Seniors gather for chance to grab gold at 35th Annual Big Sandy Senior Games

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Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Seniors from Pike, Floyd, Martin, Magoffin and Johnson Counties gathered at Dewey Dam in Floyd County on Friday to compete in the 35th Annual Big Sandy Senior Games.

“This is a big event for them,” said Associate Director of Aging Services with the Big Sandy Area Development District, Stacy Hall. “They love to come and see each other from other areas and compete for those medals.”

Senior Citizens Centers across the nation were closed due to the pandemic and, in 2020 and 2021, the Senior Games were canceled. The importance of keeping seniors healthy and active was even more important this year.

“It’s very important to keep them active,” said Dungarvin Kentucky office manager and Senior Games volunteer Jarrod Gibson, “especially after these last two years, to get them out and about.”

The seniors were all ready to go on Friday morning and some were practicing events well beforehand.

“They’ve been calling me at the office the last few weeks getting the instructions to cornhole because they’re going to practice at their centers,” said Hall. “They’ve been over here at the basketball court shooting their free throws, too.”

Many seniors, like Pike County native Eunice Ward, got off to a quick start and competed in several events all before lunchtime.

“The one’s that I’ve done, last few minutes, I’ve done the cornhole, done pretty good on that, the shuffleboard, and the basketball so far,” said Ward, “and I’m going to try to do the walk before lunch.”

In the end, it was all about having fun and seeing each other again after two years apart.

“It’s so wonderful seeing everybody out here enjoying themselves,” said Gibson, “because ultimately, it’s not if you win or lose, it’s just about having fun.”

Hall also said this year’s event was also in remembrance of her coworker and supervisor, Steve Jones, who died in March after retiring in 2020. Hall and other officials presented a plaque to Jones’s family to remember his life, legacy, and dedication to the Senior Games.

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