Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Huntsman World Senior Games- Year 2

Last year I attended the Huntsman World Senior games for the first time and loved it. I've been looking forward to coming back all year. I only participated in a fraction of the more than 30 events they offer but here is a summary of how things went.

The opening ceremonies were held the first night at the Dixie Stadium. The next morning I attended the wellness screenings where they check vision, cholesterol, body composition, VO2 max, and about 10 other things. I didn't need an official assessment to tell me that I have gained a lot of weight since I've been back in the United States but all the checks came back well. I avoided the hearing test this year since I already know I have substantial hearing loss in my right ear.

The first day of competition I ran 5K the race. The weather for St. George was quite a bit colder than usual that day but it wasn't too bad. I ran a slower time than I did the previous year but still ended up getting a silver medal thanks to some of my speedier friends from last year not being there. The fastest runners for the whole event were not the youngest participants like you might expect but rather runners in their late 50's and early 60's. It is cool to see that the competition can get even more intense as you age in some of these events.

Shortly after the race I went across town to a different venue for 3 on 3 basketball. I played with the same team I met last year from California and we had a good time. We played 4 games over the next two days. On Saturday morning I participated in the hot shot competition where you have one minute to score as many points as possible from 6 locations on the court and you have to rebound your own shot. I didn't shoot quite as well as last year but somehow still ended up with a gold medal.

Later that day we played two more basketball games in the tournament and ended up winning Gold medals in our division. One race, 6 games, and another basketball event was a lot to do over 4 days and I had two minor ankle sprains at the end of the week so I was happy to be able to rest and recuperate on Sunday.

On Monday morning I went to my last basketball event which was a free throw and three point shooting contest. It was not timed so you could take your time to shoot 6 3-pointers and 25 free throws. Unfortunately I was in a huge hurry since I had registered for the long jump across town at basically the same time. I asked to go first and they accommodated my schedule but I rushed my shots and didn't do too well. I sped across town and arrived at the track just as they were making the final call for long jumpers.

I was pretty sheepish about this event since I had never done it before. I didn't know proper technique for getting your steps right and just estimated it. As a result I fouled on half of my attempts. On my final attempt I injured one of my already sprained ankles worse. I was embarrassed about how poorly I did and even apologized to some of my competitors for making a mockery of their sport. I was supposed to run the 1500 meter race an hour later but I was limping  and knew it would not be pretty so I decided my body was done for the week. I drove back to the basketball venue as they were doing the medal ceremony and was shocked to see I still got a bronze medal from earlier that morning.

I ended up leaving a day earlier than I had planned but my body was done and I had 4 medals to take home with me. I had a good time and look forward to participating next year.