Nearly 900 Florida Senior athletes to compete in the 2017 National Senior Games
Competition begins Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama
TALLAHASSEE – The State of Florida will have its best showing at the National Senior Games since 1999 with a total of 870 athletes over the age of 50 competing in 19 sports of the 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama.
The biennial event begins Saturday, June 2 and concludes on Thursday, June 15 with over 10,000 athletes competing in the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Games that began in 1987.
The Florida athletes traveling to Birmingham qualified for the 2017 National Senior Games at the 2016 Florida Senior Games last December in Clearwater and Pinellas County. Since 2001, nearly 4,000 Florida athletes have travelled to the National Senior Games.
Notable facts about Florida Senior athletes at the 2017 National Senior Games
- Eight former Florida Senior Games Athletes of the Year will be competing in the 2017 National Senior Games, including both 2016 Athletes of the Year, Kathy Petrillo, a cyclist from Jupiter and John Horwath, an archer from The Villages. Also registered to compete is Rudy Vazmina, of Sarasota (2015), Avis Vaught, of The Villages (2010), Patrice Hirr, from The Villages (2009) Claudette Braswell, of Lake Wales (2007), Harry Carothers, of Pinellas Park (2004) and Madelaine “Tiny” Cazel, of The Villages (2003).
- Of the 19 sports of the National Senior Games, softball tops the list of the sport with the most Florida athletes, with 114. Not far behind is Pickleball with 100 athletes competing, followed by Track and Field with 81 and Swimming with 62. The state of Florida is represented in all 19 sports.
- The oldest registered Florida athlete is 94 year old Mary Kemp, of Boca Raton, who turns 95 on June 14. Kemp will run in the 50 meter dash during the track and field competition, June 5-11. A little more than a month younger is the 2016 Florida Senior Games Male Athlete of the Year, John Horwath, who will shoot in the archery compound release event, June 4 and 5.
- FSF Sr. Vice President Stephen Rodriguez is among 30 individuals, past or present, who will be honored as “Champions of the Games.” The individuals have made outstanding contributions to create, promote and help grow The Senior Games Movement. The selected Champions are being honored, by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA), for their selfless service at the state level, with the national board of directors, regional coordinators and staff. The Champions have devoted their time and treasure to advance Senior Games over three decades. Since 2001, Rodriguez has directed the Florida Senior Games, served on the NSGA Board of Directors (2003-17) and Chair of the Board (2013-2017). He was the 2013 recipient of the NSGA Warren Blaney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
2017 National Senior Games Dates of Competition
Archery, June 4-11
Badminton, June 10-15
Basketball, June 4-13
Bowling, June 6-11
Cycling – 5K & 10K Time Trials, June 5-6
Cycling – 20K & 40K Road Races, June 8-9
Golf, June 12-14
Horseshoes, June 10-14
Pickleball, June 3-8
Race Walk – 1500 meters, June 8
Race Walk – 5K, June 6
Racquetball, June 7-11
Road Race – 5K, June 12
Road Race – 10K, June 10
Shuffleboard, June 6-13
Softball, June 8-14
Swimming, June 5-10
Table Tennis, June 10-15
Tennis, June 3-14
Track & Field, June 7-11
Triathlon, June 11
Volleyball, June 5-10
For a full list of the Florida Senior Athletes competing at the 2017 National Senior Games, visit http://www.flasports.com/news-and-events/
The Florida Senior Games will staff a booth at the Athletes Village in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center from June 2-12 and FSF staff will be onsite during that time.