Much to the delight of those participating, the Inaugural Twin County Senior Olympics began Friday with another full day of action set for Saturday.
After opening ceremonies, action beginning at the Carroll Wellness Center in Hillsville with swimming. While each event is broken down into gender and age categories, Ty Harrison was the top overall performer in the first two events, the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard breaststroke. Dr. Scott Campbell followed with a victory in the 50-yard backstroke.
Although Harrison said he wished more seniors had signed up for the first installment of the event, he believes it will be successful and is pleased with how organizers have handled everything associated with the Senior Olympics.
“I think it is a really good thing,” Harrison said. “They break it up into age categories so everybody can feel they have a fair competition.”
Known as a jokester, Campbell said he competes in an athletic event about once every 30 years. Considering that, he said the Twin County Senior Olympics fit right into his timeline.
“It’s been about 30 years since I last competed in anything, so I am good to go for about another three decades,” Campbell said.
While Harrison and Campbell are both local products, Bill Hunter, age 67, traveled all the way from Roanoke County to compete Friday morning. He said he heard about the Senior Olympics on radio station WBRF-FM and planned to bowl and swim, and take part in the 50-yard dash, tennis, mile walk, basketball shoot, horseshoes, and cornhole.
“I am trying to do everything I can as long as I last,” Hunter said. “I’m not doing the bicycle or the 5K race.”
Bill Rhodd of Laurel Fork also took part in swimming Friday morning. He said he also planned to bowl and participate in the 50-yard dash.
“I’m doing it for fun. I used to run, but I can’t run much anymore. I’ve had blood clots, so I walk and jog some of the races,” Rhodd said. “I ran all my life until a couple of years ago.”
Rhodd said he’s suggested planners add checkers, chess and shuffleboard next year for seniors who are not as active, but still enjoy competing.
Regina Lawson said she has been practicing bowling so she can participate in Friday’s activities. She said she hasn’t bowled in 34 years, but wanted to take part in the Twin County Senior Olympics,.
“I think it is a marvelous event,” Lawson said. “I’m thinking about taking swimming lessons now. I think it would be fun.”
She said she planned to bowl, throw horseshoes and cornhole, and take part in the ladder golf in this year’s Senior Olympics.