Personal Best: Four New Athlete Profiles Debut
The 2014 Personal Best campaign has begun with an updated webpage at NSGA.com displaying four new inspiring and entertaining senior athlete profiles designed to motivate all adults 50+ to pursue active healthy lifestyles. We hope you will enjoy getting to know Ethel Lehmann, Dr. Granville Coggs (pictured here), Karen Newman and Little Big Eagle, and will also tell others to visit the page and read their diverse stories.
This year, the Personal Best Tour is planning visits to Minnesota, Maine, California, Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Louisiana. Watch for updates and tour blogs as we roll on!
Post Shredded Wheat Sport Results, Athlete Grants to be Announced March 18
The voting is done and a new demonstration sport has been selected to add to next year’s National Senior Games as a result of our unique partnership with Post Shredded Wheat. The promotion also involved awarding grants for 20 “Team Shredded Wheat” senior athletes to compete in a 2014 qualifying state games.
The new sport and grant winners will be announced this Tuesday, March 18th when celebrity spokesperson Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio will appear with Al Roker on “Wake Up With Al” on The Weather Channel around 6:30 am EDT to reveal what the new sport will be. At that time www.NSGA.com will have the sport announcement and provide the list of athlete grant winners online.
“This promotion has been a great success for everyone involved,” said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. “We’ve enjoyed getting media exposure for the Senior Games Movement. We are also pleased that several athletes will benefit from the effort. We are grateful to Post Shredded Wheat for helping make this happen.”
State Qualifying Games: The Oregon Trail is Open Again!
For the past decade athletes in Oregon have had to travel out of state to compete and qualify for the National Senior Games. Thanks to the vision and desire of the centrally located city of Bend, senior athletes in The Beaver State now have a new home for games featuring great sport venues and a welcoming community.
The Oregon Senior Games presented by Humana will take place in Bend from June 18-22, and registration is open to everyone. Sounds like a great excuse for combining competition with a vacation to enjoy all of the natural and cultural offerings that “The Mountain Town” and the region has to offer. To learn more and to register for an unforgettable journey to “the playground of the West.
Competition is gearing up all around the country as well. Mississippi’s Senior Olympics start April 25th and you have to enter by April 16th. May features state games in CT, DC, IN, MS, SC, VA and VT so it’s time to get registered – some have earlier deadlines to enter. Visit our State Registration page to search for specific information and registration links for the state(s) you are interested in.
Minnesota 2015 Games is a Tale of Three Cities
Quick – Name the first thing you think of about Minnesota and the host cities for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. The Mall of America? The Vikings, Twins and The Wild? Lots of lakes and cold winters?
Fact is, there’s a lot to know and love about the next location for The Games. That’s why Bloomington, Minneapolis and St. Paul won the right to host the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors! For example, The famous Mall of America is actually located in Bloomington. Minneapolis has been named the healthiest city in America and is ranked the Number 1 bike friendly city by Bicycling Magazine. And did you know Saint Paul has the longest residential Victorian boulevard in the country?
If you haven’t learned more about our host cities, prepare to get excited. Visit the 2015 Games Page for an overview, and watch for more information to come. We’re hearing Minnesota is already excited and ready to show you what “Minnesota nice” hospitality is all about. You betcha!
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Balls and Strikes
Bowlers at the National Senior Games in Cleveland last year may have admired one athlete with a different approach. Samuel “Doc” Morton, 76, of Newport News, Virginia, took on all comers from a wheelchair. However, none would have guessed what a gifted athlete and true hero was in their midst.
Sam always excelled at every sport. He played “Bowling for Dollars” in Madison Square Garden at age 17. He was a high school All American football tight end, but his real love was baseball. ”The Dodgers tried to sign me but I wanted them to pay for my college. They said no deal so I took a football scholarship to Syracuse University,” he recalls. The next year the New York (now San Francisco) Giants met his terms and Sam played third base in the summers, getting called up to the major league three times. “But I got hurt sliding into second base and tried to come back too soon. That finished me out.”
His draft notice came in 1960. “I had documentation to get out of it but decided to do what I had to do for my country.” Two tours of duty in Vietnam followed, and one fateful “Black Ops” mission changed his life. “The helicopter pilot missed the drop zone by 20 miles. Five troopers got injured that shouldn’t have, and I took the brunt of it.” The injuries made a wheelchair his lifetime companion.
Unbeaten, he completed a PhD in Special Education with an emphasis on autism. “Doc” Morton continued with sports, picking up numerous medals in bowling, horseshoes, shuffleboard, basketball, golf, wheelchair racing and field events. He was proud to throw javelin, discus and shot put for Team USA in the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta.
Sam has been a regular in American Wheelchair Bowling Association events and has bowled against able bodied competitors in five National Senior Games. He and his wife Kathy will be at the Virginia Senior Games in May to qualify for the 2015 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. When told that The Games will be adding non-ambulatory bowling next year, the response was predictable, “Hey, I don’t care who’s out there. I’ll take ’em all on.”
While Sam has triumphed in a wheelchair, it has not been his toughest challenge. Exposure to Agent Orange has dealt him strikes with diabetes, hypertension and fluctuating eyesight. A recent renal failure placed him on dialysis three times a week. However, Sam Morton has never given up and never will.
“You walk upright with God, and He will take you through everything you have to go through. But you have to believe in Him and believe in yourself as well as the people who support you. You have to live each day to its fullest because you never know when He will call you home.”
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
5 Tips to Avoid Hospital Readmissions
Patients are anxious to get home after spending time in the hospital but, unfortunately, unplanned readmissions can and do occur. These readmissions, which cost $17 billion a year, result in huge financial implications for hospitals and health care providers. Readmission is even more problematic for seniors since they are often readmitted for a medical condition different from the one leading to the initial hospitalization.
Whether a patient or caregiver, there are specific things people can do to help themselves or their family members stay out of the hospital and on the road to recovery. To help people proactively avoid re-hospitalization, Humana offers five simple but powerful tips. Please follow the link below for the complete article:
Humana, through its national chronic care program, provides increased communications, on-site follow-up care, nutritional guidance and caregiver support to more than 225,000 Medicare Advantage members across the country after discharge. The Humana Chronic Care Program has resulted in 34 percent fewer hospitalizations for members living with chronic conditions who receive this personalized, integrated care.
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.
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
“March” Into Competition With Gear From the NSGA Store
When you go to your qualifying games let everyone know you are a National Senior Games athlete by sporting something from The NSGA Store. Select from 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 NSGA.com to get yours