Some Tucker County seniors are making “the golden years” mean just that. Around a dozen Tucker Countians participated in the thirteenth annual Senior Olympics held at the beginning of June.
The event took place at the Potomac State Campus in Keyser, West Virginia.
This year’s event saw the largest number of participants in its history with over 138 seniors from around fifteen different counties vying for medals. Team Tucker, a group of seniors from our county, represented Tucker well by bringing home 37 medals in all. This year’s group was one of the largest we’ve sent. Fifteen gold medals, twelve silver, and 14 bronze were brought home by Team Tucker.
The Olympics run about a half a week long and features many different events for the participants. Physical events include things like: Disc Toss, Standing Long Jump, Football or Bean Bag Toss, Archery, Bowling, Bocce, Golf Putting, Horseshoes, and other events. The less strenuous events includes things such as: Crafts, Foods, Music, Live Plants and Talent events. This is only a sampling of the many different events the seniors can choose to participate in and the list is quiet extensive with something for everyone.
There are also many social events for the seniors to enjoy too. They have luncheons, a dance, bingo, live music, and an awards banquet. Most of the participants stay over on-site and room in Potomac’s dorms or stay in area motels.
Team Tucker’s participants believe in the Olympics so much that they have paid their own way in previous years. This past year they did fundraising to help offset at least part of the costs for attending.
Davis resident, Caroline Pell, had the distinct honor of being chosen as the torch bearer for the opening ceremonies. Chosen for her twelve continuous years of participation, Pell was proud to be featured on the front page of the area’s local paper. At ninety plus years she carried the lit torch down the parade route but said that it wasn’t heavy. Pell, who holds the standing record for the bowling event, was proud to be one of four participants who were 90 or over. She brought home nine medals this year, three of which were gold.
Pell is quick to point out other area senior’s accomplishments at the Olympics. She pointed out that last year Jim Buddingh won most awards for any man overall, and that Mary Frances Good has taken home gold for the last three years for her peanut butter fudge.
“Tucker County does really well,” Pell said.
When asked if she plans on participating again next year, Pell answered: “If I’m here, I surely will. Anybody who goes will go back again.”
When asked why she does it, Pell replied: “To stay healthy, it keeps you moving. I enjoy it!”
A natural competitor, Pell admits that she likes the camaraderie and the friendly rivalry between the different counties.
Proving that seniors have “still got it” one of the most interesting and perhaps most colorful events of the Olympics is the crazy legs competition. Pell explained that you decorate your legs.
“When I won I had fish-net stockings, covered in things like snakes and crocodiles,” she said.
Pell said that most events are divided into age categories and that anyone 55 and up is eligible to participate and that each person is made to feel special.
The following is a list of Tucker County Seniors who did our county proud by medaling in their age group:
Peggy Arnold: Bronze-Crafts, Crochet
Linda Bonner: Silver- Disc Toss
Meg Buddingh: 2 Gold- Wiffle Ball Toss, Ladder Ball; 2 Silver- Golf Putting, Hot Shot Basketball;
3 Bronze-Bowling, Horseshoes, Bocce Ball Roll, 1 Gold (shared)- Musical Duo
Jim Buddingh: 4 Gold- Standing Long Jump, Hot Shot Basketball, Arts- Painting, Horseshoes;
4 Silver- Bean Bag Toss, Ladder Ball, Bowling, 20 Yard Dash; 1 Bronze- Golf Putting; 1 Gold (shared)-
Mary Frances Good: Gold- Candy, Fudge.
Mary Mullenax: Gold- Live Plant Arrangement; 2 Bronze- Relishes- Sassy Salsa, Salads.
Caroline Pell: 3 Gold- Bowling, Golf Putting, Football Toss; 3 Silver- Hot Shot Basketball, 20 yard dash,
Bocce Ball Roll; 2 Bronze- Standing Long Jump, Bean Bag Toss.
Al Tedrow: Gold- Bowling; Silver-Football Toss; Bronze- Bean Bag Toss.
Helen Tedrow: 2 Gold- Football Toss, Bean Bag Toss; Silver- Foods, Bread; 4 Bronze- Disc Toss, Golf Putting, Crafts- Embroidery, Archery, Hot Shot Basketball.
Other team members included: Sharon Pauley and Janet Streets.
For more information on how to participate in next year’s event or if you’d like to help support the team, contact any staff member of the Tucker County Senior Centers and they can put you in touch with the right people.