Speedy Senior Olympics come to a close
By GRACE MISEROCCHI
Brentwood Home Page Intern
Thirty-five Senior Olympians from all across Tennessee hit the pavement bright and early Thursday morning to participate in the Tennessee Senior Olympic 10K. The runners ran along a 6.2-mile course in Brentwood’s own River Park.
Timothy O’Leary finished first overall with a time of 36:52. Vickie Spickard form Donelson, TN was the first woman to finish and won the gold medal in the woman age 55-59 group.
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“I have done the Senior Olympics for the last five years and I love how fun and competitive it is," said Sparding. "You meet a lot of people from all over the state most of the participants do multiple sports and it is just so exciting that they are all here competing."Brentwood also hosted events for the Tennessee Senior Olympics at the Maryland Farms YMCA and the Indoor Sports Complex. Williamson County Parks and Recreation (WCPR) also hosted other events at facilities around the county.
Over 1,962 athletes were in the games, which lasted from July 13 to 19. Participants must be at least 50 years of age and qualify for their events at the district level competitions held earlier this year all over the state.
“I love the Senior Olympics because you meet people with so much heart,” said bronze medalist of the 10K in the age 50-54 group and Franklin native Mark Pieret. “There was a guy in the 5K race running with a walker he was just saying, ‘No I will not go quietly. I am going to exercise and have fun and I don’t care how old I am.' For years this man has come and shown a very young spirit.
Franklin native Steve Baum, 57, ran the 10K and won the gold medal in his age group. Baum received a double organ transplant two and a half years ago. Since then, he has done two half-marathons and a Sprint Triathlon. In this year’s Senior Olympics he also medaled in the power walk and the triple jump.
|Amber Morris, left, and Cecila Leech are among the 350 volunteers and staff members who made the state Senior Olympics run.|
“I came to the Senior Olympics because I never thought I would be able to come here again, so it’s really a joyful experience for me. I have an elbow injury that kept me out of cycling and playing basketball with my team this time, but I went and cheered on both events anyway,” said Baum.
Click here to read more of Brentwood Home Page’s coverage of Baum’s story and the Tennessee Senior Olympics.
“The Senior Olympics are just so fun and I love seeing all the people come out year after year,” said Assistant Athletics Administrator for WCPR, Amber Morris, who also worked at the 10K event.
The Women’s Softball Tournament Event was rescheduled to August 24 and 25 at Fly Park in Franklin.
To view results from other events in this year’s Tennessee Senior Olympics and to get more information, click here.