Medals aside, Senior Olympics are just fun

Tanner Cook • Sep 12, 2018 at 7:55 PM

KINGSPORT — The Senior Olympics is a competition that incorporates several different sports like golf, table tennis, basketball, horseshoes, bowling and track and field. Regional and state competitions are held every year with a national event taking place every two years. Competitors must be at least 50 years of age.

On Wednesday morning at the Warpath Lanes, the mixed doubles championships at the district level took place with eight teams competing across divisions ranging from 50-54 all the way into the 80-84 division.

Joyce Manis has been a part of the Senior Olympics for 25 years.

“It’s great to compete. I’ve been doing it for 25 years and I love it,” Manis said. “You make a lot of friends. You get get to travel. The medals really aren’t that important. The most important thing is trying to stay healthy. I wish that we could get more people involved because it is really fun.”

Some athletes like to specialize in one sport like bowling or golf, but there are a few that do every sport available and are good at most of them.

“Basketball is my favorite,” Manis said. “Last year, we won a gold medal at the national event. I’ve been all over the United States from California to Texas to Florida and everywhere.”

There are other events going on throughout the next two weeks in the Tri-Cities.

The table tennis is at the Kingsport Senior Center and begins at 1 p.m. on Thursday that includes a singles, doubles and mixed-doubles tournament.

Horseshoes is at 9 a.m. in the Rock Springs Community Park in Kingsport on Friday.

Basketball is at the East Tennessee State Center for Physical Activity and begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. There are several different competitions, including a three-on-three tournament.

Shuffleboard is at 9 a.m. on Monday at the Kingsport Senior Center.

Pickleball is at Memorial Park in Johnson City on Sept. 19 and begins at 1 p.m.

The longest day will be track and field on Sept. 22 at Science Hill beginning at 8 a.m.

The final events will be swimming taking place on Sept. 25 and 27 at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. Both of the day’s events will begin at 1 p.m.

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