[caption id="attachment_2248" align="aligncenter" width="228" caption="100 Year Old Lora Koepper, a swimmer from Indianapolis. Photo Courtesy of IndyStar.com"][/caption] Over the weekend, roughly 470 people invaded Carmel and its surrounding areas for the Indiana Senior Games.  They came from right here in Hamilton County, Ohio, Illinois, and even as far away as Arizona to compete for the chance to qualify for the National Senior Games next summer.  For those of you who don’t know, the Senior Games is an event for athletes 50+, to compete with others from around the area.  Participants competed in 17 sports, including swimming, track & field, badminton, and shuffleboard. As an intern for the Hamilton County Sports Authority, this was my first taste of the Indiana Senior Games.  I had never heard of such an event and didn’t really know what to expect. What a weekend! Swimming featured the oldest participant, a 100-year-old woman, who competed in the 200-meter freestyle. Road Race was won by a man in the 60-64 age group who finished the 5K Race in 19 minutes.  The volleyball competition had teams of 55-year-old guys that would give high school teams a run for their money. When I looked around, I didn’t see “grandparents,� I saw an amazing cyclist or a shooter with really good aim.  The Senior Games gives these outstanding athletes an outlet to utilize their skills. I even came to the conclusion that many of these athletes are in better shape than I am. However, these Games also give participants the opportunity to try something new.  Some pickleball participants (don’t worry, I had never heard of it either) had never played the game before or had just started a couple months ago, and they were welcomed like they’d been playing for years.  One track and field runner admitted to never doing track and field in his life until a few years ago, and now he has competed in almost every track and field event that is offered.  So whether you want to play some intense competition or just to learn something new, the Indiana Senior Games has it all.  And for those of you who are just like I was a few days ago, come watch next year.  Or come watch 28 years from now, and you’ll probably see me competing in them! -Kathy, Sports Intern