Anne Warner Cribbs Honored with 2015 Olympic Torch Award
We are proud to announce that one of our own has received a high honor from the United States Olympic Committee. On September 25, Anne Warner Cribbs was named the 2015 Olympic Torch Award recipient at the closing awards dinner for the 2015 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly held in Colorado Springs. NSGA’s CEO Marc T. Riker attended the assembly (we are a member of the USOC Multi Sports Council) and was on hand to congratulate Cribbs for the honor.
The Olympic Torch Award, established in 1965, recognizes an individual who has positively impacted the Olympic Movement by promoting the Olympic Ideals. Warner Cribbs, a 1960 Olympic gold medalist in swimming, has dedicated her career to advancing sport and maximizing opportunities for youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
She helped build the California Senior Games Association and continues to serve as its board chair. She led the successful bid for Palo Alto to host the 2009 National Senior Games presented by Humana and acted as the host organization’s chair.
She also co-founded the American Basketball League, and was selected as president and CEO of the San Francisco Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee, for which she became the first female to lead a major U.S. Olympic bid with San Francisco 2012.
The entire Senior Games Movement congratulates Anne Warner Cribbs for this well-deserved recognition!
The Games in The News: More Media Updates
Voice of America Features Fitness Test
We’re pleased to report that the Voice of America, a media platform that reaches millions in this country and around the globe, has aired a video feature highlighting the NSGA Fitness Age Survey results.
The extended story includes interviews with longtime Senior Games athlete Tony Diamond of Washington, DC, basketball and pickelball medalist Helen White of Alexandria, VA and comments by Dr. Pamela Peeke, NSGA Foundation Trustee, who spearheads the research study being prepared for publication.
Here is a link to the VOA story: Study: Exercise Helps Lower Fitness Age.
Rewind: BBC Story
In September’s newsletter, we told you about a feature that aired on BBC World News about National Senior Games athletes and our Fitness Age Survey. Since that time the reporter has aired four more stories in Farsi for BBC’s Persian channel, and we hear some of those will be translated and aired in English soon. NSGA also received a congratulatory email from an inspired sports organizer in Africa who intends to organize multi-sport senior games on the continent.
We apologize for those who were unable to view last month’s newsletter link. Here is the link to the original three-minute story for your enjoyment: BBC – Exercise makes people ‘younger’ in later life
See Dottie Run: CBS Tapes Record-Setting 90 Year Old
We were fortunate to assist CBS when they called NSGA seeking to feature an athlete, over the age of 90, attempting a world record for their Sunday Morningprogram. After all, those things don’t happen every day, and most of our state games were done for the year. However, we found that 90-year-old Dottie Gray of Shrewsbury, Missouri was entering five running events at Utah’s Huntsman World Senior Games and that if she completed the 3000 meter race in the women’s 90-94 division, she would be the first to do so and thereby set a world record.
With less than a week’s notice, CBS was able to scramble a camera crew to St. George to capture video and an interview that will be part of a feature on senior athletes. Gray, one of only eight athletes who have competed in all National Senior Games since they began in 1987, crossed the finish line to achieve the feat.
The Sunday Morning feature will not air until the spring after CBS catches two other record-seeking athletes at the USATF Masters Indoor Championships in March. In the meantime, you can view a local TV news report about Dottie by the St. George News here.
HUMANA Heroes: Athlete of the Month
Fun With Fitness
We promote Senior Games as an opportunity to find fitness, fun and fellowship. Jim Runge of Eldorado, Texas has been in the business of promoting fun, so it’s natural he would want to incorporate his style into his sports.
Runge, now 72, provided midway games and novelty acts for parties, corporate events and festivals for many years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Over time he found himself getting into the act. “One time, a stilt walker didn’t show up and I started doing it myself,” he recalls. “Another time, an Elvis impersonator I hired wasn’t very good, so I dressed as The King. Now I have over 100 character costumes. Some of them are historical characters like Mark Twain and famous Texans. I especially enjoy putting on mutton chops and doing Texas history talks portraying Sam Houston.”
When Jim moved back to his hometown and slowed down his business, he decided to find ways to keep fit. Competitive sports were a big part of his youth; he tried every sport available in his small town and continued with intercollegiate track, cross country and intramural sports. He qualified for the national championships in fencing, which led to his involvement in modern pentathlon and a national championship appearance in 1967. After that, he says “my athletic instincts basically went into hibernation for over 40 years.”
In 2010, Jim discovered local Senior Games and dove into a variety of sports. He has participated in 53 different events and traveled to state games in Texas and beyond. He qualified for the 2011 National Senior Games presented by Humana in swimming and horseshoes, and has returned every time since. “My daughter thinks I’m ADD because I get bored doing the same thing over and over again,” he chuckles, “So that’s why I do so many sports. I don’t have any visions of winning a national championship because I’m not concentrating on one event, but that’s OK.”
Jim just had to bring some fun with his Senior Games participation. At local and state games he has been known to appear in costume to lighten the atmosphere. “One year, I dressed up like a leprechaun when the Texas games in San Antonio were on St. Patrick’s Day. I usually wait until I finish my competition to dress up and walk around, but I did wear my Robin Hood costume to do archery once.”
He also designed a special costume that makes it appear that he is being carried by another person in a box decorated in Senior Games theme. “There are some who think it’s not appropriate, but I do get a lot of good comments, and people always come up and want to take pictures with me. It’s about more than just competition, it’s also a chance to meet people and have fun.”
Jim admits he’s a little on the eccentric side, but he has a serious purpose. “Doing this fun stuff and my athletics keeps me going. It keeps my body and my mind active.”
We’re always looking for great athlete stories. Submit yours or nominate a fellow athlete who inspires you at our Athlete of the Month page at NSGA.com!
Senior Health and Wellness
A Personal Best “Double Down” in Las Vegas
For the first time, NSGA presented two Personal Best athlete awards in one state visit. The “Las Vegas Double Down” happened because we first selected 60-year-old tennis player and cancer survivor Brenda Talley (left in photo), who is also the director of the Nevada Senior Games. At first, Brenda declined, wanting us to choose another deserving Nevada athlete.
“Brenda’s board of directors and our staff all agreed that her story of overcoming dire personal obstacles, and her heroic efforts to salvage the state games when they were in danger of being canceled in 2013, made for the most compelling story,” said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. “While the selection was not based on her position, we decided that since we were coming to Las Vegas it was only appropriate to ‘double down’ and select a second athlete to profile too.”
At the annual Nevada Senior Games Celebration of Athletes attended by over 300 athletes and supporters, Riker honored Talley and 64-year old elite badminton medalist Debbie Lorenzo in our NSGA Personal Best presentation. Lorenzo is a Singapore native who served UNESCO internationally and came to Las Vegas to live with her mother after an emergency evacuation from the former Yugoslavia eliminated her position in 1995.
Recognition was also given to Las Vegas area YMCA branches for their support of the Nevada Senior Games. As previously reported, this year NSGA and YMCA of the USA forged a partnership encouraging state games and Y’s to seek relationships that will enhance healthy active living for seniors. Nevada has answered the call!
NSGA Online Merchandise Store
Senior Games Styles For All Seasons
It’s never too early to look forward to the qualifying games next year. With the fall air becoming more crisp, you can start getting mentally and physically in gear by sporting a long sleeve T-Shirt or a pullover bearing the NSGA or 2015 Games logo. Get it customized with a sport image on one sleeve. We give you many options!
No matter what season, there’s official merchandise that’s just a few clicks away. To see choices and order, visit The NSGA Official Store at NSGA.com.