With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games fast approaching, it’s not only kids who may be inspired to train for competition, older adults may also consider participating in local events or setting their sites on next summer’s Senior Games to be held in Birmingham, Alabama.
The first National Senior Games was held in 1987 in St. Louis, MO, organized by a small group of seven men and women who saw the games as a way to promote healthy lifestyles for older adults. Today the biennial competition is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors.
Medal sports for the senior games include traditional competitive events including swimming, track and field, tennis, volleyball and cycling but also include activities for those who are non-ambulatory such as horseshoes, shuffleboard and bowling.
To even the playing field, professional athletes are not eligible to compete in the games in the sport in which there were a professional until 20 years following their last date of competition.
The qualifying period runs through December 31, 2016 for adults over the age of 50. Dates of state games, national multi-sport competitions, age divisions, rules and a full list of sports are outlined on the National Senior Games Association website at nsga.com .