On Friday, Sept. 28, at the closing ceremony for this year's Senior Olympics, it was the thrill of being part of something bigger than one's self that was celebrated. The ceremony was held on the Lutheran Social Services campus.
More than 80 Senior Olympians were honored for their participation in this year's Olympic Games. Teams from Emeritus, Frewsburg Rest Home, Hultquist Place, Lutheran Social Services and Warner Place Adult Day Program comprised this year's month-long competition.
Merritt Jobe, resident of Lutheran Social Services and Senior Olympian, began the ceremony by singing "God Bless America." Senior Olympians were treated to a luncheon in their honor, hosted by Lutheran Social Services, and an awards ceremony.
Merritt Jobe, resident of Lutheran Social Services and Senior Olympian sang “God Bless America” at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Senior Olympics.
Jackie Shannon, activities director for the Frewsburg Rest Home, addressed the Olympians. She said, "This year's Senior Olympic Games are now concluded and proved to be another thrilling and exciting experience for us. It was truly amazing to see all of you competing in these games-doing your personal best and giving it your all. Through it all you maintained the spirit of good sportsmanship and were wonderful ambassadors for the homes and programs you represented. We salute you."
Mrs. Shannon also noted that by participating in these games, each competitor accomplished something few of their contemporaries - friends, neighbors, people their age, will likely ever experience. "You are Olympians," said Mrs. Shannon. "We are inspired by what you have achieved."
Here are the overall team standings for this year's Senior Olympics:
First: Frewsburg Rest Home, which claimed first place in ring toss, basketball, golf and the spelling bee.
Second: Warner Place, which placed first in Wii Bowling and the relay race.
Third: Emeritus, which took first in bowling and the wheelchair race.
Fourth: Lutheran Social Services, which took first in shuffleboard.
Fifth: Hultquist Place, which claimed second-place awards in ring toss, golf and the wheelchair race.
In keeping with the tradition started by Dr. Mary Ann Spanos, director of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging who donated a statue of Athena to the Senior Olympics in 2010, Athena will again reside with the Frewsburg Rest Home as overall winner of this year's games.
Emeritus was the first team to receive the Olympic statue in 2010. The statue will be hotly contended for in the 2013 Senior Olympics.