Advance View: Seniors show spirit in Langley Games

As you read this, seniors aged 55-plus from all over the province are competing across Langley.

The 2014 B.C. Seniors Games kicked off on Sept. 9, with competitors in more than 20 sports and contests starting their quest for the medal podium. They wrap Sept. 13.

Many of the sports will be familiar to anyone who has followed our coverage over the summer of the preparations for the games. Not only will there by track and field events, cycling, swimming, and other strenuous contests, but seniors will compete in whist and cribbage, horseshoes and lawn bowling. Mental skills will be tested as often as physical ones.

Yet the games are not divided up by age. There is nothing stopping someone in their late 80s or 90s from taking part in swimming or sprinting – and visitors to the events this week will see seniors of those ages who are still highly active and who are competing for medals.

Langley has been a proud host to athletic competitions of every variety in recent years. We have welcomed young athletes to the B.C. Summer Games, the Special Olympics Summer Games, and countless soccer, baseball, and football tournaments, along with every event from curling to road cycling.

These events, and the current Seniors Games, are true expressions of sports. They are amateur events carried out for the love of fair competition, dedicated to fun and comradeship as much as to medals and victory.

The B.C. Seniors Games is a proud addition to this tradition. As we spoke to many athletes and organizers in the run-up to the games, we heard over and over that it is the fun of meeting other athletes that continues to draw people to the event.

Almost 4,000 competitors will arrive in Langley this week for the games. The public is invited to come and cheer for them Sept. 10 at the opening ceremonies, from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. Find out more at www. 2014bcseniorsgames.org.

– M.C.

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