GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
From sports and leisure activities to dancing and swimming, the annual Western Colorado Senior Games are back, and local folks are ready for all the action.
"It's not just limited to people that run up and down the track or play basketball or pickle ball,” said Ed Andrews, a participant. “It's really great. It covers the whole gamut."
For some participants, like Liz Norris, it’s more than just a competition.
"I know most of them don't run marathons, but most of them have a life and the Senior Games is an emphasis of this," said Norris.
Norris says it’s about giving seniors hope. It's also a time to shine a positive light on residents who may have a reputation of inactivity.
"This is what it's all about,” said Norris. “It can show that people can do things when they get older. They can work, they can play, and they can do everything everyone else does."
"Usually they say, 'Oh these old people, they can't do anything,'” said Robert Brewer, a participant. “They think we’re over the hill. Well guess what, some of these seniors are not over the hill. We're working our way up the hill, but we're not over it."
By playing in pickup games of a growing sport called pickleball, some participants have been practicing for the games for a while.
"We play for fun,” said Shirley Skinner, a participant. “There's a lot of laughter when we play during the week, but this is a level of competition. There is a tournament, so it's just taking sports to a different level."
However, the contestants, who must be at least 50 years old to participate, may find the games to have more meaning that just winning.
"You meet a lot of people, make new friends, and you develop those friendships and they continue on throughout the years," said Andrews.
The event starts Monday at 8 a.m. at Lincoln Park and will continue all week long. For more information on the competition, click here.