a fancy bike or cycling clothes," she says with a laugh. "I just went out there and did the best I could, and after that first race I was hooked. The people were just so friendly, and I wanted to see how far I could push myself."
Since then, Susan has competed in time trials and road races in five National Senior Games since 2009. She offers pragmatic advice to others seeking to start with a sport later in life. "First, you have to listen to your doctor to make sure you don't have any restrictions, because some people can't resume with the level of activity I have gotten to. Then, just go for it! There's absolutely nothing to lose by giving it all you have."
Susan quickly adds that everyone can benefit from exercise. "I tell people that if you want to live longer and fight heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, exercise has to be a part of your life. So many things are improved with exercise. It doesn't have to be competitive, you just have to get moving."
Senior Games was the perfect prescription for Susan as she reflects on her life. "Back when I had surgery I asked my cardiologist how long I would live," she remembers. "He said, 'Oh, 62.' I was 26 and he was probably joking and just picked a number a long way off. Well, I hit 62 last year and I just figure every day is a gift. I'm so thankful to be healthy!"
We want to hear more great stories! To submit yours, or to nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you, Please Click Here.
Senior Health and Wellness
New Contest! Tell Us "How Are You Aging with a New Attitude?"
NSGA is pleased to have SmartyPants Vitamins as the "2019 Flame Arrival Ceremony Sponsor" and we want to hear from you in our "Aging With a New Attitude" Contest!
SmartyPants believes that "growing up is up to you" and wonders how active senior athletes view aging. Tell us your answer in 100 words or less using the link below to our easy online form. Simply provide some basic information and then tell us in 100 words or less how you are "aging with a new attitude" and how that might differ from what you were taught about aging.
Deadline to enter is September 30, 2018. NSGA will narrow entries down to finalists, and five winners will receive a prize pack from SmartyPants Vitamins, including a 3-month supply of your favorite SmartyPants product(s). Winning entries will be shared on the contest page at NSGA.com and in social media later this year.
NSGA Recruits Wellness Ambassadors
Telling the story of the Senior Games is key to growing the number of physically active seniors involved in fitness through sports. This is the primary objective of a new initiative called NSGA Wellness Ambassadors (NSGA-WA). The program is designed to advocate through storytelling at opportunities associated with Senior Games at local, state and national level.
According to NSGA Director of Health and Wellness Andrew M. Walker, the primary goal of the program is to increase the number of seniors engaged in fitness through the Senior Games Movement. "The Wellness Ambassadors initiative is another way NSGA is fulfilling our health and wellness mission," Walker said. "Creating and responding to opportunities to share athlete wellness and active aging stories is one of the best ways to inspire peers to become more active themselves."
An example of ambassador activity occurred when Marlyne Walker, MS, a Clemson University extension dietitian and 2017 National Senior Games medalist, recently spoke on behalf of NSGA and the South Carolina Senior Sports Classic at a gathering of senior center leaders, hosted by our partner the National Council on Aging (NCOA) in Charleston, S.C.
Another example was when senior swimmer Jan Hinson represented NSGA and the Alabama Senior Olympics by speaking to a group of seniors at a National Falls Prevention Day event hosted by the Bayou Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
Minimum qualifications for Ambassadorship include:
- Motivation to tell your "Personal Best" Story
- Ability to comfortably engage individuals and groups in positive conversations with current and prospective athletes
- Ability to promote the NSGA using a variety of media
- Desire to recruit future athletes and volunteers
- Participate in a National Senior Games as an athlete or volunteer.
- Successfully complete a NSGA Wellness Ambassador orientation.
NSGA is now recruiting from a pool of candidates. For more details about the process, email [email protected] A Wellness Ambassador Presenters Kit has been created to support presentations. NSGA thanks our Wellness Ambassador focus group made of Carolyn Whitfield, Jan Hinson, Rosalyn Fabianke, Deanna Pack and Phil Holmes for assisting with our research.
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