The 2019 National Senior Games held in Albuquerque, New Mexico June 14-25 had 13,172 qualifying athletes, age 50 and over who competed in 20 medal sports.
This represents an all-time high participation in the 32-year history of The Games, exceeding its past record of 12,000 athletes in 2007 by 14%. Even before this increase, the Olympic-style event was the largest multisport event in the world for seniors.
The Club at Gateway Membership & Marketing Director, Mary Jane Chappy, known as “MJ” to everyone at the Club participated in the games for the very first time in the 5k and 10k Cycling Time Trials. She qualified by finishing in the top 4 in both the Regional Time Trial in Sebring, FL and the State Time Trial in Clearwater, FL.
“The experience was tremendous. To be in the company of such great athletes and amazing individuals is truly a blessing and unforgettable. I ride a bicycle for the love of it, but I will admit I am very competitive. Some of these cyclists compete all around the world and have sponsors, so cycling with women of this caliber is such an honor and makes me want to work harder, ride faster and compete more,” said MJ.
MJ finished 7th in both the 5k and 10k races (54-59 age bracket) with “Stella” (yes, her bike has a name) and obtained her personal best time for both races, 8.01 for the 5k and 17.01 for the 10k. That’s averaging just shy of 24mph on the 5k (3.2 miles).
“Considering the high altitude and wind, I was very pleased with my performance. If all goes well and I qualify in the state competition later this year, I will compete in the 2021 National Games which was just announced, would be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL,” stated MJ.
Not only was MJ proud of being part of the National Games, she showcased The Club at Gateway by taking advantage of a few photo opportunities to showcase the Club. “I’m proud and love my Club and Members, so when I have the opportunity, I brag about it. I call it “bragging rights,” similar to being a grandmother. But now that the race is over, I think it’s time I brush up on my golf game since it’s taken a back seat for the past several months,” adds MJ.
“We are so proud to host the National Senior Games in Greater Fort Lauderdale,” said Stacy Ritter, CEO and President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming all the athletes, their families and fans to Greater Fort Lauderdale and know they will enjoy our beautiful 23 miles of golden coastline, culinary scene, water activities, cultural attractions and of course, great sports action.”
The convention center will be the hub of activity, with multiple sports contested in its halls over two weeks and a Village Health and Wellness Expo will be open to both athletes and the public with activities and exhibits. Sport action will take place at multiple venues around Broward County.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) is a nonprofit Multi-Sports Council member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport. NSGA governs the biennial National Senior Games, the largest multi-sport championship event in the world for seniors. NSGA is comprised of 54 Member Games across the country, Canada and Mexico that conduct qualifying competition events for the National Senior Games. The 2021 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, please visit www.NSGA.com.