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More than 300 participate in Senior Games

More than 300 participate in Senior Games

Men's 50

Jeff Hageman of Omaha wins his heat in the Men's 50-meter dash at the Nebraska Senior Games. Track and field events were held at Horizon Middle School in Kearney on Thursday.

KEARNEY — They came. They competed. They worked up a sweat.

Athletes, ages 50 and older, competed in 90-degree heat in the Nebraska Senior Games Thursday through Sunday at various venues around Kearney.

And they were happy to be here.

“We’ve gotten a lot of compliments for hosting the games,” said Games coordinator Jade Brown. “People are very excited about getting out and being able to compete in all the different events and sports. I think it’s good for everyone’s overall mental health and physical health. It’s a great opportunity to provide that for our senior citizens.”

This year’s Games were a qualifying event for the National Senior Games scheduled Nov. 5-18, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The qualifying years draw more participants than non-qualifying years, drawing around 400 competitors. The coronavirus pandemic did keep some competitors away.

“It is down for a qualifying year ... but more than I had anticipated, considering the situation we’re in. I thought if we would get over 200, that would be a good number and we made it to 303,” Brown said.

Some events had to be canceled, like 3-on-3 basketball, which is considered a contact sport, and the high jump because it was recommended to change the landing mat for each competitor.

Also, social activities like yoga, the wellness walk, the pitch tournament and the evening social were eliminated, Brown said.

Other states have either canceled or postponed their games, which gave the Nebraska Games an added attraction.

Brown said the Nebraska games typically have 75 out-of-state competitors from 16-18 states. This year 20 states were represented by 90-95 athletes.


Photos: Nebraska Senior Games

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