Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is the largest religious university and the third largest private university in the United States. The BYU Gerontology program is the school’s direct sponsor of the Health Screening project at the Huntsman World Senior Games. In 1986, the BYU Gerontology Program merged its Healthy Lifestyle seminars for Senior Citizens with the Huntsman World Senior Games.
During the two weeks of the Games, students enrolled in internship and service-learning programs are trained to assist in the healthy lifestyle screenings provided to the athletes. These students, along with their faculty mentors conduct innovative research on aging issues and new screening procedures. Researchers are exploring the antecedents of healthy aging with the cooperation of thousands of competitors at the Senior Games, which include people who have stayed physically active and socially engaged into their 80s and 90s, and in the case of Dr. Russell B. Clark, into their 100s. Findings from these studies have been published in prestigious academic and health journals.
In addition, the BYU Alumni Association has sponsored the Evening with Friends, and BYU performing groups and celebrity athletes/friends have performed during the annual Huntsman World Senior Games opening ceremonies and other programs.
Swimming has a reputation for being a quality event at the Huntsman games. The success the program has achieved is due in large part to Carolynn Burt. For 20 years, Carolyn refereed the swim events, and signed many world records that were earned at the games.
She inspired, and was inspired by the athletes in the Senior Games. One of her favorite stories was the time a German team stripped down on the deck of the pool to put their swim suites on.
Carolynn's family writes:" Carolynn passed away, ("aged up" as she said) the day the letter came announcing her induction into the Hall of Fame. She knew her name had been submitted, and was so honored. She always insisted that no family plans be made during the two weeks of the Games. She truly loved the athletes and the meet. Thank you from her family! Buzz , Jenny, Christy, Wesley and Patrick".
Since 1995 Sandee has worked alongside Paula Bell on the Parade of athletes committee. The Senior Games played a role in two major relationships in her life. First of all she would like to thank Paula for asking her to help her chair the Parade of athletes committee. “I didn't yet know her very well, but we became the best of friends as we worked together to plan the parade of athletes that first year, and our friendship has flourished as we have worked together year after year,” Sandee said. Secondly, she credits the Games (and Paula) for helping her meet her husband, Royden Card.
In October of 2000, Paula and Sandee dropped by the St. George Art Museum after going to dinner. An art reception was being held at the museum. It was at that time she met Royden. They were married 14 weeks later. “I owe a debt of gratitude to the HWSG for friendship and for love!” said Sandee.
Rupert loves sports and played basketball three mornings a week with friends. He also sponsored a softball team for the Bountiful, UT, recreation league for many years before hearing about the senior games. His first involvement in the Games was the second year they were held, playing basketball with a team from Bountiful.
When he realized there were not many softball teams, he gathered together some of his basketball buddies and some other friends to form a softball team which they called the "Gandy Dancers". They played in the games several years, then Southwest Airlines sponsored the team, and Rupert was the manager for 15 years. “I have always enjoyed the camaraderie with the softball players, both those on his team and those on opposing teams,” Rupert said.
In 2002, Barbara heard about the Huntsman World Senior Games, and signed up in the Novice Division in the cycling event. She headed to St. George in October of that year for a week which exposed her to bike racing for the first time in her life. Barbara was elated when she set a Division Record in her very first race, which was up Snow Canyon. When she won all four races, and loved each one, Barbara was addicted.
“I have attended the Games every year since then except one,” Barbara noted, “which I had to forgo due to a bike accident which resulted in a broken tibia and fibula . . . now mended with a titanium rod from my knee to my ankle.” Barbara was back the following year, and set records in her new age division. The Huntsman World Senior Games are the races she looks forward to all year. They keep her motivated to stay strong and healthy. The races are tough. . . The Best! A STEEP climb up Snow Canyon, a LONG time trial, a TERRIFIC Criterium, and a SPECTACULAR Road Race. And to top it off, since 2003 Barbara has been lucky enough to compete in the Triathlon the following day as the cycle partner of a team. She has seven Overall Champion jerseys hanging in her hobby room, one for every day of the week. If she gets one this year, she will finally have a spare!
Norma’s volunteer activity with the Huntsman Senior Games started 10 years ago. Her husband Dick, who was co-chairman for Transportation, recruited her to help them out as a dispatcher for one year under the pretext that they would find someone for the following year. Well, the sly fox knew if he could get Norma hooked then all he had to do was to sit back and wait for her to say that she would continue as dispatcher. It was with the understanding that she could make a few improvements and this was in agreement with Don Pendleton, the other co-chairman. As the transportation desk got busier, Norma’s responsibilities grew until she was given the title of co-chairman. They now have 2-3 dispatchers on duty at all times, and 32 drivers.
As a co-chairman of transportation, and Norma’s duties include training drivers and dispatchers who work various hours - sometimes starting as early as 5:30 am and ending as late as 11:00 pm. She makes the schedule for the drivers and dispatchers, and oversees these volunteers. Norma processes all requests for rides by participants at the desk and by phone, then coordinates the times of these requests and dispatches the drivers.
Dave is the co-director of the Men's 3 on 3 basketball tournament. He began his service when all basketball events were under the same management. He is extremely well organized and always first to see that all details are properly executed.
Dave's exceptional success is shown in the scorekeepers and timers. When a shortage of volunteers became a problem, he instituted the use of Youth Academies from the area. They were very interested in being a part of this program for their students. It has been the better part of seven years that these students have been involved.
Dave is a great ambassador for the Huntsman World Senior Games, and has also participated as an athlete in the Triathlon.
World renowned swimmer and octogenarian Graham is a great ambassador for the Huntsman World Senior Games. He is the reason many other athletes have come to participate in the Games. He encourages others to attend yearly to visit and compete.
Graham currently holds twelve Huntsman individual swim event records, and two team Triathlon records in different age groups. At the young age of 74, Graham became the oldest swimmer to swim the Straits of Gibraltar. He also is a regular competitor in the Maui Channel Swim, winning his age group consistently throughout the years.
In 2011, he was selected as one of two individuals inducted into the National Senior Games Hall of Fame, while also serving as torch bearer and local representative for the Houston community. He loves the Huntsman Senior Games, stating they are low key and low pressure, and conducted in a friendly atmosphere. He appreciates the many new friends and appreciates the many volunteers from St. George, Utah.
Mike has worked as a volunteer for ten years, covering everything from registration to fruit distribution. He is known as the "go to" guy. He also helps his wife in the sports department with whatever she needs, and is dedicated ,hardworking and has made a reputation for himself of getting jobs done right away.
A Vietnam vet, inventor with 57 U.S. patents, and a volunteer, Mike is a man with attention to detail and the ability to find creative solutions. No matter what the challenge is, he will find a way to get it done. He is a wonderful and caring person who really cares how the event progresses.
"A long time ago..." I was asked to attend a meeting with a small group of people, hosted by John Morgan. His enthusiasm was contagious! I think most of us saw a small part of the vision - but I am sure none of us imagined what the Games would become. The first year of the Games, I assisted wherever I was needed. The second year, I was assigned to be the Director of the swimming events, in spite of the fact that I am not a swimmer! With my husband J.B. at my side, we took on the swimming venue with enthusiasm. We pressed family and friends into service and the adventure began!
Along the way, I happened to take on a few other responsibilities, such as the Directors dinner. Some of my favorite memories are the cold, windy days at the Green Valley Pool, the really hot days at the Green Valley Pool, the cute, helpful, happy, energetic staff of the Senior Games (yes Merrell, you are cute too!) and the Parade of Athletes. Most of all, I treasure my always supportive husband J.B. , I could never have done all this without him.
I started assisting my wife Donna some 20+ years ago. We started out in the swimming venue, when it was first held at the Green Valley Pool, and moved to the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center when we outgrew the pool at Green Valley.
As part of the Maxwell team, I also helped with the Directors Dinner. I have since participated in various committees over the last five years. It has truly been a family event, and we have worked together with our family members for the past 20 years with the event timing, and the medal presentation. I have enjoyed the years that I have been a part of the Huntsman World Senior Games!
Over the past 12 years, Kathy has competed in a wide variety of sports: golf, bowling, javelin, high jump, relay race and cycling. Several of these sports were first time experiences!
She has also been involved as a volunteer, assisting with the refreshment committee and working as a volunteer for social golf. Kathy was also an assistant director of Bowling. Currently, Kathy is a coach for golf skills. She love to support and promote the Huntsman World Senior Games every chance she gets and Kathy is an active and avid Ambassador for the Games.