Wednesday evening, October 11, 2017, at a special induction ceremony, 10 individuals and one organization was welcomed into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was set up to recognize the extraordinary men and women who foster the vision of the Huntsman World Senior Games. The examples of determination, teamwork, dedication, sacrifice and excellence shown by this select group are the standards that set them apart and raise the Games to a higher level.
Whether athlete, organizer, sponsor or volunteer, the combined energy that is created speaks to the heart and forms an indelible impression on the spirit. Congratulations to each of the inductees.
Cindi Blevins has participated as a volunteer for the Huntsman World Senior games from 2003 to 2012 in the Track and Field events. She started out as the assistant director in charge of administration and scorekeeping. She implemented the use of software that streamlined the time and accuracy of the records. She also introduced electronic timing to running events, which increased the accuracy and allowed every athlete to have their results posted in a timely manner.
In Cindi's third year, the event moved to Snow Canyon High School, and she became the co-director. She worked to have the track certified, added a timing system that included a camera at the finish line, and protocols that allowed the certification of national and world records. The next year, Cindi became the director of the track and field. One of her first initiatives was to petition the Games to change the age standards for track & field to align with the U.S. Track & Field Federation. This allowed the events at the Games to become a qualifying meet for the national championships and allowed the records set at the Games to be recognized and certified.
Cindi's philosophy was, "It's all about the athlete." As a result, entries into the track and field events tripled during her tenure. Cindi is an Air Force veteran, and was a Land and Water Survival Specialist and cross trained in Operations. The skills in organizing and managing programs that she learned during her service in the military were adapted and used to improve the events she oversaw.
When asked how she felt upon hearing of her induction into the Hall of Fame, Cindi said "I am absolutely shocked and so incredibly appreciative to have this honor bestowed upon me. I have always been more of a 'behind the scene' kind of gal, so I didn't think anyone really noticed what I had been doing all these years. To know that I made a difference means the world to me. I've always believed that volunteering is about competing from the other side of the track. Thank you so much for this honor."
Doug started competing in the Huntsman World Senior Games in 2001. For the past 16 years, he has competed in softball and track and field. Over the years, Doug has played with several teams, from AAA to Major-Plus. Doug enjoys the competition, but even more, he enjoys the camaraderie with the other athletes.
Doug is a Huntsman World Senior Games Ambassador, and tells all of his friends and competitors that they have to go to St. George at least once to participate in the Games. Doug has won 15 medals in softball, and 10 medals and 1 blue ribbon in track & field.
Doug was formerly an automotive designer at Ford Motor Company, a disco-era DJ, and currently operates Gray Street Affordable Housing with his partner. When asked to share his feeling on being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Doug stated "The first words to come to my mind were grateful, thankful, honored, elated, and humble. I am grateful that people with vision came together to create these Games. I am thankful to the selection committee. I am honored to be a part of Huntsman World Senior Games history, and I am elated to have my accomplishments recognized. I am humbled to be in the company of so many great senior athletes."
Beginning in 1997, Jim began his journey at the Huntsman World Senior Games. Now twenty-two years down the road, Jim has competed in many sports, including bowling, softball, pickleball, road races, tennis and track & field.
Jim grew up in Eastman, Wisconsin, where he was raised on a farm and attended a one room schoolhouse. His childhood in a small town instilled in Jim the importance of being part of a community – both in connecting with your neighbors and sharing life’s journey with those around you.
Jim feels that these same wonderful qualities are exemplified in the Huntsman World Senior Games. When asked to share his feelings on being inducted into the Hal of Fame, Jim states, “I am honored to be indicted in to the Hall of Fame. My experiences with the Games have been very positive, and I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and compete in a variety of athletic events.”
Many years ago, Lee's good friend Ron Adams asked him if he would like to go to a tournament in St. George, Utah. This was the beginning of Lee's many years of playing and promoting racquetball for the Huntsman World Senior Games. An avid player, Lee has participated in the Games for over 13 years now, and says that the people are friendly, which makes you want to come back.
Lee was an athlete in high school, competing in baseball and gymnastics. He is a former member of the World War II Air Corp 344th Aviation Unit, where he served to protect the freedoms of this great country. Lee gives still gives back to his community as a member of Big Brothers of America.
When asked about his feelings on learning about being inducted, Lee says "I am very elated to be inducted into such a group with all of the wonderful players like Ron Adams and Bill Gencarela. I thank you for your consideration in bestowing this honor upon me."
Howard Richard Gray
A 30 year member of the Huntsman World Senior Games family, Howard assisted Daisy and John Morgan, Jr. in promoting health, sportsmanship, and physical fitness among senior athletes. His background in Gerontology research for BYU, AARP Health Seminars, and having worked at the 1985 Special Olympic and 2002 Salt Lake Olympics have prepared him to advocate the healthy lifestyle message of the Games.
Dr. Gray was invited to attend senior game venues in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Germany, France, Taiwan, and Great Britain to name a few. He has carried the message of the Games to all of these events, and will continue being an ambassador for the Games.
When he found out about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Howard visited Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and Latvia to share his two-part message: 1) The Huntsman World Senior Games healthy lifestyle message for world-class senior athletes, and 2) An invitation for all senior athletes to join us at the Games. Dr. Gray feels that is a privilege to share information about sportsmanship, health, personal fitness, and athletic participation. These are the guiding values for all of the 10,000+ athletes at the Games.
Bob has been an athlete and volunteer for the Games in the pickleball events. He started playing in 2007, and in 2008, became one of the event directors. He dedicated many hours of his time scheduling and overseeing the events.
In his first years at the Games, there were around 200 players. The sport took off and soon there were 500-600 players participating. It became apparent that the Pickleball events needed more courts to accommodate the growing numbers. Bob then commenced to persuade the City Manager, Mayor and City Council to build more courts. In order to proceed, Bob and the Southern Utah Pickleball club raised over $20,000. Part of the money raised was donated by Bob and his wife from their travel fund. Bob faced and overcame many more challenges getting the courts built to the highest quality possible.
Bob's passion is Pickleball, and he can be seen wearing his Huntsman World Senior Games or pickleball shirt to show his enthusiasm for the game. Bob says he enjoys the challenges of directing the events, and when asked how he felt about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he simply states "I 'm honored!"
A Veteran of World War II, Armand served in the Pacific fleet before graduating from University of Utah and earning his Master’s degree. A teacher and a coach for thirty-five years, Armand has always been involved in the sporting life.
Armand has been participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games for twenty-two years, playing in singles and mixed double tennis, table tennis, racquetball, and pickleball. Armand says that he has met many outstanding athletes, and made many good friends over the years on and off the courts.
In 2013, he was awarded the "Gene Pletcher Award" for exceptional devotion to the spirit of racquetball. Armand is grateful to the directors and workers, both staff and volunteer, for their contributions to the pleasure and success of the Games. When asked how his induction into the Hall of Fame made him feel, he said “I am honored to receive the distinction of being inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games hall of Fame. This is one of the best gifts I have ever received. It a joy and a privilege to be inducted. When I received the congratulatory letter, I immediately contacted all of my family and friends to tell them. We all jumped for joy, and I would have done a handspring I was so happy. However, at age 90, I thought better of it! I am happy and healthy and consider every day a gift from God, and realize that I am living "The Good Life".
Ola & Duane Shaw
Ola and Duane Shaw began competing in the Huntsman World Senior Games sixteen years ago. Ola has passed away but is with Duane in spirit as he continues their tradition of participating in the Games. Ola was a youth bowling coach and coordinator, active in her church, and was an avid bowler for over sixty years. Duane is has participated in basketball as a player, coach, official and administrator. He taught physical fitness, and became the Director of Athletics at Kansas.
Ola and Duane were exemplary athletes. Ola earned 13 gold, 14 silver, and 4 bronze medals at the Huntsman World Senior Games. Duane has won 16 gold, 4 silver, and 8 bronze medals while competing at the Games. Combined, this adds up to 29 gold, 18 silver, and 12 bronze medals for a total of 59!
When asked on his feelings on being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Duane said "I am honored to even be considered, let alone being accepted into this group. I know this would have been a highlight in Ola's life. We are both thankful and grateful to have been able to compete and be active these many years. God is good - we have been blessed!"
Cathy has been an active volunteer for the Games for the past twelve years. She has been a shift leader at the information desk, and worked in the gift shop until being asked to become the hospitality chairperson for the noon lunch. And she has always continued to help prepare the welcome bags for the athletes. She says the volunteers are great to work with, and the athletes are so enjoyable to be around that she looks forward to every October!
Cathy is a busy wife and mother who has been married for 42 years to her wonderful husband, has two beautiful daughters, and three grandchildren with one more on the way. She enjoys cooking and working in her flower garden in her spare time.
When asked to share her feelings on being inducted, Cathy says "Wow! What an honor! It's been a pleasure volunteering with so many wonderful people for the past 12 years and to receive this prestigious award. Here's to many more years of volunteering for the Huntsman World Senior Games. Thank you!"
For the past ten years, Washington City has served as the primary venue for the men's and women's basketball events, as well as select golf events. Our state of the art community center provides three courts for tournament play, as well as many other amenities enjoyed by the athletes' and family members alike.
The beautiful and challenging Green Spring Golf Course is a favorite of many Games participants. In recent years, the soccer events have moved to Washington City with the completion of the Sullivan Soccer Park, which houses four regulation sized fields.
The Washington City Community Center hosts a variety of social events in the beautiful reception center/conference room. Many Games participants enjoy the fun, positive atmosphere of the Center. They also praise the great customer service, cleanliness, and quality of the center.
Select Washington City employees contribute hours of volunteer service throughout the year to ensure the success of the Games, and many employees participate in the various sports and have developed strong friendships as a result.
When asked to share their feelings on the induction of Washington City to the Hall of Fame, the City officials state, "Washington City has always been a strong advocate and supporter of the Huntsman World Senior Games. We recognize the value of the Game to our community, as well as the athletes from around the world. This induction is a great honor, and one that we will cherish. Washington City is grateful! Thank you!"