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Eleanor Pendergraft, 80, Johnson City, Tennessee

Standing Up to MS Eight years ago, Eleanor Pendergraft pondered her fate. She had been disabled for 25 years with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. A walker, wheelchair or motorized scooter was her only means of getting around. Her neurologist said she would never get any better. Undaunted, Eleanor decided to join a nearby fitness club and start...
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Marika Vorosmarty-Blumerick, 71 Shelby Township, Michigan

While all Senior Games athletes strive to perform at their best, the reasons vary as to what motivates them. Some still have the burning desire to win and earn medals, while others seek to maintain health and vitality, to set goals, to measure and compete against themselves over time, or simply to enjoy participating in sport and the camaraderie found in The Games. In truth, the motivation is usua...
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Greeley, Colorado

The 2016 Personal Best health and wellness initiative took to the road with a presentation to 60-year-old Colorado athlete Tom McAdam at the Celebration of Athletes kickoff event for the 39th annual Rocky Mountain Senior Games held in Greeley, Colorado. After introductions by RMSG President and NSGA Board Vice Chair Kate Amack (shown in award photo), CEO Marc T. Riker told assembled athletes and s...
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Tom Lough, 73, Round Rock, Texas

A Personal Best Life Tom Lough is, by his own estimation, a man who does not possess special skills or talents, athletic or otherwise. How, then, does he explain a life of accomplishments that includes competing in Modern Pentathlon at age 26 in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City? Add to this graduating from West Point with a degree in engineering, then ascending to the rank of Major and a dist...
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Clearwater, Florida

The 2015 Florida Senior Games began with an awards ceremony to honor their 2014 Games Athletes of the Year, Walt Deal and Danuta Kubelik. Both are past National Senior Games competitors. Also at the ceremony was State Representative Kathleen Peters, second from right and City of Clearwater Government Mayor, George Cretekos. It was the first time in the event’s 24 year history that the state games ...
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Las Vegas, Nevada

For the first time, NSGA presented two Personal Best athlete awards in one state visit. The "Las Vegas Double Down" happened because we first selected 60-year-old tennis player and cancer survivor Brenda Talley (left in photo), who is also the director of the Nevada Senior Games. A big reason why she became the games director is tied to her inspirational story. We just had to select Brenda to hono...
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Rochester, Michigan

The list of celebrities and notables who have joined us on our Personal Best tour stops include Olympians, a college football champion quarterback, a Grammy winner, a US Army general, the director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and a slew of local and state dignitaries and civic leaders. On this visit, we can add a World Series champion to the list. Detroit Tigers Hal...
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Evansville, Indiana

As the third-largest city in Indiana, Evansville does not receive the attention it deserves. It has the distinction of being first in the state for senior athletics, since local annual Senior Games have been held there for over 25 years. The Southwestern Indiana Region Council on Aging (called SWIRCA & More) has been the driving force behind this achievement, and when the opportunity came up t...
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Biloxi, Mississippi

When we first called longtime volunteer and organizer Lucy Bickham to ask if NSGA could participate in the Celebration of Athletes for the Mississippi Senior Olympics (MSO), she warned us that there might not be more than 50 or 60 people coming. After all, the Mississippi Senior Olympics was merging with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Senior Games for the first time. Would people come down from the no...
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Woodbridge, New Jersey

Fun, fellowship and fitness were found in abundance during our visit to Woodbridge, home of the New Jersey Senior Olympics. Everyone we met, from our Personal Best recipient Irma DeMarzo to the volunteers that greeted us everywhere, were "all in" and excited about the games. DeMarzo, who has been the tennis coordinator for the state games for 15 years, was recognized for being a longtime fitness r...
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Albuquerque, New Mexico

When 94 year old senior athlete Larry Johnson of Albuquerque received his NSGA Personal Best Award recognizing him as an inspiration and role model for active, healthy aging, he decided to demonstrate his vitality by standing on his head in front of 1,200 delighted attendees to the opening session for the 36th annual New Mexico Conference on Aging held at the Isleta Resort and Conference Center in...
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Columbia, Missouri

It was Show Me time as we joined the kickoff banquet for the 20th annual Missouri State Senior Games in Columbia. Jane Kaiser was the perfect selection to represent the Show Me State Personal Best because she is someone who walks the walk. Jane is still active as a clinical nurse and speaker, and has won many medals and ribbons in local, state and national senior competitions. But NSGA CEO Marc T....
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Pasadena, California

What could be better than having an Olympic swimming legend attend an award presentation to honor an amateur Senior Games swimmer? John Naber, who dominated the 1976 Olympics with five medals, found a way. NSGA honored 67 year old Vivian Stancil of Riverside with a Personal Best Award during the California State Senior Games athlete celebration at the Pasadena Senior Center. Vivian was a foster ch...
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Portland, Maine

Pictured to the left Becky Dube (left) with Martin's Point Health Care congratulates Maine Senior Games Coordinator Jo Dill as recipient of their inaugural Medallion Award, while Jerry LeVassaseur displays his Personal Best Award presented by NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. An enthusiastic throng of Mainers joined to honor 76 year old senior athlete Jerry Levasseur of Brunswick with our "Personal Best Awa...
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Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 2014 Personal Best Tour kicked off with a reception at The NSGA Annual Conference where 80 year old tennis player Ruby Rott (pronounced "wrote") of St. Paul was introduced to attendees who manage state Senior Games around the nation. An official presentation event for public and media will be held during the Minnesota Senior Games in August, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to give a sn...
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