In 2011, more than 550 athletes took part in the two and a half week Chemung County Senior Games. Saturday was the officially kick off of this year's event, and our Bill Mich was on hand to find out what keeps bringing these participants back year after year.
HORSEHEADS, N.Y. -- As July approaches, athletes like Michael Phelps, Hope Solo, and LeBron James are gearing up for the Summer Olympics in London. But those one sport athletes have nothing on the fierce competitors that took the field in Horseheads.
"Shotput, disc, softball throw, softball hit," said Arthur Meyers of South Waverly, PA.
Just a few examples of the many events athletes are competing in during the Chemung County Senior Games. Saturday was the opening ceremonies and official start of the 22nd annual event.
"We are one of the few places in the state that has senior local games and we are very proud of that. We get people from all over. Just because it says Chemung County games, they can come from anywhere. We got people from Pennsylvania, people from all of the counties in the state," said Sam David of the Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care.
And while they may not be playing for Olympic gold in London, that is certainly not taking away from the competitive spirit.
"At my age, doesn't everyone want to win?" said Betty Farley.
And at 92, Farley certainly did everything she could to claim the top prize. But organizers say the real purpose behind holding the games each year is to give seniors throughout the region a chance to be active and live a healthy life style, something many of the participants have bought into.
"I like to stay active. I bowl, play golf, do this," said Jim Drake of Odessa.
"A lot of people would not be here if they didn't do exercises and everything else. They'd be in a rocking chair," Meyers said.
There were no slouches Saturday in Chemung County. Just some senior competitors getting out to do what they love.