Despite the lack of sleep, this weekend was a good one. I spent Saturday and Sunday morning working as a volunteer at the 2009 Indiana Senior Games. Saturday was Track & Field at Westfield High School and Sunday was Cycling at the Village of West Clay (thank-you to both for letting us use your facilities, fill up your parking lots, and on Sunday take over your roads). It was really cool to watch the dedication and stamina of all the athletes at both events, but I will have to admit that I really enjoyed Track & Field. I was put in charge of overseeing the high jump. All of the men jumping were involved in at least two other events, if not more. With everyone running around to so many different events, it was nearly impossible to get everyone to jump in order at every height, and there was quite a bit of raising the bar up and down, up and down. But, everyone was SO nice. They were quick to help move and measure the bar whenever I needed it, they coached their competitors and told them what they were doing wrong. You could tell that so many of the athletes were there because they really truly loved what they were doing. I've been to my share of high school and college track meets and have never really seen that kind of passion without regard to winning. While I did like all of my high jumpers, I encountered perhaps my favorite athlete later on while I was handing out medals. This gentleman was the only person in the 85-89 division. He and a group that I assumed was his family drove all the way from Cleveland to watch him race. As he was walking out of the complex, proudly wearing his Indiana Senior Games t-shirt with four or five gold medals hanging around his neck, he stopped for a picture with the Bureau volunteers and then the EMS people. It was one of those moments where I couldn't just help but smile. Sunday was a very early morning at the Village of West Clay, but again, just seeing the dedication of the athletes made it all worth it. There were three parts to the Cycling event: a 5k time trial, a 10k time trial, and a 20k race. Since our job was to protect the cyclists from cars, we didn't really get to interact with the athletes as much, but I did get to know one of the other volunteers who was there gathering information for another Indiana Senior Games that will take place in Muncie in September. It was obvious that these athletes took their cycling seriously. They had all the bells and whistles aerodynamic wheels, shoes, helmets, everything. During the 20k one gentleman fell off his bike, was bleeding, and still insisted on finishing his last two laps of the race. Impressive. Watching these athletes was definitely a great experience. Congratulations to everyone who competed, I know that the HCCVB is already looking forward to the 2010 Games!
2009 Indiana Senior Games
Monday, June 15, 2009