How you can get into the local Games and be a champion at any age
By Sarah Sneider
The Olympic Games, where the world’s greatest athletes bring nations together through the international language of sport, will return to Los Angeles in 2028. It’s a major victory for LA, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Olympians. LA has eleven years to prepare for this spectacular event. Meanwhile, preparations are already underway for The San Gabriel Valley to host what originally was called the Senior Olympics next year in 2018. Many great Olympians have made appearances at these annual Games by speaking in the Opening Ceremonies or competing including Willie Banks, Olga Connolly, Ann Cribbs, Rafer Johnson, Dr. Sammy Lee, John Naber, and many more. The Senior Games began in Pasadena over 25 years ago founded by Olympian Pete Clentzos and Cynthia Rosedale, along with Harry Sneider and others. These Games are open to anyone 50 years of age and older and the 2018 Games are a qualifier for the Nationals to be held in Albuquerque in 2019.
Swimming competition is held at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center, Track and Field is at Caltech and 25 different sports including basketball, volleyball, tennis, cycling, and softball are hosted at other local venues. This will be the 26th year Sneiders Family Fitness in Arcadia will host the Powerlifting competition. You can meet some wonderful people and you just may be competing along side an Olympian such as the amazing Willie Banks who set a new American record in the triple jump at age 60 on the Caltech track last year.
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to compete. In fact many are just beginners and only began to train in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s having never competed before in their life. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
To find out a little more about the competitions see “Impossible Dreamers”, a documentary available on Netflix and Amazon that includes scenes filmed during Track and Field events at Caltech, Race Walking at the Rose Bowl, and Powerlifting at Sneiders Family Fitness. It’s never too late to dream big. The Senior Games are all about fun, fitness, fellowship, and friendly competition. They’re a great motivation to train, and stay strong and fit at any age. Join the local family of dedicated active agers who want to stay young and have fun. As the saying goes, “You don’t stop playing games when you get old. You get old because you stop playing games.”
Is a gold medal on your bucket list? A few years ago a 74 year old lady came to us and asked if it was too late to start lifting weights. She began lifting, accumulated many medals, and at age 87 became the California State Champion. Her quote, “It’s fun! After all, they are games.” It’s never too late to be a champion.
Having never competed in high school or college, I timidly began competing at age 50 and have experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But the rewards of fun, fitness, and fellowship are outstanding. Now is the perfect time to start training for the Games in 2018. For more info on how to train, keys to success, and how to get into the games call the Sneiders at 626-355-8964 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.