Seniors Compete In Annual Wacky Olympics

By Tamas Mondovics

More than a hundred Hillsborough County area seniors gathered together earlier this month for a chance to measure up their athletic skills as well as enjoy some socialization during the annual Senior Wacky Olympics.

Hosted by the County’s Aging Services’ division and held at the Brandon Community Center, located at 502 E. Sadie St. in Brandon, the contest representing 12 teams, gave each participant, aged 50 and over, the opportunity to sport their talents in a variety of games including Wii Bowling, putt-putt golf, indoor shuffle board, table tennis, and corn holing, just to name a few, all of which were a wacky version of the real games.

“The Wacky Olympics has been an Aging Services tradition for more than 20 years, and each year a center is named Wacky Olympics’ Champion,” said senior services director, Gerald Randolph.

Randolph explained that the top three highest scores from each game will receive an award.  While each team was made up of six to eight members, all were eying the trophy held on to by the Ruskin Senior Center team, the winners of the 2012 Games.

NASCAR, was the theme chosen for this year’s event as seniors were encouraged to wear their favorite NASCAR apparel or color.

Local high school student-volunteers assisted with games and refreshments provided by the Tampa Kiwanis Club.

“We are here today to win the trophy again,” said Ruskin team member, Jose Orozco.

Betty Boothe, also from the Ruskin Team, said that while the current team has less members, taking home the trophy is not out of the picture.

“We may have a smaller team this year, but we make up the difference with enthusiasm,” Boothe said.

Taking a turn on the horse shoe throw contest, Tevania Nichols said, “I am having a lot of fun. I can’t wait to go again.”

Aging Services offers a variety of activities for older adults age 50 and over. The department has more than 20 congregate dining sites and eight senior centers that can provide a hot nutritious noon-time meal for those over the age of 60.

Residents may register for activities or meal services when they attend events.

The next event on the roster is the department’s annual senior prom, scheduled for this summer.

For more information and to sign up to participate, please contact the Brandon Senior Center at 635-8066.