Created: 07/16/2014 7:34 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4
More than a thousand athletes are going for the gold. The Senior Olympics are officially underway in Roswell.
“With all of the pain that all of us have, we have to keep active," said Shirley Rabon.
And they are getting their chance this week. Wednesday, seniors packed the bowling alley, and some have been preparing for months. Like 80-year-old Shirley Rabon.
“We do lift weights,” said Rabon. “We try to stay in shape to bowl."
There’s also badminton and swimming. Seniors compete in 26 sports and 90 events over four days. 1,100 athletes in all and just 15% are new. A majority of the participants return year after year.
"I've been playing Senior Olympics for about 12 years," said Rudy Vigil.
”Probably 20 years," said Rabon.
“I don't know don't really remember, probably 15-20 years," said Jack Lober.
Lober is 77.
“We see the same people every year, most years we qualify in the state to go to nationals," said Lober.
Each event has gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons for 4th and 5th place. Winners qualify for nationals next summer in Minneapolis. The seniors competing are all over the age of 50, the oldest is 96.
This is a statewide competition. Governor Martinez has declared it as New Mexico Senior Olympics Week.
The events will continue from Wednesday until Saturday.
"And I hope to keep on bowling till I’m 90 at least," said Rabon.