NSGA Personal Best Tour Goes Coast to Coast
Portland, Maine – Jerry LeVasseur
On May 31, Maine Senior Games held a kickoff luncheon where we recognized 76 year old Jerry LeVasseur with a Personal Best Award. While we recounted his harrowing experience surviving life threatening burns from a famed circus tent fire that claimed 168 lives 70 years ago, and talked about his success as a senior athlete winning over 1,000 races over his career to date, there was another compelling reason to honor him.
“We all know about his athletic achievements, but that’s not why we chose to honor Jerry. That stuff speaks for itself,” NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker told the gathering. “It’s more about what a difference he has made in other people’s lives, and he has done it over and over and over.” LeVasseur is a dedicated volunteer, serving on both the Maine and NSGA boards. He also has helped coach the Bowdoin College track and cross country teams near his home for nearly a decade, and the head coach and two former students (shown above) came out to pay their heartfelt tribute to his inspiration.
Congratulations also to Maine Senior Games Coordinator Jo Dill, who was surprised with the inaugural “Medallion Award” recognizing the hard work, spirit and love she has shown to participants and supporters of their games. Kudos to the board and committee members who managed to keep it a secret!
Pasadena, California – Vivian Stancil
What could be better than having an Olympic swimming legend attend our presentation to honor 67 year old senior swimmer Vivian Stancil? John Naber, who dominated the 1976 Olympics with five medals, found a way to be a show-stopper by hanging one of his gold medals on her neck to wear for the evening.
200 athletes witnessed the emotional presentation held at the California State Senior Games Celebration of Athletes at the Pasadena Senior Center. Stancil, a foster child who lost her sight at age 19, persevered to become the first blind teacher in the Long Beach School System, and then lost 125 pounds and overcame her fear of water to become a competitive swimmer. She has qualified and attended the National Senior Games since 1995.
You will find complete athlete profiles and much more entertaining details and additional photos in the tour blogs on our Personal Best web page.
2015 Venue Snapshot: Track and Field
NSGA is pleased with the sport venues being prepared by Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Track and field competitors will be impressed with what awaits them at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
O’Shaughnessy Stadium is a classic facility filled with many modern updates, including FieldTurf in 2004 and seating and scoreboard upgrades in 2010. The 5,000 seat outdoor stadium was built in 1947 and is the prestigious university’s football and track and field venue. The all-weather track has eight lanes, and the adjacent North Atlantic Field is where most throwing events are staged, with some additional field events anticipated at nearby Concordia University.
Athletes will appreciate the convenience of having an indoor warm-up track, dormitory housing and the student center with outstanding food service and comfortable lounging areas in close proximity. It is also a beautiful campus setting that will immediately charm the athletes.
Minnesota is ready to welcome you!
Upcoming State Qualifying Games
Here’s our friendly reminder to make plans for state games qualifying events in July, and you will find them in ME, NM, PA, VT, WA, WY, and at the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Coming in August are games in AK, DE, ID, ME, MD, MI, MN and NE, NH, NM, VT and WI.
Visit our State Information page to search for specific information and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in. Find the state icon, click and GO!
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Gettin’ Fit for 2015?
Wear the NEW
2015 Logo T-Shirt
Out with the old, and in with the new! We are pleased to announce the first T-shirt graphic featuring the logo for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. Get one to wear for luck if you haven’t qualified yet, or buy one to celebrate and show everyone where your plans are set for next July in Minnesota!
Of course you can always select NSGA images to place on high quality merchandise in your choice of color and graphic(s).
Visit The NSGA Store at NSGA.com to get yours.
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
You Are What You Eat
As a physical education teacher, 55 year old Michele Brown loves to be a role model for fitness. “Everyone who knows me says I am one of the most active and competitive people they know,” says the lifelong resident of Lamar, Arkansas. “When I found out about Senior Games, I couldn’t wait until I reached the age to enter so I could compete with others my age.”
Michele has excelled, setting Arkansas Senior Olympics records in five disciplines and winning a Silver Medal in the Long Jump in Houston at the 2011 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. In that same year she was awarded the Arkansas Governor’s Council Leadership in Fitness Award and was named the state’s Fuel up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year. She was also given the honor of carrying the Arkansas flag at the Celebration of Athletes for the 2013 Games in Cleveland, and brought home a Gold and two Silver medals from the five track and field events she entered.
However, there was a bump in the road that also taught Michele a lesson in 2012 when she passed out during a PE class on a 107 degree day. “I was dehydrated and my blood pressure was really high. They first thought it was my heart and put me on a monitor. But it was from being so active and not eating properly. I was burning the calories with my PE job, training for my track, bike riding and softball…it just all caught up with me.”
She later found that her heart was fine and it was insulin resistance. With proper diet she has brought her body under control, and it has provided her with a dramatic real life lesson to share. “As a physical education teacher, I always stressed to my students to continue to be active and eat healthy because it will make a difference as they age. I try to be a good role model for them, and being in Senior Games is a way that I can stay active and also show others what they can achieve if they strive to stay healthy.”
Michele is also a role model with her age peers, and she tells them they can always do something to improve their fitness. She also emphasizes that playing senior sports is not just for the elite. “There’s something at Senior Games for everyone. There are many options for people to stay active,” she says. “But make sure that you work up to it. Pick a sport that you’re really interested in and focus on that at first. Then if you enjoy that, there may be other things you like doing. But don’t sit back and do nothing just because you think you can’t.”
We’re always looking for great athlete stories. Submit yours and read more athlete stories on our Athlete of the Month page at NSGA.com!
Senior Health and Wellness
Travel Tips for Seniors
Travelling can be stressful for anyone, but particularly for elders. Eileen Zeniker, an experienced social work administrator and health care planner who oversees care management in Humana’s SeniorBridge retail office in New York, offers some ways to feel more comfortable and relieve the stress of travelling.
Make a Plan
There are lots of details that are easy to over look when planning travel arrangements. Remember to:
Prioritize Safety and Comfort
Travelling can be frightening, so make sure you are aware of these safety tips:
NSGA thanks Humana for sharing this article. For more information on a wide range of related topics, please visit Health and Well Being in the Learning Center at www.Humana.com