Hey, Spike! salutes The Summit’s Seniors
When it comes to asking your elders how old they are, you can forget what your mom told you — especially when it’s The Summit’s seniors.
They are a proud group, and if you want to see a bunch of them in action, visit the 50+ Winter Games slated for Feb. 8-10.
“We are one of the fastest growing retirement counties in Colorado,” says 66-year-old Sandy Bainbridge of Frisco, the co-president of Summit County Seniors and publicity chair for the Winter Games.
Sandy is quick to point out the contributions of longtime leader Barb Becker, 73, and Valerie Greenhagen, the program manager at the Summit County Community and Senior Center, for their leadership roles in the games.
“I think few people realize the athletic and activity vibrancy of our seniors,” she adds. “Our Summit Community and Senior Center hums with fit seniors participating in our biking, hiking and skiing clubs and/or working out in our many exercise classes.”
That type of training and enthusiasm will be seen in the games, expected to draw 125 participants.
The Senior Winter Games is a longtime tradition, starting in 1981 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Later, the games moved to Summit County, and in 1999 Keystone Resort and the Frisco Nordic Center became their “home.”
The three-day slate includes:
• An opening dinner at the Community and Senior Center on Sunday, Feb. 8.
• Speed ice skating, figure skating and a hockey goal shoot at Keystone Lake on Monday, Feb. 9.
• Dual slaloms, rally and obstacle downhill races on Dercum Mountain on Monday, Feb. 9.
• 1K, 1-1.2K, 5K classic and 5K skate Nordic races, relay races, a biathlon, snowshoe races and even a snowball throw competition at the Frisco Nordic Center on Tuesday, Feb. 10
• The awards ceremony will be on Tuesday.
• Competitors must be 50 on or before the first day of competition.
• Age categories are: 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89 and 90-plus.
Barb explains some of the numbers this way:
“We have more participants in the 60-70 age groups than any other. So many people retire and want to continue being active, so they sign up to compete. Many of them continue as long as they can so we do have quite a few in the 70-80 age group, too. Our oldest participant since I’ve been involved was 92 years old. We have a couple ice skaters in their 80s who will be competing this year.”
Sandy, who has been skiing since 1965, raised two ski racers and is married to Steve, a former college ski racer and current Breckenridge full-time ski instructor.
Sandy will compete in all of the games’ alpine events and the 5K snowshoe race.
Like Sandy and Steve, Barb and husband Lee, 79, have long been on the skiing scene.
“We’ve been skiing since the late ’70s, and moved back to Colorado in 1985,” says Barb.
They even owned AB Ski and Sport in Frisco and Copper Mountain before selling in 2002. They are also active in Keystone’s Guest Services as volunteers.
“We’ve been involved with the games for the past six years,” notes Barb. “I’ve co-chaired the event last year and this year.”
Not only do the games provide fun and camaraderie, monies are raised to help support locals.
“In 2014 we raised over $7,000, which benefited seniors in Summit County through programs such as the Senior Nutrition Programs (Meals on Wheels, senior lunches and dinners) at the Summit County Community and Senior Center, Timberline Adult Day Care Center, and senior indoor and outdoor activities,” says Valerie.
Contact info: http://www.co.summit.co.us/index.aspx?.nid-894
Phone: (970) 668-2940
And writing of elders, Spike!’s mother, Medith Porter, turned a proud 90 in Delta yesterday. Happy birthday, Mom.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers for 20 years. Email info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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