National Senior Games kick off in Cleveland

Ready, set… GO!

Cleveland has put out the welcome mat to greet athletes from around the country arriving for the 2013 National Senior Games. A biennial event that began in 1985, the National Senior Games are governed by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA), a nonproft member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The competition is the crowning event for senior athletes who have already excelled in their sports via state pretrials during the past year.

In town for the events?

While venues are located throughout the city, the brand-new Cleveland Convention Center is the hub of the sporting events and the daily social happenings. Tonight’s opening festival is free to attendees, with food trucks, games, a beer garden and, of course, fireworks. Recording artists Rusted Root and Ohio’s party band, The Danger Brothers, will be getting everyone in a party mood. The National Seniors Game Torch—The Flame—will arrive to officially open the games at 7:45 p.m.

The NGSA website offers printable schedule of events.

More than 10,000 competitors, ranging in age from 50 to 101, will participate in more than 19 events over the next two weeks. Sporting venues include track and field, swimming,  basketball, volleyball, archery and even Bocce, shuffleboard and pickleball.  A 20K/40k cycling race and a triathlon—including a 400-meter swim in Lake Erie—also are scheduled, as is a demonstration of disc golf. All events are free to spectators.

Opening ceremonies launch tonight amid music, fireworks and the arrival of the official torch. Sporting competitions begin July 20 with archery, swimming, tennis and softball events, and continue through Aug. 1.

The NSGA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness for older adults through education, fitness and sport, working with governmental agencies, colleges and universities to support healthy aging initiatives for seniors. While the competitors in the National Senior Games may be advanced in years, these athletes are living proof that growing older doesn’t have to mean frailty and dependency.

Long-Term Living’s editors will be following the events, so watch our website and our social media streams on Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook and Google+.

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