The 2015 Georgia Golden Olympics are scheduled for Sept. 16-19 in Warner Robins, hosted by the Warner Robins Recreation Department and the city of Warner Robins.
The games draw hundreds of participants 50 years of age and older from across Georgia and surrounding states. The purpose of the games is to create an awareness of the abilities of older adults, maintain and improve health and wellness, and promote an interest in lifetime sports, recreation and physical activity.
Georgia Golden Olympics is funded through contributions from friends, individuals and organizations interested in improving the health and well-being of older adults. The coordinating organizations for the Georgia games include the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health; Robins Air Force Base, Services Division; Georgia Recreation and Park Association, Senior Citizens Section; Georgia Health Care Association; JW Fanning Institute of Community and Leadership Development, University of Georgia; the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Warner Robins Recreation Department under the direction of James Dodson.
“The Georgia Golden Olympics is about comradery and encouragement to try new things,” says Mary Alice Ealer, a local Golden Olympian who has also competed in the national games. “It’s about the challenge and the competition,” Ealer says, “but also about staying involved and keeping healthy.”
Ealer was introduced to Georgia Golden Olympics in Warner Robins around 2001. “I’m so thankful and proud to be from here now” she says. “The games opened a new world for me and have helped me become physically and mentally stronger as my age progresses; really the games are an inspiration for those 50 and older to live a more physical and healthy style of living for many years”, Ealer explains.
Recently, Ealer accompanied local games coordinator Lola Frost and Vickie Pilgrim, Georgia Golden Olymics founder, to Minneapolis to observe the National Senior Games. While there, Pilgrim received one of only two awards, the Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award, given once every two years in conjunction with the National Senior Games Association.
“The Harris Frank Distinguished Service Award is given for outstanding leadership in the Senior Games movement” said NSGA Board Chair Stephen Rodriguez.
“Vickie had a vision and determination to form quality senior games for the state of Georgia and has consistently shown a true passion for our mission since the early 1980s.”
Pilgrim is from Winder, but has held the games in Warner Robins for well over 30 years. The national Senior Games Association is a non-profit member of the United States Olympic Committee promoting health and wellness education, fitness and sport.
Events this year in Warner Robins will appeal to athletes of all capabilities: archery, badminton, basketball free throw, basketball 3-on-3, billiards, bowling, checkers, clock golf and cycling. Field events will include discus, high jump, running long jump, shot put and triple jump. Among other events are tennis, raquetball, volleyball, swimming and a wheelchair race.
Spectators are encouraged to attend the venues.
To learn more about local Georgia Golden Olympics games, contact the Georgia Golden Olympics office at 770-867-3603.
Marsha Priest Buzzell is the director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and may be contacted at 478-922-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.