Living

Golden Age Games gives veterans opportunity to compete

Carter Stone, 83, center, lets fly during the horseshoe pitching competition, at Sunnyside High School, in southeast Fresno, California. Stone, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was taking part in the National Veterans Age Games event held there.
Carter Stone, 83, center, lets fly during the horseshoe pitching competition, at Sunnyside High School, in southeast Fresno, California. Stone, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was taking part in the National Veterans Age Games event held there. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Consider it a sort of Senior Olympics for veterans.

The 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games is coming to the Mississippi Coast, May 7 to 11, with an assortment of games at various sites.

The Biloxi Veterans Administration Medical Center, which provides care for more than 50,000 veterans throughout Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, is hosting this year’s games.

Veterans 55 and older and enrolled in VA health care will participate in competitions such as air rifle, badminton, boccia, bowling, cycling, field, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, powerwalk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis and track. Exhibition events will include air pistol, archery, basketball, blind disc golf and pickleball.

“Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-sport competition for senior veterans, embracing the Fitness for Life motto,” according to information from Vantage Point, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs.”

Detroit, Honolulu, St. Louis and Omaha are other cities that have hosted past National Veterans Golden Age Games. Leaders of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System worked with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau to help bring the games to Biloxi and the Coast.

If you are interested in being a sponsor or a volunteer for the games, contact Bob Davis at 228-523-5763 or visit https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/ap?ap=1437975583

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1

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