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 Going for the gold; local athletes ready for Senior Olympics


By Beth Cox
Sports writer

The Johnson County Senior Center is gearing up for the Senior Olympics in Kingsport and Johnson City for September 4-October 19. This year’s Senior Olympic event will be bittersweet for the participants; they lost a special member of the team.
Sue Howard passed away this year. She was very active in the Senior Olympics and looked forward to it each year.
“Ms. Sue and her husband Malcolm would compete in bowling,” said Johnson County Senior Center director Kathy Motsinger. “She would proudly walk into the center with her medals. Everyone was always so happy for them.”
There are many events for the senior athletes, but Motsinger states most of the local athletes participate in golf, bowling, shuffleboard, and table tennis. Table tennis was so popular among the seniors; Motsinger hosted fundraisers to help pay for a ping-pong table for the senior center. They also have a shuffleboard court, which is getting some good practice time as the athletes get ready for the Olympics.
Motsinger has a lot to brag about regarding her distinguished athletes, “We had several win gold medals. Dr. Robert Glenn has to be our best overall senior Olympian. He has a remarkable winning record.” Glenn has won two gold medals and silver medal in both 2017 and 2018. He also received two gold medals and one silver at the state level in 2019. He also has participated at the national level with the Senior Olympics. Motsinger quickly points out that it is not just about the medals; the athletes enjoy not only participating, but also getting to know and visit with other athletes across
the region and at the state level.
Motsinger does all she can to make sure those who want to participate can do so. One year, she paid the registration fees for her athletes, but this year the athletes agreed to pay their own fees since allocation of funds were not readily available for the Senior Olympics.
Motsinger loves the Senior Olympics and feels it helps keep the seniors active and happy.
“You would be surprised about how fit our seniors are.”
Participants can register for more than one event and are encouraged to sign up for all ten events if possible. More information about the Senior Olympics can be found on the website; or call the Johnson County Senior Center at (423) 727-8883.