St. George, Utah - From its inception in 1987, the Huntsman World Senior Games has grown from humble beginnings into a worldwide leader in active aging. Most are familiar with the annual sporting event, taking place this year from October 4 – 17, and offering 35 different sports to athletes and enthusiast from all around the planet.
Each athlete who competes brings his or her own story and measure of inspiration, but perhaps none more than Lorri Zenoni. Lorri has been active in a variety of sports throughout her life, starting with softball in the sixth grade, which she played through high school. After college she took up running and weightlifting to stay active. She also liked to ski, both on the snow and the water, paddle board and hike. Lorri even tried a stint in professional boxing, but eventually decided that was not the type of competition that would keep her healthy. She eventually took up cycling when her husband rode a 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of a military, non-profit experience in 2010. He knew he wanted to ride more, so they both bought road bikes and started with local rides. She was eventually introduced to the Games by a cycling official she met at these races and after a little convincing that she could compete as a “senior athlete” Lorrie registered for her first Games in 2016. She is so glad she did. She says she met so many friends that year from all age categories and classes. She especially loved to see female cyclists in their late 80's riding up Snow Canyon State Park in the hill climb event, setting an immediate goal to be “just like them.” This year, Lorri adds yet another sport to her competition list, pickleball, as she will compete in both the singles and mixed doubles events with her husband.
In 2021, the Games anticipate welcoming a record number of participants, more than 11,000, to Southern Utah. All 50 of the United States will be represented and athletes from around the world will take the playing field, competing in 35 different sports over a two-week period.
Perhaps less known, but no less important, are some of the year-round outreach programs that the Games offers to educate, encourage and inspire.
In 2020, when COVID-19 closed down sporting events around the world, the Games wanting to provide a competitive opportunity for their athletes and others, launched the EPIC Virtual Events Series. It was successful enough that the Games continues to offer the virtual 5K races. Athletes can sign up for one or a series of races and earn gorgeous medals, stay fit and have fun. Registration plus leader boards can be found at thisisyourepic.com
The Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life is a weekly 25-minute podcast designed to help listeners get the most out of their life. Kyle Case and Lil Baron, the show hosts, tackle all kinds of health and wellness topics including the value of competition as part of overall active aging. Through interviews with health care professionals, wellness experts and inspiring athletes, the show provides an upbeat, high energy take on things we can all do to really live the active life. Available on all podcast platforms inducing Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, subscribers will be sure to not miss any of the life changing and life affirming content.
People all around the globe are pushing boundaries and setting a higher mark for what it means to grow older. Masters and senior athletes are creating momentum and putting up records that have never been dreamed before. Musicians and artists are declining to retire and entertaining with more energy and longer than even a generation ago anyone would have imagined. And experienced people from all walks of life are giving back to their communities in ways that will help turn the tide for future generations. Which is why the Games launched their 50 Over 50 initiative with the goal to shine a spotlight on what it means to age actively. At the50over50.com, readers will find a curated list of the 50 fittest, rockingest and changemakers, all making our world a better place after the age of 50. Found on the fittest list, among other outstanding athletes are several athletes preparing for the 2021 Huntsman World Senior Games including 62-year-old swimmer Susan Ingraham and 92-year-old cyclist Glenn Vanderlinde.
In addition, the Games has created the Living Your Best Life Webinar Series to help - regardless of stage of life – gain the tools needed to live your best life. Once a month, a timely, relevant and informative webinar is made available from seniorgames.net. Every course is absolutely free of charge, but registration is required in order to interact with the live experts. Visit seniorgames.net to sign up for the next webinar or review previous episodes, including the most recent, How To Get The Cybersecurity You Deserve.
The Games also offers a variety of ways that local residents of Washington County can engage with the Games and active aging. It takes over 3,000 volunteers to organize and execute the event each year. There are opportunities to help with specific sports and non-sporting areas. This year, every volunteer who registers to volunteer at the Games will be entered to win a brand new eBike from Charge Bikes valued at over $1,400. Those interested should visit seniorgames.net where they can register for shifts by date or interest.
Finally, on Tuesday, October 5, at 7:00 p.m. the Games will officially welcome the athletes to the community at the opening ceremonies. Following the tradition of the Olympics, the ceremonies feature a parade of athletes, singing and dancing and a huge fireworks display. This free and family-friendly event takes place at Trailblazer Stadium at Dixie State University. It’s a high energy show that is free to the public and sure to inspire.
“The fact of the matter is, we are all aging,” says Kyle M Case, Games CEO. “We might as well do it actively, and the Huntsman World Senior Games is committed to leading the way through competition, inspiration and education”
For more information on the Games or any of its events, visit www.seniorgames.net