Houston, Texas, June 8, 2011 – – The Reliant Energy Torch Relay will launch at the Johnson Space Center today at 10:00 a.m. before continuing its eight day journey en route to Houston. Apollo 7 Astronaut Walter Cunningham will light the Fitness Flame and take the first orbit around the Saturn V rocket display. From the Space Center the torch will go to Corpus Christi on June 9.
Cunningham said, “This sounds great. The last time I carried the torch, it was for the first manned Apollo launch.”
Called the Reliant Energy Fitness Flame, the torch arrives at Discovery Green in Houston on June 16. In the Olympic tradition, it will be used to light the Games cauldron, marking the official opening of the 2011 Summer National Senior Games presented by Humana.
The world’s largest multi-sport event for men and women athletes over the age of 50, the Games will bring to Texas more than 10,000 athletes from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and some foreign countries. They will compete over 15 days for medals in 18 sports at 14 different venues in the Houston area.
The Reliant Energy Torch Relay Across Texas is an opportunity to recognize Texans who are competing in the Games in the communities where they live. To find out more about the torch relay and to follow its progress in pictures, please visit www.NSGA.com/torchrelay.
With its motto of Long Live the Challenge, the Games are dedicated to motivating men and women to lead an active, healthy lifestyle through fitness, education and sport. Included in the competitions in the 2011 Games are archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, race walking, racquetball, road racing, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, triathlon and volleyball.
To compete in the National Games, athletes have competed in sanctioned state games during the last year. Separated into five year age increments, the top four finishers in each group qualified to compete in Houston. The Games will take place at 14 different venues in the Houston area from June 16 to June 30.