Some 150 senior citizens from six communities in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania came together Friday to compete fiercely in nine events of the 11th annual OlympiActs.
The Mid-Atlantic OlympiActs pits residents of the ACTS Retirement—Life Communities against one another in hopes of obtaining silver, bronze or the enviable gold medals.
Meghan McGeoy is the executive director at the 300-resident Lima Estates. Although the event travels among the different ACTS communities, no matter where it’s held, it has a similar mission.
“It’s all about fun, fellowship and fitness,” McGeoy said. Of the 20 teams, she added, “They’re very competitive but it’s all about the fun spirit, the camaraderie, the getting to know one another,” she said.
And, the participants are ambitious about their placings.
“They’re always about the competition, even at this age, which is so funny,” McGeoy said. “They’re very competitive at this age. We have to have tryouts to eliminate.”
Lima Estates Life Engagement Coordinator Donna Hall said one of the more popular events is the Wii bowling.
Even just at Lima Estates, about 60 people are in the league that ends its season with a banquet. And, the participants can hold their own.
“We had high school kids come to do Wii bowling with seniors and they came in the first day kind of cocky,” Hall said. “And then at the end of the day, they went home and they go, ‘We have to go home and practice.’ The seniors beat them. It was funny.”
On Friday, the competition was among residents at Lima and Granite Farms estates, Cokesbury Village, Country and Manor houses and Heron Point.
Spirit abounded everywhere whether on the lobster hats and lion regalia worn by supporters or the cheers and hollers from teammates.
Up in the auditorium, Granite Farms resident Brenda Coupland was one of the first to take a shot in the Wii bowling.
As she swung her arm back and pushed the button, a cry came from the crowd, “Wonderful shot!”
Afterwards, Coupland shuffled herself back to her seat.
“It’s just fun,” she smiled, “and it’s something I can do with a walker.”
Downstairs, Tom Reeves and Peg Cunningham, both of Granite Farms Estates, took their turn in the pool relay.
A five-year OlympiAct participant, Reeves said he liked the water relay because it was easier than the walking one.
His teammate said she really enjoyed it.
“I think it’s fun,” Cunningham said. “It’s nice to have the activity. It’s nice for the camaraderie. It’s nice to just get out and meet people.”
New to Granite Farms and the competition, she said she’d like to return.
“This is a whole new experience,” Cunningham said. “Everything’s a first for me this year.”
Donned in yellow, Gerry Schettler was taking her cheering between buildings.
“At this point, rain doesn’t matter,” she said.
A former egg toss participant, Schettler was in rooting mode Friday as her husband, Brian was going for his second gold in the Brain Games trivia sector.
She explained he won two years ago even as she was having fun as a spectator for the first time.
“We may be old,” Schettler said, “but we can do it!”
Gold medals were won by the following teams in the respective events:
Wii bowling: Lima Estates
Shuffleboard: Lima Estates
Putting: Lima Estates
Walking relay: Cokesbury Village
Trivia: Lima Estates
Bocce: Heron Point
Horseshoes: Country House
Swimming: Granite Farms Estates