By Sarah Sneider
Just imagine watching the Olympics surrounded by Olympians. That’s what my son and I had the opportunity to do recently at the LA84 Foundation where we had the honor of meeting many great Olympians thanks to Pasadena’s legendary Olympian John Naber. These wonderful athletes are involved in the Ready, Set, Gold program where they give back by going to local schools to encourage and motivate the students to set goals to excel in their lives. One of these Olympians is Kathy Kusner who competed in the 1964, 1968, and 1972 Olympics. Kathy is the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in equestrian competition, winning a silver medal in show jumping at the ’72 Olympics in Munich. She was at the Santa Anita Race Track for the Olympic events in 1984. Kathy is the first licensed female jockey in the U.S., a licensed pilot, and has also completed many marathons.
Watching the Winter Olympic athletes, the best in the world, compete in Pyoengchang recently, the talent, courage, strength, bravery, skill, and fitness of these incredible athletes is just simply amazing. These champion athletes diligently trained for many, many years, with their coaches and an entire team of professionals to get to this level and competed in many regional, national, and international competitions to qualify and be chosen for the Olympics. Seeing these gutsy, daring, athletes and their remarkable feats and stories of resilience and dedication is truly thrilling, inspiring and motivational.
Now is the time though to get off the couch and into the Games. No, not the Olympic Games but the local Games. Did you know The San Gabriel Valley will be hosting The California State Senior Games Championships in just a few months? No prelims, play offs, or time trials are necessary, if you’re over 50 you automatically qualify. If your goal is to lose a few pounds, have more energy, get fit, stay healthy, or just have fun – these Games are for you!
Maybe it’s been awhile since you participated in sports in high school and college. Or, maybe you never ever competed at all. Now is your time. A few weeks ago we returned from the 2018 Palm Desert Senior Games & International Sports Festival where athletes from ages 35 to 90 were competing in track and field. Bill Moreman, age 90, and his lovely wife, Grace in her late 80’s, from Claremont were swiftly rounding the track in the 3000 and 1500 meter Race Walk. Pasadena’s Don Leis at 86 inspired everyone with his running and jumping events. He’s not only broken records in the Senior Games but also has attended 70 consecutive New Year’s Day football bowl games at the Rose Bowl starting at age 16!
In the local Games, there are 24 different sports including basketball, swimming, tennis, bowling, volleyball, pickleball, track and field, powerlifting, cycling and more. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are given to the top finishers in each age division. For additional information check out the movie “Impossible Dreamers” available on Netflix and Amazon with scenes filmed at Cal Tech, the Rose Bowl, and Sneiders Family Fitness in Arcadia. This will be the Sneiders 27th year hosting Powerlifting and competitors over the years have ranged in age from 50 to 98!
To get into the Games simply register, show up, and you’re in! To register go to: www.pasadenaseniorgames.org. You, too, can go for the gold! Come join the fun and games! You’ll be glad you did! For more information on training for the competitions call Sarah or Rob Sneider at 626-355-8964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.