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Local residents earn medals at 38th Annual Tennessee Senior Olympics

Participants in a golf tournament held at Catails Golf Course in Kingsport, Steve Arnold, Rudy Lucas, Hank Bontrager
and Robert Glenn of Mountain City pause for a photo during this year’s senior Olympics. The four
competed in different age groups. Submitted photo

By Paula Walter

This year marked the 38th annual Tennessee Senior Olympics and Tennesseans from 10 district areas from all across the state recently competed in the 2018 state finals held
last month in Franklin, Tennessee.
Several Johnson County residents were medal recipients and lots of participation.
The mission of the Senior Olympics, of course is to promote healthy life styles through fitness, sports and being physically active in all aspects of life.
The competitions are held for those 50 and above and include a wide range of activities, from ping pong to golf to tennis, swimming, archery, bowling, pickle ball and beyond. There are different age groups that are set in five-year increments. This attempts to put all competitors on the same level.
According to Dr. Robert Glenn, of Mountain City, competitions for the various activities are held at both the local level followed by winners reaching the state level event in Franklin.
“They are qualified to go onto state as long as they have won a medal,” Glenn said, stressing the motto, participation.
Glenn emphasized that Johnson County Senior Center’s Kathy Motsinger wanted to help make seniors aware of the importance of being physically active.
“It’s fun, but also good exercise,” he said. “You just have to get active and let people know you don’t quit after high school.”
The oldest competitor at the recent the Senior Olympics was 96 years old. Motsinger has already started encouraging people to begin practicing their favorite activities in preparation of entering next year’s completions.
Joan Payne and Janet Rhea Payne were competitors in this year’s event on the local level. Both came in first in shuffleboard in their age category in the singles and doubles competition.
Steve Arnold, Rudy Lucas, Hank Bontrager and Robert Glenn were the participants in a golf tournament held at Catails Golf Course in Kingsport, all of them in different age groups.
This event fell into the local category. Glenn came in first place, followed by Lucas, Bontrager and Arnold.
“We play golf all year to be the best we can be,” Glenn stated.
Both Bontrager and Glenn came in second in doubles in table tennis, also known as ping-pong, in the district category.
The two moved onto state and earning Glenn second place in mixed doubles and third in doubles. Bontrager placed in third.
Glenn stressed the importance of practicing your
sports on a regular basis.
He and Dr. Joe Ray can be found at several local ping-pong tables, having a lot of fun and working on perfecting their games.
Exercise for seniors has been shown to offer many benefits, including extending lives.
Statistics show only one in four people between the ages of 65 to 74, exercise on a daily basis. The Johnson County Senior Center offers opportunities for seniors to exercise on a regular basis.
The center has several pieces of exercise equipment. Silver Sneakers is offered three
times a week, and the exercise class for those with arthritis are held twice a week. Additionally, there are other exercise opportunities within the county.