B.C. Senior Games by Irene Butler –
Athletes and dignitaries were piped into the Olympic Oval by the Legion Colour Guard and Bagpipers. At this gala ceremony to open the September 16th to 19th 2009, Richmond BC Seniors Games well-wishers and singers took to the stage. A torch relayed around the Oval culminated in the hands of 95-year-old Norma Spencer, the oldest participating athlete. Barely coming to mid-chest level of her escort MLA Rob Howard, Norma with the torch held high, lit the cauldron to start the Games.
Early the next morning, Norma was at the snooker table scrutinizing every shot and by day’s end came away with the Gold Medal in the Womens 75+ category. Norma chalked her first a cue at age 65. “I was a volunteer making sandwiches at a snooker tournament and the players called me over to make a few shots”, she says. “I was hooked, but did not take the game seriously until 2000.” Her ‘serious” mode racked-up the following BC Seniors Games Snooker wins: Gold in 2000, Silver in 2001, 2002, 2003, Bronze in 2004, 2005, 2006, Gold in 2007 (in 2008 Norma missed the Games).
Norma says her secret to longevity is to “stay active and have fun”. This credence fit the rest of over 3,800 participating athletes representing 29 different sports at the Games.
The phenomenal amount of dedication, effort and sponsor dollars that brought these games to fruition was apparent. The BC Games Society collaborated with the Richmond BC Games Committee, sports associations and multi-cultural organizations – the grand total of volunteers numbering over 1300.
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Click to view our Slide Show presentation of the B.C. Seniors Games
BC Seniors Games