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Against All Odds

Against All Odds - Brenda Talley, 60, Las Vegas, Nevada What happens when life suddenly deals you one bad hand after another? Do you fold, or do you find a way to play it out? Brenda Talley, who was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2008 and has undergone more than 40 rounds of chemotherapy, five surgeries and three recurrences, refused to believe each succeeding doctor's dire prognosis an...
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The Family That Plays Together...

  From left: Monica, Tom, "Pop", Nancy, Buffy, Dan, Carl Jr. The Family That Plays Together...-The Horstman Family, Evansville, Indiana As the biennial National Senior Games approaches its 14th gathering of athletes since the first event was held in 1987, we are delighted to see more and more intergenerational participation. Earlier in our history, we saw participation by couples, siblings an...
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Walk Like a Mississipian

Walk Like a Mississipian - Donna Gonzales, 72, Terry, Mississippi Race walking is an often unappreciated sport. The casual observer might consider its movements quirky, but anyone who has tried it or watched closely will attest to the skill and focus it demands of athletes. Precise technique and endurance, requiring extensive mental and physical preparation, is required to properly compete. Race w...
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Rallying Through Life's Kill Shots

  Photos by: Matt Oleszczak Rallying Through Life's Kill Shots - Sharon Huczek, 67, Rochester, Michigan If you are looking for a model of perseverance and persistence, you need not look farther than Sharon Huczek. The same would be true if you are looking for a model of an inspirational person who makes a difference in other people's lives. As you will find from our conversation below, Sharon...
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A Different Kind of Fish Story

A Different Kind of Fish Story - Alexandra Stafford, 54, Metairie, Louisiana N S GA's Personal Best initiative seeks to inspire an attitude for lifelong health and fitness in everyone by presenting profiles of Senior Games athletes who are successful examples of healthy, active aging. Having a sensible approach to nutrition is one aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so we decided to have a ...
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Cycling Away From Cancer

Cycling Away From Cancer - Michael Adsit, 65, Milford, Pennsylvania S tatistics tell us that one of two American men and one of three American women will personally encounter cancer. The good news is that with research and medical advancements, a diagnosis doesn't always carry the "automatic death sentence" connotation it once had. There are more than 12 million survivors who are learning to live ...
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The Power of Love

The Power of Love - John C. Taylor, 94, Atlanta, Georgia It's not just anyone who can say they have done a triathlon in the National Senior Games at the age of 90 or older. In fact, no one but John C. Taylor can make that claim, which was accomplished in 2011 in Houston. Even more remarkable is that John didn't begin running until he was 60 years old as part of an ongoing process of reinventing hi...
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Of Mentors, Mountains and Marathons

Of Mentors, Mountains and Marathons - Della Works, 80, Casper, Wyoming At each phase of her life, Della Works hasn't begun to imagine what the next turn would bring. As a farm girl in Wisconsin, she never saw a mountain while growing up, yet she would find herself avidly hiking and climbing them after she married a man who loved the outdoors. You wouldn't have convinced her at age 48 that she woul...
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Serving Others

Irma DeMarzo, 76, Jackson, New Jersey Irma DeMarzo is the kind of person that embraces everything that she does, and especially when it comes to tennis. In her native Brooklyn, Irma displayed an innate competitiveness and physical aptitude in a variety of sports and was recognized as the top girl athlete in her high school. However, tennis was not available for her until after she married and...
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The Show Must Go On

Jerry LeVasseur, 76, B r un s w i c k, Maine On a hot and sunny July day in 1944, young Jerry LeVasseur and his mother set out from Bristol, Connecticut for an afternoon of fun at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in nearby Hartford. The Big Top was packed with 7,000 fans.  As the show began, the unthinkable happened. A spark, likely from a cigarette, set fire to the c ircus t...
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Extra-Ordinary

Ruby Rott, 80, Saint Paul, Minnesota When we first invited Ruby Rott to be a Personal Best athlete, she didn't feel she was worthy of the recognition, instead suggesting another Minnesota tennis player in his 90's who won two medals at last year's National Senior Games. After all, she had only finally managed to capture a Silver Medal in Cleveland last year after ten attempts. And who would b...
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For the Love of the Game

Ethel Lehmann, 84, Largo, Florida Baseball was love at first sight from the time Ethel Lehmann was a little girl in New York sitting on her father's shoulders, watching and cheering along as the hometown hero hit a home run. As a teen that memory resonated when she set softball records and was named team MVP as her proud father and uncles cheered her on. But times were different and her mother mad...
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Soaring Inspiration

D r. Granville Coggs, 88, Sa n Antonio, Texas “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – From Invictus by William Ernest Henry When he thinks back over an eventful life, Dr. Granville Coggs is both astonished and gratified at the path he has taken and the things he has accomplished.  Growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in a time when society told him what he couldn’t do and h...
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By the Numbers

By the Numbers - Jane Kaiser, 65, St. Louis, Missouri Jan e Kaiser may not be the most gifted senior athlete, but she just might be the healthiest. It seems fitting that a native of St. Louis would be the poster child for our motto to "Be Your Personal Best." After all, the Gateway City is the birthplace of the National Senior Games. And Jane, who was selected to carry the 2002 Salt Lake City Wint...
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Targeting the Heart

Targeting the Heart - Little Big Eagle, 58, Midland, North Carolina There he stood on the awards podium in Cleveland, proudly celebrating his Gold  M edal in archery won at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. His name was announced - Little Big Eagle - and it seemed to convey to every observer that this was a Native American archer who probably had years of experience and know...
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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...